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The Terminal

In Steven Spielberg's The Terminal, I think the airport represents America itself. And in doing so, Tom Hank's character, Victor, discovers what it is all about in his living and surviving of his surroundings.

Victor, just like Peter from the book A Walk Across America, is discovering America through the people who represent it. In the novel Peter walks down the east coast, spending his time in small towns, meeting locals, and living like they do. Which gives him an overall view on how different people live compared to what he was used to from his hometown. Victor arrives at JFK airport in America for the very first time, and because of circumstances beyond his control becomes stranded there. Although he is forced to adapt to the culture at an airport he seemingly does all right.

In the film, it is noticeable that the airport is practically a mini-mall, which in many ways represents the American culture. In this "mall", there is a surplus of stores, and popular businesses that are the foundation for America's economy. From Victor's exploring of these accepted chains, he learned to discover and use America. There is also things to do at the airport, like reading magazines, which help pass the time, and help him understand that big businesses that provide a major market often have to do with a major part of America's entertainment.

I would also say that in the movie Victor learns America's system of government. Just like our country, with a president, his council, and the hierarchy of people below him, who are all hired and not born into ranks, so is airport security and office positions. In the movie the airport is ran like a machine, everything in good shape, and bosses telling someone else's boss what to do. This form of the job ladder, gives him a slight idea what a democracy is like compared to where he is from and the political background his



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