While some children may want to live with their real parents, sometimes only step parents are possible. While selecting the most appropriate person to live with the child, the most important aspect to look at is the welfare of the child. Even then, sometimes the options are limited. In the movie, the only person who may have custody of Antoine is his mother. However, the mother has remarried a man with whom they form a couple that does not offer sufficient concern for the child. As a consequence, the child is likely to be exposed to an improper upbringing. This is an upbringing that is likely to lead to the detriment of the child both behaviorally and psychologically.
With a troubled upbringing, the child becomes a trouble maker at school. He is therefore labeled as a troublemaker at school and dos not get the support and attention that is required to close down the gap left by the parents in bringing up the child. Moreover, at some point, based on the teacher’s view of the child, when the teacher finds him passing a pin up calendar at school, he punishes him. The events that follow only make his life more vulnerable.
It is normal for child to associate with certain public figures. Antoine’s mentor is Balzac who is a writer. Based on this association with Balzac, he internalizes one of the works of Balzac and later uses it in writing his own paper on one important event. When he does this, his work is reported as plagiarized. Students often have a hard time while writing. Exactly how much of plagiarized work is classified as unethical? Another twist is knowing a piece of work of work off head and never even knowing who created it. In such a case, it would be difficult to know who to credit for the idea. An even more complex scenario is when one knows a certain piece of work by head and never even knowing that it belongs to someone. In such cases, the right person who should be given credit falls out into oblivion.
As Bradshow says on the guardian, the teacher fails to notice the rhetorical genius in the child. Instead, he resolves that the child has wronged and should be punished. He also does not discover the good tastes that the child has in books. I think the major reason why he does not is because he believes the child is always up to mischief. The teacher is biased. The child’s love for Balzac would not allow him to knowingly plagiarize his work. Instead, his failure to cite the work on his work as would be appropriate is the failure of the teacher who has not communicated the appropriate citation formats for such a scenario. The school also lacks a fair disciplinary system and eventually leads to his dropping out of school and engaging in drug abuse and crime.
In conclusion, Antoine’s life is messed rather than made better by the adults who are charged with the role of protecting him. Rather than give good care to him, the parents are often absent and do not give the child proper care. Back at school, the teacher has labeled him as the naughty and undisciplined child. When he writes an essay that is similar to the work of a certain author, he is accused of plagiarism and drops out of school. Beyond this point, his life changes for the worse as he starts engaging in criminal acts.
Bradshaw, Peter. ‘Film Review: 400 Blows’. The Guardian. N.p., 2009. Web. 24 Feb. 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2009/apr/10/francois-truffaut-400-blows-film-review
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