Leave No Trace on the margins
Saturday, November 02, 2019
How do Will (Ben Foster) and Tom (Thomasin McKenzie) demonstrate the tension or fluidity between being marginalized by choice and marginalized because of how others identify you? How does this tension affect their relationship to each other?
In the beginning of the movie Tom goes with the sense her dad gives her of being marginalized by how others view the duo. But later in the film Tom begins to realize its a decision her dad has made to marginalize himself and this is where we see them split in the end as the tension comes to a point when Tom decides against her dad and wants to quit being marginalized by choice. Their relationship is effected greatly by this and Tom somewhat becomes mad with her father for his as he refuses to open up and deal with his illness.
Posted by: Rylan Blair | Monday, November 04, 2019 at 09:29 AM
Their fluidity of being marginalized by choice I feel is highlighted perfectly when we see the pair cross the bridge from the first time to reenter society. Little details like them brushing off leaves from each others shoulders show how they transition from being viewed as homeless to being viewed as just normal white people. Race is very important to bring up when disusing this "fluidity" because this movie chose to depict people who could easily shed or hide the negative societal viewpoints that could have been visible. Tom and Will have a certain amount of "White Privilege" granted to them by the location of the film and just by who was cast for their roles. Just by brushing the leaves off, these two essentially escape being targeted for being "homeless". Unfortunately, many other groups of marginalized people who are pigeonholed into negative classifications by society (DACA members, Trans community, etc) cannot escape as easily as the main characters can.
Posted by: Grant Fullerton | Monday, November 04, 2019 at 06:02 PM
It seems like Will is on the margins by choice and Tom is on the margins because of how others view her. They both fluctuate through both of those tensions, but they sit closer to those two categories. Will chose to leave society and took his daughter with him so almost all of the challenges he faces in the movie are due to the fact that he doesn't trust anyone and takes matters into his own hands. The scene with social services is a perfect example of Tom's marginalization due to how people perceive her because the social worker was surprised at how ahead she was in comparison to her peers that have assimilated to society. There's an assumption that people who live off the grid are uneducated, but she is proof that that isn't the case.
Posted by: Ray Barton | Monday, November 04, 2019 at 08:53 PM
Will is more marginalized by choice but Tom is marginalized because of how she was viewed by those in mainstream society. Will was choosing to separate himself from society and not accept help from others, while Tom wanted to experience mainstream society but was being marginalized because of her father's choices and not necessarily her own. The only life she knew was the life her father had built for her outside of conventional society but when she got a chance to experience a “normal” life she started to separate herself from her father. By the end of the film both Will and Tom wanted to live their life in a different way so they stopped being as close as they were in the beginning of the film.
Posted by: Sadee McClendon | Thursday, November 07, 2019 at 03:59 PM
Both Will and Tom demonstrated examples of marginalization. However as said in the previous comments Will was more marginalized by choice. This was due to the fact because of Wills part in the war and the fact he had PTSD and so he isolated himself from the rest of society. But Tom was marginalized because growing up the only way she knew of living was taught by her father. So when she got a feel of what being like in society, it kind of drove her and Will apart.
Posted by: Precious Taufetee | Thursday, November 07, 2019 at 06:22 PM
At first Tom feels marginalized from other people and just wants to be with her dad. Which he feels marginalized all the time. But as time goes on Tom realizes that she is not different or separated from these people. But that its her fathers decisions that have marginalized them.
Posted by: Austin W Woodall | Thursday, November 07, 2019 at 10:40 PM