The movie ‘Miss Potter’ that we watched in the last ten minutes in class really drives my attention to Beatrix Potter and her adult’s imagination of childhood. Even though we only watched the very beginning of the movie, it is not hard to find out that, there are two main lines in this movie– the publication of the story ‘Peter Rabbit’ and her creation of Peter Rabbit in her childhood.
There is a scene in the movie when the publisher visits Miss Potter in her house for the first time and acts like a rude young fellow. Miss Potter is surprised to see his obtrusive behavior due to her education from a upper middle class family. However, the book Peter Rabbit reveals the opposite side of her– admiring nature and freedom. It seems that, the publisher awakes her hidden childlike quality and plays an important role in completing Peter Rabbit.
The picture inserted in this post is from the scene when Miss Potter and her brother are about to go to bed while their parents are going to this banquet. She leans on the windows and watches her parents getting on the carriage. All of a sudden, the horses turn into huge bunnies and the carriage turns into a pumpkin lantern cart. The sudden transfer of scenes mimics the transfer from reality to imagination, which is exactly how children’s imagination works when they read children’s books. It may also represent the rebirth of her childhood characteristics.
The movie does a good job in personalizing the author through both connecting her closely with her work and connecting her work with her experience. The beautiful and warm colors used in the movie also follow along the tone of Peter Rabbit.
2 Replies to “‘Miss Potter’ and her Peter Rabbit”
I agree that the movie elucidated some interesting things about Miss Potter’s character. I especially found it interesting that she was breaking the social norm of female behavior by spending her time solitarily and writing and illustrating children’s books. When reading “Peter Rabbit,” I didn’t consider this context of the author – that unlike most of her peers, she was unmarried at this time and appeared to be separated from the social realm of society. I wonder if Peter, as we talked about briefly in class, represents Miss Potter in any way – the way she stood out among her peers, diverting from their behavior and taking on a brave literary path for women of her time.
After watching the beginning of the movie in class, and being a huge Ewan McGregor and Renée Zellweger fan, I decided that I had to finish the movie. I agree with your point that it did bring out a lot of interesting themes and ideas that offer insight into Potter’s life beyond what we see in her illustrations and books. Her illustrations offer this sense of romanticism and she tells these playful stories. However, she was so much more than these playful stories. She was breaking boundaries in an Era where these actions would’ve seemed crazy to society. I think that this would’ve only been possible as a result of her imagination and her ability to see the world in a different light than the rest of society. The image that you chose from above highlights that because even though a number of things were stopping her in society, she could not help but view the world in her own rose tinted glasses, and this helped her become so successful.