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The Anti - war Theme ----a Brief Analysis on Waterloo Bridge

The Anti - war Theme ----a Brief Analysis on Waterloo Bridge

Chen Yingfang 陈英芳

Class 12, Grade 2010 No. 201005421218

The School of Foreign Languages China West Normal University

A Paper for Appreciating English Movies

Dec 2013


The Anti - war Theme ----a Brief Analysis on Waterloo Bridge

Water Bridge is an excellent American movie about love, war and friendship. It is a tragic
love story during the first word war. After a brief introduction about the background and the main story about this movie, this paper highlights the anti-war theme and analyses the topic war throughout the whole movie according to the development of the plot. It also give a brief analysis on how the anti-war theme achieved. Key words:

Waterloo Bridge,





Waterloo Bridge is a wonderful American movie, adapting from the Pulitzer Prize owner-Robert E. Sherwood’s stage. It is directed by Mervyn LeRoy and acted by Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor. It is a tragic love story during the first word war. A young and beautiful ballet dancer named Myra, who met a handsome Captain Roy Cronin during an air raid in London, just before Roy went to the front. Then Roy went to see the ballet acting just wanted to see her again. The two young soon fell into love. With two days left, they decided to marry. With permission of his uncle, they went to church to get married. Unfortunately, as some red tape reasons, they are unable to marry before Roy must leave for France. Then Myra lost her job. When Maya accidentally saw Roy's name in the list of killed action, she was too sad to lose all sensation in the tea house, and then she lost contact with Roy’s mother. In order to survive, Myra became a prostitute. Later as Myra was “greeting” the latest soldiers arriving from the front at the Waterloo station, she saw Roy. This was not only a happy thing, but also a sad thing. The two young who loved each other finally met again. However, as she was a prostitute, she thought that she did not deserve Roy, so she left Roy and chose to commit suicide. This is the brief plot of this story. Although there are no war scenes in the movie, the topic war throughout the whole movie. At the beginning of the movie, because of the war, Myra met Roy on


the Waterloo Bridge, and then they fell into love. Because of the war, they didn’t get married; because of the war, the separate at the Waterloo station; because of the war, Roy must leave for the France and Myra lost her job as she saw him off at the station and didn’t attend the ballet show that night. The war made two people to meet and love each other. The war also led to the two loves apart. As the developing of the story, they contacted each other, and then he told her that his mother, Lady Margaret, was able to come for a visit. Unfortunately, just before this meeting, Myra reads Roy’s name on casualty list in the newspaper. This is also because of the war. As the war, Myra had a poor life. And in order to survive. She became a prostitute. And at last, she chose to kill herself. The war results in a tragedy to happen gradually. There are no scenes about the war, and there are no words to judge of the war. However, the audience can see the disaster bring by the war and accuse the sin of the war. And according to this, we can also know the theme of this movie. The movie reflects the realistic life during the war. And through description of the realistic life and love during the war to achieve the purpose of reflected the anti-war theme. The war can destroy everything, including the peaceful life of the public, the precious life, the city, and the love. The war is the symbol of the pain. The war led to this tragic love. Myra and Roy met during an air raid in London. That is to say, they met each other because the war. And the war also destroyed their loyal love. Their encounter was the beginning of the tragedy, the duration of the war was the continuing of the tragedy, and the end of the war is climax of the tragedy. So the theme of the movie is anti-war. How the anti-war theme is achieved? The anti-war theme is obtained by a series of tragedies, by the developing of these tragedies. As the war, Roy must go back to the front, and their wedding was cancelled. If there was no war, they would get married tomorrow. From here, we can see the attitude of author and the theme of the movie. But the theme is not clear. And then they must separate as the war. This is an anther tragedy. Then Myra lost her job, and lived a poor life. At here the theme is clearer than before.

When Myra read Roy’s name on casualty list in the newspaper, she felt very sad and fainted in the tea house. In order to support her, her friend sacrifice herself by the only way a girl who cannot find a job during the war. Soon, Myra realized that her friend sacrifice her reputation to support her. She decided to join this oldest profession herself. From here, the anti-war theme is more and more clear. Because when she became a prostitute, her unfortunate life and love was decided. If there was no war, these tragedies would not happen. She would not become a prostitute, and there were still a hope in her life. And when she met Roy again, they would have a happy life. The climax of the movie is Myra chose to commit suicide, as she loved Roy so much. She didn’t want to tarnish his fame. This is also the climax of the tragedy. When the war is end, the theme is clearly reflected. In one word, the war led to this tragedy; the war led to two loves apart; the war made Myra to commit suicide; and the war made Roy and Myra separate forever. In conclusion, the topic war throughout the whole movie, although there is no one scene about the war. The developing of the war is a clue of the movie. We can see the developing of the war in the developing of the tragedy and love between Roy and Myra. Through the depiction of the tragic love story between two loves and description of realistic life during the First World War, the anti-war theme is vividly reflected.

Bibliography: (1). 菜东东, 《英美电影鉴赏》 ,北京外文出版社 (2). 电影《魂断蓝桥》 (3). 吴景荣、程镇球《汉语大词典》 ,商务印书馆 (4). 丁往道《英语写作手册》 ,外语教学与研究出版社 (5). (6).田卉群《经典影片解读教程》 ,北京师范大学出版社


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