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I, Tonya and the Social Class
This assignment is intended at describing a groundbreaking sports scandal between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan—former figure skaters of late nineties. After watching biopic film, “I, Tonya”, perceived contributions of social system in Harding’s life will be analyzed and their causal relationship with her career and family life will be documented. First, a brief summary of this film will be presented for clarifying the semblance and roles of exclusive members belonging to her family and sports life. In the next section, the manifestation of socioeconomic status as a strong determinant of professional success and failure will be presented. The roles of family in shaping personality and professional success and failure will be defined afterwards. In the end, conclusion section will attempt to deduce meaningful inferences from the textual activity within a single paragraph.
Film, “I, Tonya” written by Steven Rogers and directed by Craig Gillespie in 2017, is an American Biographical Dark Comedy revolving around the adverse circumstances of infamous figure skater—Tonya Harding. This film depicts the connection of Tonya Harding and her husband Jeff Gillooly with the Nancy Kerrigan—her skating rival (Olsen, 2017). This movie is based on the data obtained from the interview taken from Tonya Harding and her husband Jeff Gillooly. Hence, propounding the notion that it is exceptionally unreliable having biased; lopsided approach (Margot, 2018).
This movie encapsulates the illustration of her family life since she was 8 years old and was victimized by ill-mannered temperament of her mother LaVona towards her. She was compelled to leave her school and started skating as a full-time hobby (Emily, 2018). She god married to Jeff Gillooly and had abusive relationship with him. She belonged to a lower socioeconomic status, therefore, despite having excellent skating skills; she was lacking consideration from the authorities. On the other hand, her rival—Nancy Kerrigan belonged to a well-off family hence, it was quite easy for her to surpass Tonya in skating competitions (Peter, 2018).
“I, Tonya” revolves around a well-known condemnable attack on Nancy Kerrigan allegedly sponsored by her-then husband Jeff. This was because U.S. Figure Skating Championships 1994 was around in Detroit and both the ladies were about to appear in the competition. The personal involvement of Harding in this egregious and heinous delinquency was not evident but it incapacitated her career and self esteem so irreparably. Her name was strikingly conditioned with the infamous scandal in the sports history—more like a punch-line in famous film. It acted as an astringent chronicle for scandal.
In the movie “I, Tonya,” how does the concept of social class come into play?
Harding was grown up in a poverty-stricken, underprivileged and indigent family. Her appearance and clothing was the justified demonstration of her socioeconomic background—the crimped ponytail, superannuated and hand-made skating costume. With the exact appearance, she was having high morals and tried to be the part of immaculate ice queen that was quite effortless for Kerrigan to achieve.
In the movie scene, her outfits become matter of clash between her and her figure skating judges. This is because these were mostly homemade and she was lacking enough resources to get the designer costumes for her. She was wearing a pink costume over which his judges threatened her to eliminate her out of the competition. Story does not end here, despite enjoying the privilege of being first American women to accomplish triple axel stunt in competition, a wickedly executed, infamous and impertinently conceived attack on her rival—Nancy Kerrigan—in Olympics is associated with her existence, completely but awfully neglecting her legacy.
Moreover, despite her extraordinary abilities and worthy legacy, she never ever received rhapsodic and exuberant embrace from the associated authorities just because she was unable to befit their “half-baked” high-class socioeconomic standards. She was not given the scores that she deserved because she was not adhering to the figure that they were willing to project. These are the trivial rudiments of Harding’s story that this movie depicted intellectually; one of the key element of her miserable degeneracy, relatable beyond parsimonious figure-skating world.
Based on the above mentioned description, it is clearly evident that her poor social class made her to suffer a lot, acting as a barrier between her extraordinary excellence and success. This is how, socioeconomic status determines our lives!
Explain how social class contributed to both the success and failure of Tonya Harding as an athlete and as a person?
In my opinion, her social class did not add something constructive and commendable to her personal and professional life, career and reputation. The only contribution of social class was highly depressing and condemnable in nature. First, as a person, she suffered a lot from the ill-mannered temperament of her mother who did not allow her to continue schooling and aimed her to gain hankering reputation in skating—for altering their current financial remittance. Secondly, the treatment she acquired from the skating elites was more devastating than her mother’s intervention; her “white trash” eminence. It not only affected her personality but also damaged her professional legacy to the considerable extent.
To what extent is her success or failure due to the dysfunction of her family situation? Provide specific evidence from the movie to support your case.
As far as success in concerned, to some extent, her mother is responsible for that because she compelled her to leave her school and invest full time efforts to skating. She also administered Diane Rawlinson as her skating coach. She practiced hard and turned to be an excellent figure skater and America’s first women to perform triple axel stunt. Her family, on the other hand, nurtured her career failure as well; her husband was found guilty in sending death threats to her rival and two inept crooks were hired to attack Kerrigan after she completed her practice session at Detroit. Her husband spoke up in front of FBI about her involvement in the orchestration of attack. Although she avoided getting locked up in jail but underwent lifetime ban from participating in competitive figure skating events. In both the cases, her husband was found guilty and it led her career to an immense downfall—her career was doomed permanently. Besides this, her emotional wellbeing was quite deteriorated because she had abusive relationship with her mother and husband. Hence, involvement of her family was quite questionable here.
This assignment was aimed at describing a groundbreaking sports scandal between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan—former figure skaters of late nineties. It was communicated that socioeconomic status adds much to the success and failure of a person as evident from the Harding’s life. It was demonstrated that she was intentionally tried to get banished from the elite-centered skating competitions due to her outdated appearance and skating costumes. Her family contributed more to the failure of her career; her husband orchestrated attacks on her rival but indirectly she was found guilty by FBA. Eventually, her career underwent terminal backsliding when judges executed lifetime ban on her from participating in competitive figure skating. In a nutshell, this assignment provided me with the opportunity of contemplating more realistic incorporation of socioeconomic status in the personal and professional lives of common people and public figures.
Olsen, Mark (September 9, 2017). "'I, Tonya' blends humour and pathos at TIFF premiere with Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding". Los Angeles Times.
Emily Manning, (January 17, 2018). 'I, Tonya' sets figure skating to siouxsie & the banshees (and it works)". i-d.vice.com
Margot Robbies. 'I, Tonya' Reshoots Casting Call in Atlanta". Projectcasting.com.
Peter Gray, (January 25, 2018). "Director Craig Gillespie on Taking No Prisoners When Filming I, Tonya". The Iris. Iris.theAUreview.com
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