Family Conflicts



The movie Radio Flyer, starring Tom Hanks and Elija Wood, is a wonderful

example of a film which illustrates family conflict. Radio Flyer is the story of a father,

played by Tom Hanks, telling a story about his childhood to his to young sons. The

childhood of the father was an extremely unpleasant one which involved much physical

and mental abuse from his new stepfather he and his brother called ?the king?. The

stepfather was a drunkard who liked to administer pain to the youngest boy, Bobby,

whenever he was intoxicated. The children do not want their mother to know what her

husband had been doing to Bobby, so the eldest son, played by Elija Wood, helps Bobby

hide his wounds. The mother in this picture is waitress who works all throughout the

day. The stresses of a nine to five job make her very edgy and she is very vulnerable to

lashing out at her kids. When she does this she hurts the kids mentally. The conflict in

this movie is resolved in an unconventional manner. Bobby and his brother create a small

airplane, using a lawn mower engine and some wood, for Bobby to fly away in. The last

few scenes of the movie show ?the king?, drunk as usual, chasing Bobby and his brother.

Bobby decides that this is his time to get away from it all and he flys away. The police

then arrive with the mother and arrest the stepfather. Bobby is now gone but he keeps in

contact with his family by postcard. This effectively resolved the conflict but Bobby was

now gone. To me this symbolizes his death. Two children could not have made an

airplane, and even if they could there would be no way that a eight year old boy could fly

the thing.