Discussing the film "Erin Brocovich", examine how this media text has been used to dispaly social class and prejudices within American society.

Essay by Muse May 2004

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Erin Brocovich is not a typical lawyer; we see all lawyers as well dressed, well spoken, and dedicated to the job fully, and down to the point but with subtly. Erin Brocovich isn't any of these things. She has a family at home to take care of, so she always puts them first; she dresses how she wants and if anyone says anything about her clothes, she retorts back about how she can dress how she wants; her language, though suitable for her class, is rather crude when she gets angry. She swears a lot and doesn't take the time to control her temper. Typical lawyers learn to control themselves and they think before they speak; they have been trained to do that at law school, but since Erin Brocovich did not go to law school, she just goes with her instincts, and doesn't try to hide anything about her.

The fact that she is an ex-beauty queen goes against her, not only the fact that beauty queens have the reputation of having looks but no brains, but also it emphasises that she is a woman who did not train to be a lawyer when she was in school, so did not have the job as a lawyer afterwards. This is also shown by Erin not acting like a typical lawyer; she has to be told what to do many times before she can grasp the concept, and she isn't respectful to her opposition either- she swears at them and challenges them. She makes jokes on their behalf and makes them feel angry that they are being outwitted by a person of Erin's class. When Ed brings a man to help Erin with the case, he looks her up and down and says, "So this is your secret weapon." He...