Essay on John Irving’s The Cider House Rules

Essay on John Irving’s The Cider House Rules

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John Irving’s The Cider House Rules


Contemporary society advocates that without love, happiness is impossible. Webester’s Dictionary defines happiness as, “ a state of well being or contentment.” Three types of love which are necessary for contentment are; familial love, romantic love and friendship. In John Irving’s, The Cider House Rules, Melony’s bitterness prevents her from developing these forms of love vital for true happiness. Her hostility towards others prevents her from developing familial love. Intense animosity and contempt ruin Melony’s romantic relationships. Her bitterness leads to social isolation and the development of true friendships become impossible.

An individual’s relationship with his/her family influences his/her development into a functioning member of society. The fulfillment of the need for love and belonging begins with a close family relationship. Melony’s malice and resentment towards others inhibits her from experiencing this familial love. Throughout her life, Melony lives in many different foster homes, yet a strong family bond is never formed. Her first experience in a family environment is at the St.Clouds Orphanage. Several members of the orphanage’s staff fail to establish a family bond with Melony. Mrs.Grogan is the head of the girls division of St.Clouds as well as Melony’s primary care giver. Mrs.Grogan, “ was especially fond of Melony but felt she failed at making Melony like her,“.
Mrs.Grogan continually expresses love and affection towards her, but is unable to initiate a loving response. Melony’s constant attitude and bitterness towards others and prevent her from developing a sense of familial love and consequently reaching true happiness. This mannerism impedes on Melony...


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...owards Homer Wells. Her bitterness for her first lover is only diverted briefly and then she resumes her hatred for Homer. Only will Melony’s forgiveness of Homer and Lorna overcome her social isolation and then she can begin to develop true friendships and become truly happy.

Happiness is a virtue which relies on an individual’s ability to give as well as receive love. Melony’s hostility causes her social isolation which prevents her from establishing a genuine friendship. Melony’s intense bitterness ruins her romantic relationships. Animosity and contempt towards others prevents her from developing familial love. In John Irving’s, The Cider House Rules, Melony’s bitterness prevents her from developing the three forms of love vital for true happiness. The key to happiness through out life is maintaining healthy relationships with family, friends and lovers.

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Essay on John Irving’s The Cider House Rules

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