Little Miss Sunshine Film Analysis


There is a relationship between societal pressures and mental health. There are two texts that show the relationship between societal pressures and mental health incredibly well. These two texts are Little Miss Sunshine and the poem Ariel by Sylvia Plath. The poem and the film reveal that the societal pressures in the world can contribute to mental illnesses. Society must stop putting pressure on people so mental health issues go down. 

The film Little Miss Sunshine reveals that societal pressures can contribute to mental illnesses. These societal pressures are that attempted suicide victims should not be left alone, girls need to be skinny to be beautiful and that mental health should not be spoken about. In the film Frank tried to commit suicide because of unrequited love from a male student of his. The doctor in the hospital says that they would like to keep Frank there, but Frank has no insurance money left. Sheryl – Franks sister – did not trust him to be left alone. She has Frank in the same room has her son Dwayne and tells him not to close the door. This shows that Sheryl does not trust Frank to be left alone. It shows this through her not letting Frank be alone in a room. Another example of this is when Dwyane has his breakdown about being told that he is colour blind and will not be able to fly and says that he will not get back into the car. Richard asks if they can leave someone there with him so they can make the contest, Frank says that he will stay but Sheryl says no. 

Another societal pressure that is portrayed in Little Miss Sunshine is that women need to be skinny to be beautiful. This is shown in the movie at the diner, when Richard tells Olive that by eating ice-cream, she will get fat. Richard then proceeds to ask Olive if the girls in the Little Miss Sunshine competition are skinny or fat, Olive’s response is skinny. When the ice-cream gets to their table Olive offers the ice-cream to the rest of her family. Edwin, Frank, and Dwayne start to eat the ice-cream saying how nice it tastes and asking if Olive if she would like any of it before it is all gone. After this Sheryl starts as well and that’s when Olive tells them to stop that she would like to eat it.

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