Spelling Bee Essay

1092 words - 5 pages

‘The words get really hard; it’s really the luck of the draw.’ – Contestant April.
We don’t even use these words or have never heard of these words before. But somehow these early teens’ spells words like imperturbable. It’s a struggle for adults, how much more would it be for teens’? No one spells now thanks to spell check but words like oscilloscope are the standard words in the Spelling Bee of the UK, which kids between the ages of 11 to 13 spell.
Spellbound is a 2002 documentary that was directed by Jeffrey Blitz. The film follows eight competitors in the 1999 Scripps national Spelling Bee. The spelling bee has been the longest tradition in America. ‘If I win ...view middle of the document...

All which had shown intertwined with each other.
Cultural division is shown through the different teens interviewed as they all came from different backgrounds such as Angela who is from Mexico, Nupur and Neil who are from India and Ashley who is from an African American background. This shows the acceptance of one another and it also shines good light on America as it shows that America treats everyone equally. Also the cultural divisions shows different views on the spelling bee itself and makes the film more interesting such as when Angela said,’ Maybe it was cause my background, I work so hard.’ And Nupur who says, ‘In India you need to do well and many people don’t have the opportunity but in America you can and I’m taking that opportunity.’ The camera techniques to show this are the different perspectives long distance, close up, full image and just half-body shots to show all the different colours of the person. The effect of this made it more interesting as it leads onto the different views of the spelling bee.
Family pressure is shown manly from Neil whose father was an immigrant from India and wants his son to have a good life in front of him. He is twelve and studied for the spelling everyday with the help of professional coaches, his parents and computer tutorials. He had as much help as he needed. His father always gives all the help he needs so he is pressured to do well. Even though he studied most the time his sister states, ‘My brother has a life.’ He also is very athletic and ‘hangs out’ with his friends. Family pressure was a theme not shown a lot but was significant in Neil’s journey to the spelling bee. The camera techniques are close ups and distance views of Neil ‘hanging out’ with his friends and to show that he is having a good time and when videoing the father they made sure to always have his face in the screen to show his facial expressions clearly. The effect of this made it different and it leads onto the different aspirations the teens all had.

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