Minor Character Conflict in The Fox and the Hound

Throughout human history, seemingly minor differences between groups of people have directly resulted in major tragedies between them Differences in religion, racial background and moral beliefs cause wars between otherwise similar societies. Rather than accepting differences or working together to solve a conflicting issue, the clash between two groups often results in segregation and even attempts at annihilation of the lesser group. In the film “The Fox and the Hound,” director Ted Berman portrays this sad reality through the minor differences that set apart many animals in the movie.

The two main characters, Tod and Copper, begin the story by becoming best friends Unfortunately, their subtle differences eventually tear the two apart“ The ways in which Tod and Copper react to their minor differences symbolize aspects of racism and prejudice that were prevalent throughout the American society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Through the use of rhetorical strategies in “The Fox and the Hound,” Berman asserts that opposing groups can coexist despite their differences.

In “The Fox and the Hound,” Berman uses imagery through animation to exemplify the White aggressionist persona. Amos Slade is a character who lives with his two hunting dogs, Chief and Copper, in a small house outside of a game reserve. Together, Amos and Chief seek to dominate other animals by means of hunting and trapping. Animators use imagery to establish a racist undertone to Amos and Chief ’s actionst Amos‘ character is given the image of a stereotypical racist including a stern moustache, nearly red skin, and a shotgun, His voice carries a thick southern accent, his living situation is set in a secluded house in the woods and he has an extreme love for hunting, all consistent with the image of a stereotypical conservative racist.

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Amos‘ dog, Chief, in animated in a racist light as well, including light»colored skin, a southern accent, and aggressive behaviors, Berman helps viewers to identify Amos and Chief as the story’s antagonists while simultaneously creating the image that these characters represent White

racist individuals. As the film progresses, Berman is able to use this imagery to assert that two groups, namely the fox and the hound, can coexist despite differing viewpoints and circumstances surrounding them. Berman also uses personification as a tool in “The Fox and the Hound” to assert that two opposing identities can coexist and even work together to accomplish a greater goal. In the film, all characters including nonhuman animals are able to speak as humans do This facilitates the development of emotional connections between the characters, including those that would likely not have emotions in our non-animated world. Tod and Copper begin the movie as friends, despite their apparent differences As the story progresses, the social pressures begin to affect the two main characters‘ individual opinions toward one another. When Copper goes on a hunting trip with Amos and Chief, Copper returns with a different outlook on his relationship with Tod. Rather than maintaining his promise to remain best friends, Copper tells Tod that they can no longer see each other due to social pressures and norms; i.e., hunters raise hounds to hunt foxesi In the non-animated world, animals would not have this same affectionate emotion toward one other.

Berman‘s use of personification thus creates a storyline between humans and animals only possible in the animated world. Berman uses a third rhetorical strategy, pathos, to demonstrate his underlying purpose for the film in an emotional and understanding way, Without the intentional use of pathos, this story of overcoming social pressures on racism suddenly becomes less memorable and less relatable. The film begins with Tod’s mother running from a hunter, likely Amos, As the title screen progresses, Tod’s mother hides Tod away from the hunter and fleesi As she runs from the dog that is chasing her, film viewers hears gunshots and the story continues under the assumption that the hunter killed Tod’s mother. In the end of the film, Berman again uses strong pathos in order

to further assert his purpose. While Amos and Copper are hunting for Tod on the game reserve, Tod awakens a bear and it begins to attack Amos and Coppert Rather than letting the bear murder Amos and Copper, Tod attacks the much larger bear and ends up pulling the bear away from the potential victims, This scene creates a strong emotion due to the idea that, despite Copper’s previous attempt to kill Tod, Tod still risks his life in order to save his childhood friend When Amos makes a final attempt to kill Tod, Copper steps in the way of the gun and saves Tod‘s life in return. This scene finalizes Berman’s premise that despite external social pressures placed upon an individual due to race, or in this case species, two groups can work together and peacefully coexist, a message made more potent and relatable due to the use of pathosi.

Through his film, “The Fox and the Hound,” Berman asserts the idea that regardless of social pressures or predetermined circumstances, different groups of people can still work together and peacefully coexist. Berman uses rhetorical strategies to enhance his underlying message while keeping the film fun to watch and child-friendly Imagery creates the antagonist needed to assert Berman’s purpose. Through the rhetorical device of personification, even nonhuman characters are made more relatable and dynamic Finally, through the use of pathos, Berman creates an emotionally binding and memorable story. Though a seemingly simple children’s film, “The Fox and the Hound” uses a mature combination of rhetorical devices to assert that groups can peacefully and happily co-exist despite differences between them.

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Minor Character Conflict in The Fox and the Hound. (2022, Jul 10). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-conflict-caused-by-minor-differences-between-the-characters-of-tod-and-copper-in-the-fox-and-the-hound-a-film-by-richard-rich/

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