AffiliationUniversity of Chester
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractIn Chapter 2 Christopher Hart (University of Chester, UK) takes a popular wartime film, Mrs. Miniver (1942) and analyses it from a Simmelian (derived from the work of Georg Simmel) frame of reference. Taking the assumption that Mrs. Miniver is a ‘why we fight’ film, Hart looks closely at this categorization to make visible for analysis the essentially moral messages in the narrative. Through a detailed examination of several social forms including, value exchange, time and temporality, Americanisation, and conflict Hart argues that categorizing Mrs. Miniver as a ‘why we fight’ film is overtly simplistic and misses the purpose of the film and its director William Wyler. Mrs. Miniver is, Hart argues, a narrative about the future of civilization. Mrs. Miniver was aimed at the American audience, some of who when the film was being made, were advocating isolationism. Mrs. Miniver presents the Americans with a moral choice between supporting the moral choice already made by the British not to capitulate to the ‘evil of Nazism’ or to do nothing and allow Nazism to establish itself as a world order. On 7th December, 1941 with the Japanese attack on Pearle Harbor this moral choice was largely lost and Mrs. Miniver became, regardless of its widespread popularity, classified as a why we fight film.
CitationHart, C. (2015). Mrs Miniver (1942): Moral Identity and Creation of the Other. In Hart, C., Hodgson, G. & Roberts, S. G. (Ed.), World War II & the media. Cheshire: Midrash.
DescriptionChapter from an collection on World War 2 and the media.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/