Capitalization Is Vital; Tangible Construction Is Secondary Essay

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CAPITALIZATION IS VITAL; TANGIBLE CONSTRUCTION IS SECONDARY Frank Capra’s 1956 film “It’s a Wonderful Life” carves out a hero who’s only obvious failure is not seeing himself as a success, addressing the question of how we as a society evaluate the worth of ourselves and each other. George Bailey seems to think of his work at the Building and Loan as menial and emasculating. Although he esteems his father, he admits to him that he never wants to end up trapped in a shabby little office, chasing after “nickels and dimes.” The film portrays a man who doesn’t understand who he is and as a result is constantly at war with himself. He is unable to reconcile what he thinks he should be and what he feels he is becoming at the Building and Loan. Eventually George comes to regard the capitalization and cooperation the Building and Loan embodies, as vital and rewarding work, and actual building as an important but lesser labor. From the vantage point of the heavens, Joseph and Clarence review some defining moments in George Baily’s young life. For George, these moments represent the fulfilling of duties, and as a result the passing of his lifelong dreams: travel, building things, and living a glamorous life away from Bedford Falls. As a boy he takes a beating from Mr. Gower in order to save the same from a horrible mistake. Taking his father’s place at the Building and Loan, he gives up (temporarily, he thinks) travel and education. When there’s a run on the banks George and Mary both give up their honeymoon and divvy up their cash among the people. At each defining moment, he sacrifices something in order to do what he feels is right. The irony is that George feels trapped in his own life, but whenever he has a chance to change his situation, such as the offer from Potter to work at the bank, he not only passes it up, but also invests himself more fully in the Building

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