Empire as a Cultural Object that Represents Today's Generation - Essay Example

2021-07-19 09:20:29
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University of Richmond
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Essay
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Every generation possesses its unique values, attitudes, and norms that distinguish it from others. In certain ways, the believes, practices, morals, and customs of our forefathers have lost their grip on the current generation. Generational gap majorly manifests in a change of people's thoughts, opinions, and lifestyle. Today, people are more enlightened, educated, have better access to healthcare, have more freedom, and, notably, technology and entertainment dominate the present world. Consequently, a significant shift is felt between people of different generations, thus, creating a barrier to communication and relationships. However, the differences keep the generations distinct.

The film industry is a significant manifestation of generational changes. Movies are a reflection of people's culture, skills, ideologies, and lifestyle. Just like the transition from one generation to another, movies are constantly changing. They capture the happenings of society at that particular time. For instance, films produced in the 1940s reflected conservatism and dominance by a few social elites. Similarly, movies in the 1960s mirrored the emergence of civil rights movements; most countries were in the process of liberating themselves. In this regard, it can be argued that movies are used to portray the characteristics of a generation.

Empire television series is an American musical drama. It features a family headed by a music mogul, Luscious Lyon, his ex-wife Cookie, and their three sons, Andre, Jamal, and Hakeem. The family owns a world-famous music recording company, empire entertainment, which he acquired from past drug deals. Luscious gets diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and he only has three years to live. It is then that he realizes that he needs to appoint one of his sons as his successor. Interestingly, each one of the sons is talented in their unique way. Nevertheless, they all struggle to inherit the key of the kingdom. Andre is an educated and business-minded man, while Jamal is a songwriter and Hakeem a talented musician. However, Cookie is also interested in taking over the dynasty as she claims that it was established from the drug profits she had been arrested for.

Notably, betrayal, gangster life, and serious moral degradation characterize the family. After divorcing his wife, Luscious becomes engaged to Anika who also works in the empire entertainment. Anika goes behind the companys back for her own profits. Apparently, everybody in the entertainment dynasty has issues. For instance, whereas Jamal is a homosexual, Hakeem sires a child with his fathers ex-girlfriend, Anika. At the same time, Andre is battling a severe bipolar condition after the death of his wife and loss of their child. In his own consideration, Luscious appoints Jamal as his heir, a step that does not go well with his eldest son Andre. Primarily, this is because he feels more competent for the position as he has put a lot of hard work towards the company's prosperity. Out of anger, Andre conspires with Shayne to murder his father.

Empire series reflects various characteristics of the current generation. Firstly, drug and substance abuse has recorded a drastic rise amongst young people as compared to the old times. Cookie and Luscious have served federal jail sentences regarding drug-related crimes. Jamal is also a drug addict who cannot perform on stage without them. Drug and substance abuse has become a major social challenge among the current youth. Most of the young people admit to having engaged in drug abuse as early as the age of twelve. With the increase in technology, illegal drugs are more accessible to the youths online, and drug transactions are easily conducted. Unfortunately, the result is an increase in the number of people seeking rehabilitation care, drug-related deaths, and overall crime.

Secondly, the present generation portrays a transformation in the thoughts, attitudes, and opinions towards homosexuality in the society. Unlike the old times, the current generation is more open to same-sex relationships. For instance, Jamal struggles with his identity and eventually when he decides to make it public, his family and fans embrace him. On the contrary, the 1980s were characterized by conservatives. It was unimaginable to legalize homosexual marriages at that time. Nonetheless, the current society portrays a widespread acceptance and adoption of homosexuals.

Thirdly, the marriage institution is on the verge of collapsing. Unlike the past societies, there is a higher acceptance of single-parent families. Couple's mentalities have changed to believe that they can live without the other. People's attitudes towards marriage have transformed, and, as a result, they have failed to put much effort in it as before. Cookie and Luscious are still in love, but neither of them is willing to drop their pride to redeem their union. Luscious remarries, but again, the marriage fails. Markedly, some of the factors contributing to the high divorce rates include financial security, the stress of the modern life, and a drastic change in gender roles.

Lastly, the present generation records significant technological alleviations. Peoples lives are highly dependent on the developed technology. Thus, it has affected peoples lifestyles, businesses, and travel significantly. On the positive, technological advancements have helped save time and cost in businesses, enhance communication among people, increase production, and improve health. However, technology has led to the emergence of crimes such as cyberbullying. For example, in the movie, a group of people hacks into the systems of Empire Entertainment where they get some personal information about Cookie. Consequently, they threaten to expose her to the public if she does not comply with their demands.

In a nutshell, the present generation has redefined the traditional society in many forms. From legalizing homosexuality, rampant divorce cases, drug abuse, a change in preferences of entertainment methods, increased crime rates, and the emergence of youths who are too lazy to work and instead seek instant gratification. Nevertheless, the present society is enjoying one of the best technological advances. Thus, life is much more comfortable and fun compared to the old days of our forefathers.

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