Thursday, August 11, 2011

Character Study: Tom Hansen

A year ago I wrote my first Character Study about Summer Finn. So, I find it terribly fitting that I post this one about her counterpart, Tom Hansen. This was another essay I had written for my Lit class last year (my final, actually) and was originally titled, "The Story of a Boy" (which is also the title of a beautiful Between the Trees song).

Love – some people say that it doesn’t really exist, that love is just the combination of chemicals in the brain and the natural instinct to reproduce. They point to the rising statistic of failed marriages and divorces and proclaim that love is a fairy tale. (500) Days of Summer’s Tom Hansen, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is not one of those people.

He is an unabashed romantic who still believes in fate and that it will lead him to the girl he is destined to be with. Then, Tom falls head-over-heels for Summer Finn, a lovely girl who doesn’t believe in love. And when she dumps him, his whole world is destroyed. However, Tom succeeds in piecing himself back together and thus growing in the process. Being with Summer sets Tom on a course of self-development and, though he doesn’t end up with her, he ultimately becomes a better person.