The Transformation Of Pumpkin

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Jordan Meisles
W170 21773
28 October 2012
The Transformation of Pumpkin
Although the movie Pumpkin is focused around Carolyn’s university struggles with her personal life, sorority life, and romantic life, Pumpkin demolishes the barricade between the stereotypes of a disabled person, and their true aptitude. Carolyn waits with her sorority one sunny day for the van full of people with various disabilities to arrive. She was assigned Pumpkin, and together she impatiently trains him in qualified Special-Olympic sports. Not until after she opens herself up to him, does she fall in love with a man who is publicly frowned upon. Pumpkin emerges from his crippling wheelchair, and progresses until he is able to fight able-bodied people. Pumpkin's writer and director, Adam Larson Broder, characterizes claims from both writers Rosemarie Garland-Thomson the author of “Looking Away Staring Back”, and Robert Bogdan the author of “The Social Construction of Freaks”. The scene that Pumpkin fights Kent, shows both putting someone with disabilities on display, as well as forcing Pumpkin into a real world situation where he isn’t interacted with as different or even pitied. Broder has Pumpkin brawl with Kent in order to show the quick staggering change as Pumpkin is transformed into a person with a seemingly normal social life, because his display in the fight made him part of the ‘regular’ community. As brilliantly as Broder used the fight scene, he also relied on visual tools to express his claim; he uses music as well as camera angles to express Pumpkins transformation. The scene right after the fight, when Carolyn dances with Pumpkin, justifies Broders attempt to normalize Pumpkin in society because the orchestra plays them a song when it is just Carolyn and Pumpkin on the dance floor. Pumpkin’s continuous interactions with society alert others that he is part of the community whether they approve or disapprove. The scene begins while Carolyn and Kent are dancing with soothing string instruments playing elegant music for the ‘perfect’ dance. Carolyn, obviously feeling out of place dancing with Kent, looked over to the entrance of the ball room and sees Pumpkin standing there in a formal brown suit. As Kent and Carolyn put their dancing to a halt, Pumpkin exclaims that he came to dance with Carolyn. Kent responds to Pumpkin, in a tone that has transformed from him talking to a disabled man, to a man on his level. As the vocabulary shrieked from Kent towards Pumpkin harshens, the soothing string orchestra stops playing the music. Kent yells, “If he’s man enough to take my girl, then he’s man enough to fight me!” As the fight emerges people begin to circle around them and watch. However, if they still felt Pumpkin was disabled or socially different they would have immediately defended him, and helped pull Kent away. Pumpkin takes many brutal beatings to his face, and no one seems to treat him any differently than a regular person. Pumpkin does the only thing he thinks of and bear hugs Kent, picks him up, and drops him on his back. After it becomes quite clear that the underdog won the fight, Pumpkin and Carolyn break through the final barrier that considers Pumpkin different, which happened to be Carolyn’s sorority sisters. Once they climbed the stairs up to the ballroom, they stepped onto the dance floor. The conductor of the orchestra looked over at the new couple, and doesn’t think twice to begin the music yet again. The conductor’s notion to restart the music restores the original purpose of the dance, as students begin to slow dance with one another. Robert Bogdan claims that it is ok for disabled people to be put on display because they often choose or desire to do it (Bogdan 25). Although Pumpkin did not intentionally pick the fight, he did man up to the fight request from Kent and said, “Let’s do this outside!” The camera angles strongly back up Bogdan’s claim, because it looks up upon Pumpkin and makes him look like...
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