Pay It Forward - A Biblical Comparison

Essay by caham777University, Bachelor'sA+, June 2004

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Pay It Forward - A Biblical Comparison

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is what we know as the golden rule. In today's society, it seems to have been altered just a tad - "Do unto other's before they do unto you." Albeit a negative connotation, it can be turned one hundred eighty degrees into a positive thought and gesture. The movie Pay It Forward does just that. This movie tells the story of a social studies teacher who gives an assignment to his junior high school class to think of an idea to change the world for the better, and then put it into action. Movie critic David Bruce remarked, "When one young student, Trevor McKinney, creates a plan for "paying forward" favors, he not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but he sets in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, unbeknownst to him, has blossomed into a profound national phenomenon."

(Bruce, 2000) These actions have three requirements: It has to be something that really helps

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people, It has to be something they can't do themselves, and I do it for them, they do for three other people. This movie gives us a fictional, yet highly symbolic example of this power of self-sacrificing love and how humanity could be changed by the thought patterns of mankind. A simple change in the thought pattern of one person did, in all actuality, change the world. It's not ironic, nor coincidental, that this movie has significant Biblical parallels and symbolism. This writer will delve into the archetypes and protagonist symbolism as well as the religious symbolism and biblical parallels in this film.

There is no doubt there are numerous archetypes in this film. Mr. Simonet was the...