Community and Friendship Theme in 'Our Town' and 'Steel Magnolias' Movies - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-12-30
Community and Friendship Theme in 'Our Town' and 'Steel Magnolias' Movies - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Movie Relationship Community
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1241 words
11 min read

Friendships are vital parameters in the functioning and growth of any community. However, for friendship to occur, there must be an encounter between appropriately matched persons where human feelings are linked (Whittlesea et al., 143). Community and friendship themes have been depicted in various movies and screenplays globally. The play 'our town' has explored community and friendship themes as the inception and cycle of life have been embodied in the play expansively. Similarly, the movie 'steel magnolias' written by Roger Harling extensively delineate the theme of friendship and community, where it explains a robust unified group of women whose husbands have given them a lot of freedom that they use it to gossip. Therefore, this paper focuses on exploring and critically analyzing the similar ways the theme of community and friendship have been depicted in the film Steel Magnolias and Our Town play.

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Individuals' routine lives vary according to the environment they are exposed to and their character in handling the various situations they encounter. In comparison, there is a syntactic relationship between the lifestyle of Chinquapin Parish in the Steel Magnolias and Grover's corner in Our Town play. The small town of Grover's Corner is an ordinary town, as said by Mr. Webb and nothing that surmounts to news arose from the town (Our Town, 3:20 – 5:36). However, it is a town with a lively character of individuals compared to other towns as the most relevant and essential things in life are rarely captured in the news's front pages. On the other hand, Chinquapin Parish, where a group of six strongly connected women lived and had a lot of time to gossip due to their husbands' absence, is an ordinary town. Such is explained by Annelle's decorations of her shop where she uses her hair clips, ribbons, and bows, which indicates the economic class that the ladies were in Chinquapin Parish (Steel Magnolias 10:18-16:47). The two towns post an exceedingly ordinary life but worthy living in with connected individuals, which results in a healthy community.

Love and marriage are essential virtues that delineate why natural human beings should not live solely and act individualistically. These virtues are depicted and expansively expounded in Act II in the film Our Town. Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs' wedding is depicted as they recollect the morning of the day they were unified through a wedding (Our Town 1:01:07-1:05:19). They explain their journey, and Emily apologizes to her husband George, but he tells her not to worry and invite her to a local drug store for an ice cream soda date. Their love and forgiveness show the reasons why their marriage has been healthy and has lasted. Also, the importance of marriage and procreation is depicted. Similarly, Shelby's wedding date is set, but the wedding almost fails to mature because of the doctor's advice that she should not conceive as she will damage her kidneys (Steel Magnolias 55:19-58:33). She proceeds to conceive due to the affirmation of the love from her fiancé regardless of the situation though it ends tragically with their baby dying. The film and the play portray the strength and importance of love in a marriage.

Life is systemically different for various places and may inherently involve outrageous moments or funny good times. The play Our Town involves dark and grieving moments; for example, Emily feels it is complicated to spend moments with the living individuals as they are ignorant and dies trying to conceive her second child (Our Town 39:02-42:46). The film Steel Magnolias is a feel-good cast as it explains the power of life-affirming brought by love and friendship even over life tragedies. Truvy, who owns a salon, welcomes the other ladies in her shops where they gossip the whole day as their husbands have given them a lot of freedom (Steel Magnolias 7:01-10:59). The women have a strong connection, and their friendship makes them overcome life challenges; for example, the scene where Shelby experiences low blood sugars in the beauty parlor and is taken to hospital by the other ladies. The Steel Magnolias film enjoys many scenes of funny good moments, which makes it a star-studded film.

The film Steel Magnolias also explored the values and themes promoted by the play Our Town, such as death, marriage, and daily life. Though the later was set in the late 1980s, the first was set between 1900 and 1913 (Gufron 48). Steel Magnolias presents life dramas the same way as Our Town when relating to daily life and marriage. Additionally, the two stories have weddings due to love, for example, Shelby's wedding and Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs's wedding. The men in the two stories' wedding scenarios want to be close and see their partners, but they are informed that it is not possible because of its bad luck. Further, the parents bespeak cold feet by revealing their nervousness of the part their children inhabit and for themselves and not only for their children's benefits. These incidences delineate the reasons that Steel Magnolias promoted Our Town's tenets of producing the stories.

The structure and characters of a film or a play are essential in portraying the stories' theme. As such, the structure of Steel Magnolias resembles that of the play Our Town. The film is set on dramatic events of lifestyle, marriage, and love, the same structure embodied by the play. Women die while conceiving and leave a husband and one child in both the film and the play. Additionally, some characters in the Steel Magnolias film elicit strong parallels with characters in the play Our Town. For example, Annelle in Steel Magnolias and Mrs. Soumes in the Play Our Town. Annelle becomes religious, while Soumes becomes a spirit at the end. Their characters are developed by changing their roles and dimensions.

There are various tools that authors make use of in the development of the various themes that are explored in their stories. Both Steel Magnolias film and Our Town play employ symbolism tools in developing the community theme, where the two towns are portrayed as ordinary and simple towns. Additionally, the cyclic nature of life is exhibited in both stories by using relationships between married individuals and their way of having children (Gufron 51). Further, the everyday celebration theme is delineated in both stories using internal thoughts of the characters and dialogues. These tools are essential in developing a relevant and vital theme in a story.

In conclusion, the film Steel Magnolias and the play Our Town portrays community and friendship similarly. Also, individuals' routine life varies according to the environment they are exposed to and the character they pose in handling the various situations they encounter. Love and marriage are essential virtues that delineate why natural human beings should not live solely and act individualistically. Steel Magnolias promotes the themes and values that are promoted by Our Town play. Both stories' structure and themes are similar, and they employ similar tools in their development of the themes. The two stories expansively delineate the tenets of community and friendship theme, and they can be practically used in the running of our daily life.

Works Cited

Gufron, Uup. "American Myth Values In Our Town Play By Thornton Wilder (A Study OfMythology)." Scope: Journal of English Language Teaching 3.1 (2019): 46-60.

Our Town. Directed by William Holden, 1940. YouTube, uploaded by, Public Domain Movies,14 Jan 2018,

Steel Magnolias. Directed by Herbert Rose, 1989. YouTube, uploaded by, Henry Morillo, 10Dec 2013,

Whittlesea, Bruce WA, and Lisa D. Williams. "Why do strangers feel familiar, but friends don't?A discrepancy-attribution account of feelings of familiarity." Acta psychologica 98.2-3(1998): 141-165.

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