Movie Analysis : Good Will Hunting

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Besides being a great film, Good Will Hunting offers a great basis for which linguistic studies regarding dialect can be done. The film offers a great contrast in characters from “Southie” to prestigious high-class individuals. While there is a noticeable difference in the dialect used, the focus is primarily on stereotypes between the lower and upper-class individuals. Language and dialects help to reinforce the stereotypes regarding socio-economic classes. The division of dialect in Good Will Hunting reflects the division of dialect among characters. The main characters reflect the most interesting division, while the supporting characters reinforce the separation between socio-economic classes in the film. Will Hunting and Chuckie Sullivan represent the lower class individuals with menial jobs, while Professor Lambeau and Skylar represent a wealthier, more prestigious group. On the other hand, Sean Maguire represents a mixture of the two classes combined. Language and status work hand-in-hand, but in the film education and knowledge are one united factor between the main characters. To begin, the nonstandard dialect in Good Will Hunting is the “Southie” dialect. The characters that use this dialect are, respectively, Will Hunting, Chuckie Sullivan, and their friends. This dialect is of Southern Boston, commonly used by individuals of the lower class. The most notable aspect of the “Southie” dialect is the pronunciation of the letter “r”, or the lack of pronunciation.
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