steel magnolias movie analysis

Steel Magnolias is a great movie of love, laughter, and tears. It features six strong-willed woman who “are the Steel Magnolias of the tittle…” as Roger Ebert says. The women dealt with many set backs in life, but no matter what they kept their southern grace and charm in tact at all times. In the film one of the main set backs is Shelby, one of the “Steel Magnolias” (Julia Roberts), fighting with diabetes. Shelby’s diabetes is so bad she’s not supposed to have children due to the strains it would put on her body. Although there is a risk and against her mother’s will Shelby is determined to go though with the pregnancy. In the movie Shelby must choose between having a baby, which is one of the greatest moments in a woman’s life, or miss out on one of life’s greatest joys due to the risk it would cause to her own life. Also Shelby’s mom M’lynn (Sally Fields) is having to deal with accepting the fact that her daughter is going through with a decision that could ultimately end her life yet bring another ball of joy to life. No matter anyone else’s opinions or the risk of the consequences, everyone should be entitled too thier own choice specially when concerning their happiness. In the beginning of the movie Shelby’s fiancée Jackson sneaks in her bathroom to make sure she’s still going to marry him.

When she sees him she tells him that he can’t be in there because it was bad luck to see the bride before the wedding, Jackson replies with “So you are gonna marry me”. In return Shelby says “If my daddy catches you in here the question of whether or not I can carry your children will not matter, he will cut your thing off!” and then by the end of the scene she reassures him they are going to get married that day. Not long after it shows Shelby and her mom at Truvy’s beauty shop getting their hair ready for the wedding and the conversation of why she told Jackson she wasn’t going to marry him comes up and the stress causes Shelby to have one of her attacks. Mean while M’lynn tells Truvy and Clairee that the doctor told Shelby that she wouldn’t be able to ever have children. To me these two scenes are crucial because they show how not being able to have children can affect ones life. Due to the fact Jackson wants children though Shelby is not well enough to have one she thinks by going through with the wedding it would ruin Jacksons life. While the movie progresses from Shelby’s wedding to her coming home for Christmas Shelby has a little surprise for her parents.

Shelby and her mom are talking about what they’re giving and getting for Christmas and when Shelby tells her mom she’s getting furniture her surprise finally surfaces. Shelby tells her its furniture for the nursery because she’s pregnant. M’Lynn’s facial expressions clearly shows that she’s not happy about the fact of Shelby’s pregnancy. M’Lynn then ask what Jackson thinks about it and Shelby proceeds to tell her that he’s overly excited that he don’t care if its boy or girl and its all he can think about! Furious enough M’lynn ask if Jackson listens when the doctors and specialist give advice and that he probably doesn’t care seeing how he doesn’t have to carry the baby. This scene is important to me because it shows how Shelby is happy about the finding out that she’s pregnant yet her mother M’Lynn isn’t as happy due to the health risk it could cause Shelby.

As the movie comes to an end Shelby had a little boy, named Jack Jr. Finally her and Jackson was able to enjoy the happiness of their own child, mean while her mothers fear or loosing her daughter was coming true. In October, the day of trick or treating Shelby had a relapse with her kidneys and went in to a coma. Everyone stayed strong and prayed for her to pull through until the realization finally hit that she wouldn’t be coming out of it and that was left to do was pull the plug. Even though Shelby’s decisions to go through with having baby Jack Jr gave her “thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special” it affected everyone deeply. In the graveyard M’Lynn say’s “It’s not supposed to happen this way! I’m supposed to go first. I’ve always been ready to go first”. I believe that scene shows how Shelby’s decision affects her mother. In conclusion the movie Steel Magnolias is a great movie of love, laughter, and tears shared between the 6 “Steel Magnolias”. Shelby a young woman fighting the battle of diabetes deals with the heartache of wanting children although she’s not supposed to have any. Mean while her mother M’Lynn has to deal with the fact her daughter is determined to find happiness in having a child while slowly taking her own life. This movie shows no matter anyone else’s opinions or the risk of the consequences, everyone should be entitled too their own choice specially when concerning their happiness.

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