Lessons of Life

         I do not believe writers and film makers should have to limit their views by only creating “sunny, happy works.” We live in a world of lots of suffering that should be depicted on the big screen and be allowed to be published.

         Sometimes we are taught a lesson of life on what we view in a movie or what we read. Here are two examples:

         In Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 A Doll’s House, filmed twice in 1975 by Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland respectively, Nora (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom) seems at first, very happy and content. However, we soon find that she is in a false marriage where she is viewed as a “little songbird or a skylark.” She makes great sacrifices for her family, but when the loan is found out, her husband Torvald (David Warner/Anthony Hopkins), only feels betrayed. He does not see the true meaning behind the loan. He does not respect the determination and ambition it had taken to try to save his life, to how she was paying the loan back.

         In Henry James’s 1880 Washington Square, filmed as The Heiress in 1949 by William Wyler, Catherine (Olivia de Havilland) is betrayed by two men in her life: her father (Ralph Richardson) and her suitor (Montgomery Clift). Her father only sees her as dull, boring and plain. When Morris turns up and shows great interest, Dr. Sloper only sees as him as after Catherine’s money. When Morris hears that the marriage is being protested and she will lose some of her inheritance, he runs off.

         These examples are of two very strong women that through their personal suffering each dealt with it and carried on. Nora leaves her husband and children because she knows that she has been living a lie! How can she be a mother to her children, if she herself is just a child? Catherine, even though she never marries, she lives her life to the fullest.

         If writers and film makers only depicted “happy endings” no one would know the courageous women that we had learned about in Nora’s and Catherine’s story

Andrea Broach

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