surveillance computers and clearly fantasizing about being with her
again. His protégé is Agent Jay (Will Smith) is not as outwardly
struggling in life, he does not have a father, and seemingly has no close
friends. Additionally, he is constantly belittled and called “junior” or
“boy” while working for the New York Police Department. Therefore,
as Jay is seeking respect and a father figure, and Kay is looking to spread
his knowledge in hopes of returning to the life he once had, they are
able to form a terrific partnership.
In The Silence of the Lambs, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is a
young FBI trainee with a troubled past. She grew up without a mother,
who died when she was very young, and then dealt with the tragic death
of her father when she was just ten years old. Jack Crawford (Scott
Glen) is actually the one character who did not have an impactful
struggle in his personal life, but rather his work. Desperately needing to
apprehend the serial killer “Buffalo Bill,” and unable to consult upon
Hannibal Lector himself, he needs someone to work with. Starling’s
desire for a father figure and her ambition to prove herself, and
Crawford’s dead-end position with a need for help, lead to the
mentoring relationship between the two in The Silence of the Lambs. In all
of these cases, it is clear that each mentor and each protégé have an
unknown need for each other. This trait is essential, as unlike the “good
teacher,” no mentor can be what every potential ‘student’ needs. And
the relationships must form organically, rather than just by a random
class assignment. Therefore, this life overlap is key as it serves as the
initial foundation for the mentor to begin their tutelage.
As these media texts set up our expectations for real life, it is
vital to examine the cultural significance of each trait of the “good
mentor” in not just the independent context of movies, but how the
movie portrayal affects real life as well. While looking at the life overlap
trait, I believe it causes us to look for mentors when we are in
environments of our passions. This would explain why coaches prove
to be such invaluable mentors in many people’s lives, and personally in
my life. As someone coaching a sport and someone playing a sport at
the very minimum have a shared interest in that activity, it is likely that
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