Theme Of It's A Wonderful Life

analytical Essay
2243 words
2243 words

Frank Capra’s, It’s a Wonderful Life illustrates a particular set of morals and values. In fact, most of Capra’s films include these basic values, which include love of hard work, love of community, love of country, and love of God (Dillon, 42). However, It’s a Wonderful Life magnifies these ideas in a way that is almost unavoidable. Considering the unpopularity of the film when it first opened, compared to its growing success over the years, a great deal can be said about our changing society and what we deem important today. Why the film began as a flop and grew to become known as a classic has a great deal to do with the history of the United States, the hardships that each generation faced, and how each generation chose to cope with these …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how capra portrays that all lives and the choices we make have some impact on those around us. george is caught up in his big, exotic dreams, but realizes the impact he has had by being in their lives.
  • Analyzes how the film was considered a complete flop when it was first released. the film's content felt too heavy for the nation who had just made it through the world war.
  • Explains that it's a wonderful life has grown in popularity over the past 65 years due to the copright issue, which allowed tv stations to more freely and cheaply show the film.
  • Analyzes how the success of it's a wonderful life has changed audiences' attitudes. it reminds them of the hardships they had to face on daily basis.
  • Analyzes how george's unflappable spirit, even in the face of despair, has been of quintessential importance to american popular culture for the last several decades.
  • Analyzes how the film it's a wonderful life embodies all the meaning of life in the most non-commercial sense.
  • Analyzes how frank capra's "it’s a wonderful life" illustrates morals and values, and how it magnifies these ideas in an almost unavoidable way.
  • Analyzes how sentimentality became corny and out of fashion as viewers became more cynical in the late 1940s, which may have contributed to the growing popularity of the film.

While for most of the film George is caught up in his big, exotic dreams, taking for granted his family and friends and the little blessings all around him, he soon realizes the impact that he has had by being in their lives, and vice versa. Once Clarence arrives to show him what the world would be like if he had never been born, he immediately realizes that friends and family are all he needs, and “learns that he really has made a difference, and his faith in life is reaffirmed” (Hoving, 108). This epiphany is of extreme importance within the film as it teaches us through George’s mistakes to be grateful for all that we have in life. Before this moment, George thinks only of himself, thinking only of what the world can do for him. He has neglected to think of how he has changed the world just by being in it, as so many of us often do. We are reminded that even when we feel at our lowest, as if our lives are insignificant, we should take the time to think about how any of the little things we have done in our lives have had a bigger impact somewhere else. In the words of Clarence the angel, “each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around, it leaves an awful hole”. We should never take for granted this life that we have been given, because in the end it is our life alone that is the ultimate …show more content…

While in 1947, the year the film was released, it reminded the public too much of the hardships they had to face on a daily basis, today a sense of nostalgia is associated with It’s a Wonderful Life. This sense of nostalgia has the capability of taking us away from our own modern problems and back to what we see as the “good ol’ days,” to a time when things were simpler and hometown values matters. In fact, when Jimmy Stewart, who plays George Bailey, was interviewed in 1990, he remarked that he believes “the movie has grown in popularity over the years because of the values it embodies” (Dillon, 42). These morals resonate especially during the holiday season, the time when the film is primarily shown, because this is when people are filled with the Christmas spirit. During the holidays, we take time to recognize the beauty in the little things in life, as shown through George’s

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