Analyzing Jody’s Character in Baby Boy: A Psychological Perspective

Follow these instructions: Watch the movie, Baby Boy (2001), and be sure to answer ONLY EIGHT of the 23 questions listed In at least nine, well-written paragraphs. With those responses you should compose a nine-paragraph, well-considered essay by analyzing Jody’s character from at least two-three different psychological perspectives. Explain the motivations for his behavior by using scenes and visual elements from the film to support your contentions.
DO NOT answer all of the questions.
ONLY ANSWER 8 of your choice.
Each paragraph should be 1/3 of a page, single-spaced, and your assignment should be three single-spaced pages in total. Do NOT include any pictures. You want to develop your responses into nine in-depth paragraphs where one flows into another to create a coherent essay. Be certain to use APA-style in-text citations and supply a Works Cited page at the end of the paper.
1) Note the unusual image of the main character, Jody, in a fetal position but as a fully- grown man. Then couple that with the quote that Jody iterates from Frances Cress Welsing. How does this image and narration both complement and contradict each other? What is happening to Jody?
2) What is happening to Yvette? Who is she? Where does Jody go after he drops her home from the clinic? How does Jody project himself to kids in the ‘hood? What does this tell us about him? How does Singleton depict Jody on his bike as opposed to driving Yvette’s car?
3) What does he do when he goes to Peanut’s house? Who is she to him?
4) How does Singleton depict Jody when Melvin arrives and kisses his mother?
5) Who is Sweet Pea and how may we compare him to Jody?
6) Note the montage sequences that Jody dreams. How does Singleton illustrate Jody’s death as a means to rationalize his behavior? What is the significance of Tupac’s image in the background?
7) How may we compare Jody to Melvin? How does Singleton depict each of them when they are in the same frame?
8) When Jody complains to his mother, Juanita, about him living there, what does she advise Jody to do?
9) How does Jody choose to earn a living? How does Jody value success? How does Melvin attempt to school Jody and Sweet Pea about the nature of real value?
10) A key theme in this film is “hyper-masculinity”. How does this affect the way men treat women? How do the men resolve their problems with their women? Provide examples from key scenes in the film. Note the subtle differences in the way that Jody, Sweet pea, and Melvin treat their women?
11) How may we characterize Yvette in comparison to Jody? Provide examples of Jody and Yvette’s arguments and how these are resolved. How do they speak to each other?
12) How may we liken Yvette to Juanita? To Peanut?
13) Who is Rodney and why does Yvette still speak to him while he is in jail?
14) What does Sweet Pea want and what does he fear?
15) What does Sweet Pea confess to Jody in the garage? Why does he kick the other kids out?
16) Why does Jody insist that it is his car and not Yvette’s? What kind of lesson does Yvette want to teach Jody?
17) What happens to Jody when “kids” attempt to steal his bike and his liquor? How does Sweet Pea respond? Look at Jody’s face when Sweet Pea whips one of them. What does this indicate?
18) What happens when Rodney shows up at Yvette’s home? What does he do to her?
19) When it is a choice between Jody and Melvin, what does Juanita decide?
20) Who does Jody see when he is about to kill Rodney? Why?
21) What does Jody attempt to do before Melvin stops him?
22) Identify all the images/sequences that are both tragic and comedic? How does this speak to Singleton’s style as a filmmaker?
23) What do the final images in the film suggest to the viewers? Do you agree with this ending?
You can watch the movie on Tubi for free:

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