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An American Classic Essay

1042 words - 5 pages

An American Classic

An American Classic
The African Queen is a brilliant movie, starring Katherine Hepburn as Rose Sayer and Humphrey Bogart as Charlie Ullnet. Set against the backdrop of World War I, a touching love story quietly blossoms against the odds of circumstance and mismatched personalities. Facing a script revolving almost entirely around only two people, director John Huston adeptly develops a third viable character by filming the majority of the movie on location in Africa: nature. Rosie and Charlie must contend with nature throughout the film. As Rosie learns to love the parts of Charlie she cannot control or change, so she learns when to fight nature and when to ...view middle of the document...

When nature throws some rapids at them the next morning, Charlie hopes this will scare Rosie from her determination to continue down the river. Seeing her exhilaration, he realizes he will not get out of the situation so easily and proceeds to get drunk. He awakens to her pouring all his gin into to the river, and pleads with her to understand that it is just human nature for a man to over indulge every now and then. Rosie replies, “Nature, Mr. Ullnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.” She has yet to learn this is not necessarily true.
Resolving that it was not his drinking that upset her, but his failure to live up to his promise, they continue down the river. Rosie depends on the sun to hamper with the vision of shooters at the German outpost, and they are rewarded by nature only to be faced with its own obstacle: waterfall rapids. Here they truly work together for the first time, and having survived nature, they give into the love that has been building between them. Upon repairing the damage to the boat, they enjoy a day of easy going and Charlie comments that the river must have gotten tired and decided to rest for a while. Rosie acknowledges that if the river must rest, so should they. They anchor at a bank to discover that the river may be resting, but the rest of nature is not. They are attacked by a swarm of mosquitos, and Rosie finally gives up to the hand of nature. Charlie covers her, finds a way out and Rosie is still at a loss with the seeming circles they have been going in.
Seeing Rosie’s weakness clearly, for the first time, Charlie, shining in her presence, encourages her to choose a path. He does everything possible in an effort to return her vigor. He gets out of the boat and pulls it through thick reeds, only to be covered with leeches. He reassumes the task when they realize there is no other option if they are to...

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