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The Cider House Rules

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Film Review

Anya Cunnane

Longwood University

SOWK 337

Professor Danielsen

March 25, 2018

Film Review

The Cider House Rules is an eye-opening film that was set in Maine pre-WWII. The film covers a number of deep issues, such as growing up, rape, and abortion. This film is about a young man named Homer Wells, Homer grew up in an orphanage under the guidance of Dr. Wilbur Larch, an obstetrician and abortionist. Homer was returned back to the orphanage twice by his foster parents, his first foster parents thought her was too quiet and thought that made him unusual, and the second family beat him. Homer is the oldest among the orphans, he helps with the children, and he’s very smart. Dr. Larch trains Homer in obstetrics and abortions, even though Homer has never received any education and is against performing abortions. Dr. Larch wants Homer to take over his position once he retires, yet Homer isn’t to fond of that idea because he doesn’t have formal medical education and he wants to see the world out of the orphanage. A couple comes to the orphanage to receive an abortion, Homer befriends the couple and decides to leave the orphanage to see what else the world has to offer. The couple named Candy and Wally become best friends with Homer and offer him an apple picking job, which he takes. Homer gets to live with the other apple pickers, he gets to know them all very well. One fall after everyone comes back from their summer vacation one of the migrant workers named Rose gets pregnant by her father, and Homer has to perform an abortion on the young women. That summer Dr. Larch passes away and Homer decided to return back to the orphanage to work as the new director. Even though Homer isn’t fond of abortions he continues Dr. Larch legacy.

In the film Cider House Rules some policy problems that were portrayed were older children not being able to get adopted, and access to abortions. With these policy problems the target population was older children in the orphanage, and women. Some intentions that are shown through these policies were lack of dignity and worth of a person when dealing with the older children not being able to get adopted. This policy affected children in the film, for example, when any car arrived at the orphanage the older children automatically assumed and mentioned that the couple will want someone young. Older children felt left out and hurt that nobody wanted to adopt an older child. The older children felt as if they aren’t worthy enough to get adopted. In addition to dignity and worth of a person, service plays an important part of access to abortion. For example, in the film Homer was against abortions because he was an unwanted child himself, he empathizes with the unborn children and doesn’t want to destroy them. Unlike Dr. Larch he believes that if a woman was raped or doesn’t want a child she should be able to receive abortion. He mentioned throughout the movie “wouldn’t you rather do it the right way, rather than the women die, or have it done improper way.” Dr. Larch primary goal was to help the struggling women rather than have them suffer. When Rose, the migrant worker was raped by her father, Homer had to perform an abortion and he understood of why it should happen.



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