The Children's Hour Film Analysis

1918 Words 8 Pages
In the film The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman, two women, Martha and Karen, run an all girls boarding school. One of the girls, Mary Tilford, becomes upset when she is punished for disobeying the rules and decides that she does not want to return to school. She recalls one of her classmates, Rosalie, telling her that Martha’s Aunt, Lily Mortar, had said that Martha’s actions towards Karen were “unnatural”. To avoid returning to school, Mary uses this information and forms a lie that she tells her grandmother, Ms. Tilford. She states that the two headmistresses are having an affair and her grandmother chooses to believe her. This lie slanders Karen and Martha's reputations and results in the loss of the school because all of the girls are …show more content…
Tilford deserves the greatest amount of blame because she gives immediate credibility to Mary’s comments, she spreads the rumor that ruins their reputation by informing the parents of the children that they are having an affair, and she is willing to take the matter to court if they accuse her of …show more content…
Mortar another potential person to blame. During a heated argument, she declares Martha’s behavior when around Karen “unnatural”. In her opinion, a woman is supposed to like men, yet whenever one gets close to Martha she seems to push them away. It must be noted that the argument begins with Aunt Lily stating that Karen is rude to her, and then when Martha suggests that she return to New York she thinks she is trying to get rid of her. Aunt Lily decides Martha is in a bad mood because Dr. Cardin is present, which leads her to make the comment of Martha’s behavior being “unnatural”. She is upset because she is dismissed from the school, and, while there may have been some truth to the statement, she is really just saying that out of anger. As she is packing her bags Ms. Tilford arrives after just hearing Mary’s story. She questions Ms. Mortar, who unknowingly strengthens Ms. Tilfords belief that Mary’s statement was truthful by saying, “...the whole thing's unnatural. You would think that a healthy woman her age would have a husband or at least an admirer but she hasn't, and she never has had” (Hellman). This brings credibility to the idea that Martha and Karen are having an affair because it does seem odd that neither of them are willing to mary. Despite Karen being engaged to Dr. Cardin, they have not married and the wedding is overdue. However, these remarks are made when

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