Slumdog Millionare Essay

In the late 1800’s there lived well-known Hindu monk by the name of Swami Vivekananda. It was his reputation to be wise and many people looked to him for guidance. One of his most famous quotes states, “the great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful. ” This statement is one that can have many different meanings to different people. One may find that this quote is enough to bridge the gap between the western mindset and a fundamental ideology of a belief found amongst the people residing in India.

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In some senses there can be made a correlation between Vivekananda’s quote and a boy who plays the main character named Jamal, in the 2008 film “Slumdog Millionaire” directed by Danny Boyle. Jamal’s story of success can be related to Vivekananda’s quote as well as the topics discussed in class through many ways.

A few of these ways include the belief of karma, dharma, and oneness. It is arguable that Vivekananda is discussing the idea of both karma and dharma in his quote. Jamal follows his dharma throughout the film by being a good brother to Saliam to spite some of the wicked ways his brother has treated him growing up.

He is also following his dharma by caring for Latika even though situations are not always ideal for the couple. Jamal’s ridged childhood has scared him emotionally, but he managed to make a negative into a positive. Jamal learns, grows, and develops an optimistic outlook on life trying to make the best of what he had given his situation. Even when Jamal’s situation was worsened by external forces in addition to internal conflict he did not allow negativity to stand in the way of what he knew was right and wrong.

Through following his moral compass Jamal followed his dharma. Following his dharma had a definite influence on Jamal’s karma. Throughout the film. Jamal does good things because he knew that they were the right thing to do, and not because he is trying to get anything in return. One example of an act of good karma belonging to Jamal might be said to be the first time that he helped friend Latika. Through comforting her after the loss of her parents, looking out for her as “the third musketeer” and sheltering her in the rain he was incurring good karma.

In addition to the goodness of Jamal’s actions that radiate through the theme of the film, Jamal exemplifies truly trying to achieve oneness. Jamal’s innocence as a child and his selflessness as an adult are just two things that truly helped him to achieve oneness. It might even be said that after the film was viewed one can make the assumption that oneness was achieved for Jamal at the end. Once the couple reunites after being torn apart many times through their lives it might be said that when the couple finally walks into their future together there is a notable sense of harmony that can be observed.

Conclusively, the film “Slumdog Millionaire” it is arguable that the main character Jamal achieves oneness, inherits good karma through his actions, and truly strives to do good therefore having a positive effect on his dharma. Jamal can even be said to have reached true success according to Vivekananda’s quote. This is true not because he has made it so far in the game show, but rather because he has found happiness by being an unselfish person and asking for nothing in return for his good deeds.

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