Essay by imhana88High School, 12th gradeA, June 2006

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Marathon was an award-winning movie I have just recently watched. It was based on a true story of a young autistic boy training to become a marathon runner. It was also on the boy's relationship to his mother. Although he is twenty years old, he has a childlike understanding of the world. He likes chocolate cookies and zebras. He can memorize casual conversations and TV shows. He tends to dance in public and pass gas at the most inappropriate times. While these things may seem cute or at least funny, they mostly get him into a lot of trouble due to his inability to understand how the world really operates. Thus, his mother controls many aspects of his life in the name of protection.

When he was little, he tended to engage in self-destructive behaviors, but with the help of the special school he attended and his mother's insistence that he participate in various physical activities, his condition quickly improved.

He survives through his mother's love and she is the only one who is unashamed of his behavior, understanding and loving him for who he is and what he does. Even his little brother avoids, ignores, and looks down at him. However, believing that he enjoys running, his mother enters him into a variety of races, and soon decides that he should compete in a marathon, hoping him to achieve something every amateur runner dreams of: completing the race in less than three hours.

After many processes of failing and giving up, he finally makes it, and I personally believe that it is his disorder that helped in more concentration and less consciousness of tiredness. It is also not only autism the movie deals with, but also a surprise illness that comes into the picture later on. Thankfully, it's...