Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Dumb Bunny and the Clever Fox

MAY / JUNE 2016: BY CARISSA HORTON

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Zootopia. You’ve all heard of it, some of you have seen it. Maybe you’ve seen it and don’t even have kids. I fall into that particular category myself. Guess what? It’s the most socially impactful movie of 2016 to date. You heard me right.

Zootopia is a little movie that has so much heart it’s just absolutely full to bursting. The little bunny who wants to be a cop and the fox who’s a confidence trickster. Both are exactly what they seem a.k.a. a dumb bunny and a sly fox. But on this journey they’re forced to work together to catch the bad guys. Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde discover that there’s more to each other and themselves than just the stereotypes. Continue reading

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England’s Scandalous Marriages

MAY / JUNE 2016: BY CHARITY BISHOP

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History has no end of scandals and forbidden marriages. In a few cases, cross-cultural or status-challenging relationships changed entire nations. One such romance involved the War of the Roses. The Lancastrian King Henry VI was mad. The York King Edward unseated him. In an unstable new reign, Edward needed to establish alliances.

Rather than wed a French princess, Edward announced he had married Elizabeth Woodville in secret! Marriage to lowborn English women were unheard of for English kings, whose unions needed to forge important European ties. This caused dissent and unease at the court. Elizabeth used her position to marry everyone in her immediate family off to the richest English landowners, which excluded other families from status climbing. Elizabeth only birthed two sons, further jeopardizing their reign. Continue reading

Angel and the Badman: Vengeance or Love

MAY / JUNE 2016: BY RACHEL KOVACINY

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One of the things I like best about stories set in the Old West is the endless possibility for diverse characters to encounter each other. Characters from every imaginable background, ethnicity, ideology, religion, and lifestyle can very naturally get thrown into contact with one another because, in real life, western settlers really were a diverse bunch. You had immigrants from Europe, Civil War veterans, Chinese railroad workers, Native Americans, and Mexicans all rubbing shoulders with families coming out from the eastern United States. And whenever you have that varied a mix of people, you get conflict. And when you have conflict, you get dramatic stories.

Angel and the Badman (1947) tells you right in the title that it’s about the pairing of two very different people. An angelic woman and a bad man—what could they have in common? How would they meet? What kind of love story might they create together, and how could it be anything but doomed to failure? Bad men don’t get to marry angels, do they? Continue reading

Commoners and Kings

MAY / JUNE 2016: BY LILA DONOVAN

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Prince William and Kate Middleton’s romance captivated the world because they seem to exude a genuine love for each other. How did a commoner win the heart of a prince?

Catherine Elizabeth Middleton arrived January 9, 1982. Her father, Michael, was a flight dispatcher. Mother, Carole, worked as a flight attendant. Carole started a family business in 1987, Party Pieces, which sells party supplies and decorations in the UK. As the business grew and flourished, Michael quit his job to help Carole. They became self-made millionaires. Kate and her siblings attended privileged schools. Kate went to the University of St. Andrews where she met her future husband. Continue reading

Royal Meets Reality: Roman Holiday

MAY / JUNE 2016: BY RACHEL SEXTON

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We all watch movies enough to have become familiar with certain on-screen formulas. The narrative theme of two different worlds colliding is usually shown within the confines of a romance. We’ve all seen the rich girl fall for the poor boy and her dad be determined to keep them apart (“But Daddy I love him!”). Done well, this formula can be fine, but when something with more layers, unpredictability, and depth manages to find its way onto film, that’s special—and Roman Holiday does just that. The plot deftly illustrates a meeting between classes through humor, romance, and emotion. Continue reading

Doctor Thorne: Illegitimacy and Marriage

MAY / JUNE 2016: BY CHARITY BISHOP

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When Emma Woodhouse tries to secure a higher-born match for Harriet Smith than a local man, Mr. Knightley scoffs, “[Is it] a degradation for illegitimacy to marry a respected, intelligent farmer?”

Emma has higher ambitions for Harriet. Local parson Mr. Elton makes overtures to Emma of a “distasteful nature,” and she snubs him. He is lower class. In her mind, Harriet is not beneath him. Mr. Elton disagrees; Harriet is illegitimate. Continue reading

Pocahontas and Her Relationships

MAY / JUNE 2016: BY SCARLETT GRANT

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The life and relationships of Pocahontas are one of the most romanticized in history. There are countless portraits, literature, plays and films about her life. However, very few facts about her life are confirmed even by seasoned historians, which has lead much misinformation to be mistaken for fact by the general public. Continue reading

North and South

MAY / JUNE 2016: BY VERONICA LEIGH

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Elizabeth Gaskell chose to write North and South inspired by her life in Manchester. The haughty Margaret Hale moves from southern England with her genteelly impoverished family to Milton, in northern England. Considered by some to be similar to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in themes, North and South takes it a step further, exploring the great divide of rich and poor, good breeding and bad, manners and customs of two different worlds that are united. Continue reading

Judgment Day by Flannery O’Connor

MAY / JUNE 2016: BY VICTORIA WILLIAMS

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All my stories are about the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it, but most people think of these stories as hard, hopeless and brutal,” wrote Flannery O’Connor. It’s a good thing that O’Connor wrote non-fiction as well as fiction. If I had encountered her first through her fiction rather than through a quote about her convictions, I don’t know what would’ve happened. I might never have noticed the wisdom of her words, might never have trusted her into my mind again! Continue reading