". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Lifers of the World Unite!

It's that time of year: time to watch It's a Wonderful Life (or not, as the case may be). Some people love it and make it an annual tradition; others dismiss it as "Capra-Corn"--sappy, silly sentimentality. (There's a Facebook group called The Society of People Who Don't Get All Freaky About "It's a Wonderful Life." I'm not joining. Just call me a freak.☺)

Why do I like the movie so much? Mostly because of what it has to say about vocation and being thankful in all circumstances. The message is one I can always benefit from hearing.

Here's an interesting analysis from Joe Carter of the First Things blog that compares and contrasts the main character of Life, George Bailey, with the main character of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and concludes that the movie--its American icon status notwithstanding--is way more countercultural than the book in celebrating a character that chooses service over self-actualization:

"The Fountainhead of Bedford Falls"

(HT: Gene Veith)

4 comments:

Gauntlets said...

Interesting. I finished "The Fountainhead" a few months ago, and have been struggling with Roark ever since. It's been complicated. :P

Cheryl said...

You're young, Gauntlets. The decay of the flesh does wonders. I read the book in my twenties and now I can't remember enough of it to puzzle over. Give it a few years. Someday you too will be scratching your head and furrowing your brow, mumbling, "Now, what was that Fountainhead guy's name? Hubert? Hal? Henry?"

Cheryl said...

Gauntlets (and anyone else who's interested), here's more on the topic from The Anchoress (her link to Ed Morissey is also worth a read):

http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/theanchoress/2009/12/04/advent-bailey-roarke-and-us/

Elephantschild said...

From Scmaltz Central to The Fountainhead. ::smacks forehead::

I gotta stop skimming.

I refuse to watch It's A Wonderful Life. I've seen it once, and now I refuse to watch it, A Miracle on 34th Street, Forest Gump and several other movies simply to annoy the people that keep telling me how wonderful these movies are.

Signed,
Your Friend, the Curmudgeon.