Good Will Hunting Essay Examples and Topics

Essay Examples
Essay Topics
Brief overview

Best topics on Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting aired in 1997 and is a highly watched movie even today. This American drama was written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, two of the most popular ... actors in the world today. It was directed by Gus Van Sant and stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver, and Stellan Skarsgard. Good Will Hunting grossed over $225 million and almost instantly received positive reviews. It also received nominations for 9 categories at the 70th Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture. There were two wins in the categories Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Damon and Affleck. The popularity of the movie did not end there. In 2014, The Hollywood Reporter ranked it 53rd in the 100 Favorite Films of all time. Not only is this movie popular with audiences of different ages, but it is also popular in academic circles, too. Because of its message and unique storyline, students often choose it for their movie review task. You might even be assigned to write a Good Will Hunting analysis essay, which means that it is time to watch the movie, research it, and decide on how you’ll approach your paper. To help you with this, let’s discuss a bit the plot in this movie. In Good Will Hunting, the twenty-year-old Will Hunting of Boston is a self-taught genius that works as a janitor at MIT. This genius solves a problem of combinatorial mathematics that a professor posts as a challenge for his graduate students, and the professor catches him writing the solution on the blackboard in secret at night. This professor becomes Will’s mentor and guide. He watches Will defend himself at court after a fight with a gang, and arranges for him to avoid jail time. In return, Will needs to study mathematics and participate in psychotherapy sessions. The movie’s plot unravels when the professor introduces a new character, a doctor that finds a way to get to Will and builds a strong relationship with him. Soon enough, Will finds a girlfriend, but he starts a web of lies because of his difficult life. Good Will Hunting shares an incredibly fierce message about the struggles of a smart man and the opportunities offered to him to overcome them. It also talks about pressure, lack of options, abuse, and other obstacles that people need to face with today. The movie is nothing like other movies in the sense that its story is very original. This is what makes students wonder a lot – what do we write about? Which part of a very rich story to capture in writing? You can’t write a general Good Will Hunting essay where you’ll simply tell the movie’s story, not if you want to land a high grade. You need to decide what you’ll talk about – the characters, the motives, the symbolism, the influence of society, etc. On top of that, you need to decide whether you’ll write an inspirational story, a summary essay, an argumentative paper, or something that sources ideas from the movies, but only to capture a specific topic. The movie teaches many positive lessons, but it also helps you understand how important it is to accept who you are and deal with weakness and fear. If you still struggle with the complicated storyline and cannot decide how to write this essay, we provide you with Good Will Hunting essay examples for some motivation and creativity. These are free of charge, so go through them all to get some great ideas!


Created by

Lawrence Benter





Major Characters

The major characters in Good Will Hunting are Chuckie Sullivan, Will Hunting, Prof. Gerald Lambeau, Sean Maguire, Billy MacBride, Morgan Mally, and Skylar. Will Hunting is a math genius who’s able to solve any complex math problem.

Based on

Good Will Hunting is a fictional story featuring the starring Will Hunting. He grew up as an orphan and never got a chance to receive formal education. He is working as a janitor at an institution of higher education.


Will Hunting grew under intense pressure, abuse, lack, and many other things that would have made him give up. His good company of friends such as Skylar, and Dr. Sean helped him overcome many obstacles in life. Maguire is a painter but the first time he meets Will, will not help but describe his tattered life by just studying his painting. Math formulas are the main symbols used.


A person’s social, cultural, and economic status are influenced by their education level. Will Hunting is a math genius doing janitorial duties. He has a good mental capacity but due to lack of formal education, nobody pays attention to him.


Will Hunting has a high IQ yet he is employed as a janitor. His strong self-will drives him to start solving complex math problems. Professor Gerald Lambeau notices his intelligence. He embraces the young man and begins to help him find his purpose. Will’s pride drives him to attack a police officer. He is arrested and the professor helps him get a lesser sentence.

Why is this topic important

A person must find meaning in life by following the good path. This is the path that Will chose. He trusted and had faith in friends who helped him overcome his emotional, vulnerable side.

Main Ideas

Will is charismatic but he has too many life challenges. He is a troublemaker and violent man but also a gifted genius. If you follow his story closely, you will learn about his unstable past in detail. The main idea is about overcoming one’s bad past and harnessing your talent.

Key Quotes
  • Sean to Will “You can never understand real loss because you only experience it when you love beyond yourself.”
  • Skyler to Will “Well, you found me!”
  • Morgan – “My boy is wickedly smart.”
Interesting facts

A good part of the movie was filmed in Toronto. Only the major scenes were shot in Boston. For example, the lecture hall is the laboratory of the University of Toronto St. George campus. The movie was originally a college assignment. Matt Damon had been assigned to write one page but he ended up writing 40 pages.

Why should this topic be used

This movie displays a high level of creativity. Damon shares a few real-life experiences that inspire the creation of a best seller movie. The position of a janitor earns the least wage but someone at that level managed to prove intelligence is important just like education.

Arguments for

Good Will Hunting teaches a lot of positive lessons. It encourages people to have dreams, hope, love, and friends. It helps people know how to deal with fear, weakness, brokenness, and loss.

Arguments against

Will is uneducated and him trying to prove he is a genius will not help him. He needs the education to fit into the career world. He opens up about his life to people like Skyler but he would be better off if he concealed his background.

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