What Happens at End of American History X?

American History X is a powerful and thought-provoking movie that explores the themes of racism, hate, redemption, and forgiveness. The movie revolves around the life of Derek Vinyard, a former neo-Nazi skinhead who is released from prison after serving three years for manslaughter. Upon his release, Derek realizes the error of his ways and tries to make amends for his past actions.

One of the most debated aspects of the movie is its ambiguous ending. The movie ends with Derek being shot dead by an African-American gang member shortly after he successfully intervenes to stop his younger brother Danny from following in his footsteps as a neo-Nazi. But what happens at the end of American History X?

Some viewers have interpreted the ending as a tragic one, while others see it as a fitting end to Derek’s story. Let’s explore some possible interpretations:

– The first interpretation is that Derek’s death symbolizes the futility of violence and hate. Throughout the movie, we see how Derek’s hatred towards minorities leads him down a path of destruction that ultimately results in him losing everything he holds dear – his family, his freedom, and finally his life. By showing Derek getting killed just when he thought he had turned over a new leaf, the movie highlights how hate can never truly be defeated with more hate.

– Another interpretation is that Derek’s death represents a form of poetic justice. While we see Derek actively trying to reform himself throughout the movie, it’s important not to forget that he was responsible for causing immense pain and suffering to countless people during his time as a neo-Nazi skinhead. His death could be seen as payback for all those he hurt in the past.

– A third interpretation is that Derek’s death serves as a wake-up call for Danny and others like him who are tempted by extremist ideologies. By intervening in Danny’s attempt to vandalize a grocery store with racial slurs at great personal risk, Derek sends a clear message that violence and hate only lead to more violence and hate. His death could be seen as a warning to those who still believe in white supremacy or any other form of bigotry.

In conclusion, the ending of American History X is open to interpretation. It can be seen as a tragic end to a man who finally realized the error of his ways, or as a fitting end for someone who caused immense pain and suffering during his time as a neo-Nazi skinhead. Regardless of how one interprets the ending, it is clear that the movie is a powerful reminder of the dangers of hatred and bigotry and the importance of redemption and forgiveness.