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Good Will Hunting is a very inspirational movie about friendship and love in a small town South Boston. It is about a Math genius,Janitor at MIT, and orphan boy named Will Hunting, his best friend Chuckie and Maguire, a psychology professor at a community college,who is Will’s therapist. Friendship according to Aristotle is a primary need in life. He believes that:” For no one would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other goods.
”This movie is a great depiction of Aristotle’s three types of friendship that I will relate to, but also a challenge to Diotima’s speech in Plato’s theory of love in Symposium. I will concentrate on friendship and love relationships in the movie. Under Friendship, I will discuss the relationship between Will and Chuckie, Will and his Professor Maguire and finally Professor Lambeau with Professor Maguire. Under Love relationship I will talk a little bit on Professor Maguire and his wife who died.
Aristotle’s three types of friendship include Utility, pleasure and Virtuous friendship. These will be more described in relation to the movie in the paragraphs following.
The friendship between Chuckie and Will is a very good example of how love can be genuinely expressed indirectly through words and actions. An example is when they are at the construction site and he says to Will:” you have got something none of us has...It would be an insult to us if you were here in 20 years.
” This is a good example of virtuous friendship according to Aristotle. He describes it as a friendship in which people wish good for each other for the sake of both of them. He continues saying that this friendship is hard to find , but that it lasts longer than all the others. I absolutely agree with Aristotle. Most people nowadays want to become the best and always look for opportunities to make themselves great. Will’s best friend is one of a kind. He is never jealous of his friend receiving job offers, and really tries hard to make him understand that he want Will to become a good and respectable person. Chuckie knows that he is not expecting anything from Will, but he still pushes him to leave and start a new life. It can be deduced from this that virtuous friendship is really satisfying. I also believe that Aristotle would have placed this relationship under virtue friendship.
Will and professor Maguire had a slightly rough relationship at start, but it developed into something profound throughout the movie.Will never considered Prof. Maguire when criticizing his painting and included his wife who had died. Prof. Maguire knew all along a good way to tackle the kind of problem that Will had . He knew he had to help Will embrace the fact that it wasn’t his fault he was orphan or that his foster father stabbed him. Prof. Maguire used his own childhood nightmares to help Will express all his feelings. From that moment, they became best of friends. I learned from this scene that great friendship sometimes unfold from complex relationship.
Professor Lambeau and Professor Maguire had a lightly misunderstanding from the past. They seemed to ignore at the beginning of the movie when Prof. Lambeau goes to ask him for help with Will.Prof. Lambeau seemed to think that Maguire was a failure because he taught at a community college. Prof. Maguire considered his job honorable and didn’t want fame or status as most of his college friends seemed to only care about. Prof Maguire really wanted to see Will become a new and goal oriented man. Prof. Lambeau wanted to use Maguire to help Will leave his old habits and thus use him for his mathematics discoveries and theories. This was a perfect example of Aristotle’s utility friendship. Aristotle describes as one where one expects something useful for himself. This kind of relationship is the most popular nowadays. We all want great things for ourselves and thus we do anything to get there. The movie illustrates well how the audience,meaning us, would first think that Professor Lambeau really wants Will to go on the right track. In the end, however, it is clear that all along he wanted to make Will part of his work and thus make a name for both of them. Nevertheless, Prof. Maguire is a very understanding man who wants the best for will even if Will does not follow the Mathematics career.
Moving away from friendship, love is next. Prof. Maguire is still in love with his dead wife. He says he attained his share of happiness as he tells Will that:” But you could not tell me how it feels to wake up next to a woman and be truly happy.” Diotima’s speech in Plato’s Symposium suggests that we are all looking for beauty in order to be fully happy.She continues to talk about a certain ladder of love we all need to go through to completely grasp the truest form of beauty. I certainly agree with her that all of us are attracted to beautiful things. An example from the movie is when Will describes his girlfriend Skylar as beautiful and smart. Diotima, however, places this attraction to the lowest stage of the ladder of love and thus not important at all. Prof. Maguire did not need to go through all the stages to attain the happiness he found with his wife. Having only his wife gave him complete happiness. Having acquired the knowledge of beauty does not mean that we have also acquired the happiness we need. Most of the people always feel contented on the lowest step of Diotima’s ladder.
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