Why It's A Wonderful Life Isn't Actually A Christmas Film

Why It's A Wonderful Life Isn't Actually A Christmas Film

Every time a bell rings, this film is misclassified.
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It’s A Wonderful Life, the 1946 Frank Capra film, has become wildly hailed by people as one of the greatest Christmas films out there, and despite its initial poor reception at the box office, it has become a staple of the season.

Because nothing says Christmas like Marxist sociopolitical commentary.

George Bailey’s introspective tale has become a hallmark of American cinematic storytelling, widely recognized, parodied, and revered. So, what if I were to tell you that despite the film’s dramatic rise to popularity, it’s not actually a Christmas film.

And this is the part where I suspect the rioting will begin.

Now, let me make one thing perfectly clear before I begin: I’m not challenging this film’s position as an American classic. No, I just think that it’s been mislabeled as a film. It’s A Wonderful Life is no more a Christmas film than is Die Hard.

’Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you’re John McClane, then you just get another lame sequel.

Take a closer look at the film’s narrative structure for example. The film begins on Christmas Eve in 1945, but it promptly flashes back to about thirty years earlier, when George saves his brother from drowning in an ice pond. The film proceeds to spend the next significant portion of the film outlining George’s life, ranging from his graduation in 1928 to his inability to serve in WWII.

Holy exposition-dump, Batman!

Note that in this entire sequence, Christmas is never mentioned. In fact, Christmas isn’t particularly relevant in the narrative until the third act, when George considers committing suicide. Even then, it appears to be mostly set dressing, a background element to the action.

But let’s delve even deeper, shall we?

Really rack your brain with me here. At what point in the film is the fact that it is set at Christmas truly crucial? Would anything in the film play out differently if the setting wasn’t Christmas? There’s nothing that happens in the film that would play out differently if the film were set at, say, Thanksgiving instead of Christmas. At the end of the day, the flashback still happens, and all of George’s friends lead miserable existences in his absence.

Nothing like a fresh dose of misery to get you in the holiday spirit.

This isn’t a A Christmas Carol (You know, the other holiday, non-Doctor Who classic involving time travel and alternate timelines?) scenario, where Christmas is used as a theme and a byline which motivates character behavior; Christmas is in no way crucial to It’s A Wonderful Life. Instead, it’s strictly a thematic backdrop, informing our reading of the film without redirecting the events of the narrative.

Now, before you have a George Bailey-esque breakdown at this revelation, it’s pretty easy to see why people watch this film at Christmas time. Aside from the setting, It’s A Wonderful Life really does encapsulate the sentiment of the season. Even if it’s not necessarily a Christmas film, it certainly represents the ideal holiday attitude.

George is what all of us aspire to be, especially during the Christmas season. His compassion for others at his own expense is noble to us as viewers, and we live vicariously through him. He symbolically represents everything that we laud about the ideal of the holiday season, from his anti-consumerism to his deep concern for those less fortunate than himself.

Pictured: The holiday spirit personified.

In many ways, I think George is the reason that people view this as a Christmas film. He just that good at heart. It’s A Wonderful Life isn’t a Christmas film, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not the perfect film for Christmas.

Cover Image Credit: http://clv.h-cdn.co/assets/15/50/1449598927-lastscene.jpg

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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13 Quotes For All Of Us Empowered Female-Identifying People Out There

For the days when you need to be reminded that you are really doing the dang thing and doing it well.

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For the days when you need to be reminded that you are really doing the dang thing and doing it well.

1. Do you really need someone else's permission, acceptance, wink, or nod, or are you ready to give these to yourself? -The Universe

I get notes from the Universe everyday and all of them are so amazing and inspiring. There might be a few of them on this list. You can sign up for your own notes from the universe here.

2. The princess saves herself in this one. -Amanda Lovelace

The quote is based off a book called The Princess Saves Herself In This One, which is a collection of poetry about resilience, you can get the book here.

3. I'm made of more than you think. -Snow White, Mirror, Mirror

4. Other people's perception of you ain't none of your business. -Lisa Nichols

CLAPPING HANDS EMOJI.

5. Do you realize how many events and choices that had to occur since the birth of the universe leading to the making of just exactly the way you are? -Mrs. Which, A Wrinkle In Time

I love this because it really hits home how so many right and wrong decisions led to the creation of you and how you should appreciate the good and the bad because without either of them you wouldn't be exactly who you were supposed to be.

6. You can't stop what's done to you. You can only survive it. -Rachel, Georgia Rule 

This brings up an important theme of my life that I'm still trying to figure out. The only thing you can control in your life is how you react to what happens to you.

7. Don't let anyone ever make you feel like you don't deserve what you want. -Patrick Verona, 10 Things I Hate About You

8. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Queen Clarisse, The Princess Diaries

9. No trifling of the past, no matter how great, can tarnish the brilliance of eternity. -The Universe

10. People who are insignificant to your future shouldn't have an impact on your present.

Someone once told me this, and although I can't remember the person, this quote has always stuck with me.

11. Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before. -Lady Gaga

You know what... I think she was talking about you.

12. Tell yourself it's easy. Tell yourself often. Make it an affirmation. Eat, sleep, breathe it, and you life shall be transformed. -The Universe

13. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. -Mark Twain 

Go on then, be empowered and trust your instincts, you've got big things coming... I can tell.

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