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As seen in movies, such as Django Unchained, black masculinity is portrayed differently to white masculinity, black men are often give stereotypical roles to highlight their masculinity as in the case of Jackie Brown. However, its slightly different with Django, and it shows the opinion in what it means to be masculine. Such as in one scene, Django can choose his own attire and chooses a bright blue silk suit. Despite the comic attire, Django retains his sense of masculinity because of the actions he took in that scene, as he gets his revenge on the two Brittle brothers who whipped his wife. Although, this contrasts with Dr Schultz who is displayed as powerful but, in a total, completely different sense than Django, his power comes from knowledge and skill as a bounty hunter. His style and eccentricity that hint towards his unknown power.
As John Beyon explains that “Masculinity is always interpolated by cultural, historical, and geographical location… In our time the concept of uniform masculinity and even sexuality is no longer held to be fixed or intimate” (Schwartz). Typically, what it means to be masculine is always changing. It’s noticeable in Tarantino’s films, as Django is portrayed very differently from Samuel L Jackson in Tarantino’s 97’ Jackie Brown, which stereotypes of power such as money, women and drugs are used to accentuate Ordell Robbie (Samuel L Jackson) masculinity. The difference in movies now, to movies in the 1970’s is even more noticeable when analyzed alongside movies such as Django Unchained. Such as Rambo, the clear difference in how they portray their masculinities, although both being society’s idea of masculine, for Rambo, masculinity in the 1970’s meant to be as muscular as possible, while at the same time physically dominating the other men. Essentially the very definition of what it means to be masculine with US society changes from the 1970’s to 2000’s, and then again by 2012, like John Beyon highlighted.
Django represents the modern hero, he is more feminine in his characteristics than any protagonist of the 80’s such as Rambo or Terminator. That is because of the post millennial shift towards a more practical realistic America. Whilst Quentin Tarantino is known for exaggeration within his films usually in regard to violence and language. Heroes have become more vulnerable as society demands more realism from its popular culture. Django, is a vulnerable slave, the whip marks on his back and the branding “R” short from Runaway is testament to this, in making him more vulnerable, he becomes more of a realistic character and its much easier for the audience to connect, it ensures that as opposed to knowing he wont die, the audience is unsure and in turn more intrigued by the film. This shows how the idea of masculinity has changed within Americas society. As people in America become realistic with their expectations, it reflects with popular culture, and films.
Django Unchained is a modern western movie that takes place in the height of slavery. The movie portrays the experience of Django and Doctor Schultz as they travel through the deep south in search for Django’s wife and in search for the brittle brothers. As Django travels the south, he goes through a change in character, from a slave to a black cowboy. Although, his character, in a sense, gains more authority, he still seems to linger beneath the white man.
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