Why Showcasing The Importance Of Tre’s Father Made Boyz N The Hood Excellent

Boyz N the Hood came out in 1991 but its messages and themes still remain strong in modern culture. It isn’t just the fact that the John Singleton feature gave one of the rare experiences of what it was like growing up in a poverty-stricken and violent neighborhood during the early 90s. It’s generally a strong coming of age story about a boy trying to become a man in a world that isn’t always kind. If you’ve been living under a rock, the film stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as Tre, who’s sent to live with his father in South Central Los Angeles. Furious tries to instill proper values and respect into him, but Tre is drawn into the violent world of drugs and gang culture because of Doughboy. One of the most crucial aspects of the film is the impact Tre’s father has on the young man’s life.

In the beginning, we see young Tre living with his mother. He’s a smart kid, but also a troublemaker. Part of it is the fact that’s he’s growing up in a tough neighborhood where gunshots are as normal as liquor stores. Another part is that he’s missing a father figure that is crucial in his young life. Now, this isn’t to say that his mother is doing a piss poor job of raising the young man. Tre’s mother is stern, tough, but loving and nurturing. She provides a warm bed, clothes, and food to eat, but there’s one thing that a mother can’t prove the young man: guidance from a male’s perspective. Only a man can raise a boy. That’s not to say that Tre’s mother couldn’t raise him successfully by herself, but only a father can help teach the young boy about composure, how to react in tough situations, and the value of carrying yourself as a gentlemen. The key difference between Tre and Doughboy is that the gangster doesn’t have a father to give him the guidance to not fall back into the trappings of the ghetto lifestyle.

Doughboy has no direction in his life. Despite the promise of never going back to jail, he’s consistently pulled back into the gang culture because that’s all he knows. When it comes to building strong black families, Denzel Washington said it best, “If the father is not in the home the boy will find a father in the streets.” We don’t actually see a father figure for Doughboy but he’s lured to the streets because the gangsters feel more like family to him than his own. His mother loves him, but she’s knows who her son is and doesn’t exactly favor him. That look of disdain she gives the young boy when he comes out of the house speaks volumes about his relationship within his house. Boyz N the Hood demonstrates the importance of having both parents in a kid’s life. Tre is caught in a violent world down in South Central LA. Like I said, he’s a smart kid but he’s lured by the violence and gang culture because of his friendship with Doughboy. Since he’s caught between two worlds, take the father out of the picture and he would’ve ended up in the same position as Doughboy. Furious forcing Tre to rake the leaves and take out the trash as soon as he gets there is to teach him responsibility and more importantly, to keep him away from trouble. As a young man, he won’t understand that lesson immediately, but it becomes instilled in him as time goes on.

Even when it comes to relationships then you see the difference between Tre’s views on women. He’s a virgin, but naturally as a guy, he doesn’t want to be seen as lesser than witth his friends. Tre treats his girlfriend Brandi with respect because he’s been taught to take sex seriously, so he isn’t going out and spreading his seed to every woman he meets. However, all of the lessons come full circle to that pivotal moment following the death of Ricky. Deeply caught in his emotions, Tre is ready to throw his life away because he wants revenge on the men that killed the promising future football star. But since Tre has so much going for his life and he’s not caught up in the hood lifestyle, he wises up and gets out of the car before anything happens. It’s not often enough that films showcase the values and necessity of both parents, especially the father. Boyz N the Hood is a great commentary on Black culture in America, but more importantly, a strong showcase on the need for male role models in a young man’s life.

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