A Wedding Party!
Posted on: 10th June 2015 14:47:39

Tell your momma that we’re leavin’ …tell your daddy that we’re gone…”


~~ The Wonders


To Oregon territory for the wedding of Seven Brides to Seven Brothers!  


Welcome to the June 2015 Edition ~ Seven Brides for Seven Brothers


From the opening scene /song Bless Your Beautiful Hide, oldest brother Adam Ponepeii has only one thing on his mind ~ marriage.  He is a man who gets what he wants (“whether it’s plowing 20 acres in a day or choppin’ down a tree within an inch of where I want it. I’m here today to get me a wife. Don’t mean to go back home empty handed!”)   In his quest, he finds a variety of girls who are: “Pretty and trim but kind of slim, heavenly eyes, but oh that size!”  Enter Millie: “Pretty and trim, but not too slim; Heavenly eyes and just the right size; Simple and sweet and sassy as can be!” 

Based on this characterization, we see that Millie does not need a man to be strong and independent. However, as the story progresses, we do find her determined to marry. Determined, perhaps because  “the country needed to be settled”, or because she “fell in love with (him) from the first moment (she) saw him.”  Whatever the reason, it is determination to build a life together that propels this couple and our story forward and allows us to ask this month’s thought provoking question:


How can this film be an engaging activity for my clients, students and family member?


The simplest answer is always the best. Pop in the DVD, Grab your Guide and Go!  This film is engaging from the start. As soon as the DVD goes in the player, there is an opportunity for your clients, students and family members to engage. Whether you begin with a sing-a-long or a discussion of attitudes or social mores, (What is Adam’s opinion of women? What is the town’s perception of Adam? What is Millie’s perception? What is your opinion? In Millie’s social circumstance, if you were faced with her decision, what would you do?), this film can keep the discussion going all month long!


As June is the month of weddings, spend some time with your older generation clientele and family members reminiscing about courtship, dating, love found, love lost, and ultimately found again; Goin’ Co’tin, The Barn Dance, Lonesome Polecat and Spring, Spring, Spring are great scene companions for these discussions.


These same scenes are great catalysts for discussing this film with students. Consider examining the culture in which these men and women find themselves. In Oregon of the 1800’s, why was it important for men to find wives?  Where did they find them?  What sort of   behavior was considered acceptable when courting a young lady?   What were the social consequences for women who stayed single? Were there opportunities for women to be self- supporting? 


When discussing social behavior consider discussing the Barn Dance as the party of the season! It is the event around which all the action revolves. It is the reason Millie teaches her brothers to dance and to   be mannerly men. (“You gotta call her my darlin’, my dear, my precious, my pet…steal your arm around her.”) It is the   brothers’ looks and manners that first attract the girls and keep them engaged even as dancing turns to fighting, kidnapping, courting, and ultimately a shotgun wedding!

All for the love of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!


Enjoy engaging discussions and lively conversation until next month, when the party continues, at the 4th of July Exercises in River City I-A-Way, when Marian the Librarian meets Harold Hill ~ The Music Man!






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