A Walk to Remember & Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Some movies that come to mind when thinking about a main character dying are Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and A Walk to Remember. In both movies, a main character dies from cancer. In the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Bailey is a younger friend of a main character named Tibby. She is characterized as a young girl who enjoys filmmaking, a characteristic common to Tibby as well. Unfortunately, Bailey has cancer and gets sicker with time and eventually ends up in the hospital. Tibby visits Bailey in the hospital and offers her the “magical” pants in order to help her. Sadly Bailey dies shortly after. The movie portrays the event solemnly and consistently shows Tibby’s more vulnerable side. As common to real life, the Sisterhood portrays death through the use of a casket, all black funerals, and individuals mourning the loss through crying. 

 

In A Walk to Remember, Jamie is laying in a hospital bed, ill from cancer, with her boyfriend Landon by her side. While in the hospital, Jamie tells Landon that “God has a bigger plan for her” and that he is her angel sent from God (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM9TUoD-rjA). Unlike the Sisterhood, which portrays death in a more magical, hopeful way, A Walk to Remember portrays death in a more religious way. But both movies have a sorrowful portrayal after the death has occurred. Of course, when we experience death, we are sad and we do mourn; but people experience death in many different ways.

 

At times I do believe that death in the movies can be misleading. In A Walk to Remember, Jamie was able to experience love and true happiness before her death. In reality, not everyone finds their significant other before they die. Death can be sudden and often occurs when the individual is alone. In real life when a child dies that young, they often have not experienced what true friendship is. In Sisterhood the audience hopeful that at least Bailey found what she was looking for but, unfortunately, children sometimes die unexpectedly and have not had the chance to experience love and friendship. Comparing these two movies also shows that death is not portrayed diversely in movies.  In fact, both Tibby and Bailey died from cancer in hospitals. The actions and emotions of the people who cared for them most were also similar.

 

 I do think that the language and hopefulness of the characters does prove that we as a society are a death denying culture because there is not one single way in dealing with death. We can experience anything from sadness, to anger, to even a feeling of emptiness. We can go into shock, or get sick to the stomach. There is no way of telling how we will deal with death and it is different depending on who it is, how it happens, and when it happens. These movies often teach us that it is merely sorrowful and the main character finds himself/herself getting past it through hope, yet this is not always the case in real life. We leave death to the movies and they do make us emotional, but the emotions we experience from the movie are nothing like what we experience in real life. We put death off to the movies until it happens to us.

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2 thoughts on “A Walk to Remember & Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

  1. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and A Walk to Remember are also favorites of mine. It was very sad and unfair that Bailey died at such a young age and did not get to experience a full life of love and friendship. In both of these movies they show the person in the hospital suffering and we as an audience can empathize with their loved ones. It makes us think what we would do given that situation. I agree with you about the point where everyone has their own way of dealing with death and grieving, some want the traditional funeral which is solemn and others want more of a celebration of their life.

  2. A Walk to Remember is one of my favorite book/movie from Nicholas Sparks. If you have seen his movies or read his books, you know that most of the time, there is always a death that occurs. Each story is different but most of the time, it has to do with a love story. The way Jamie died in the movie was really realistic in the way that cancer can happen to anyone at any age. It shows that death just isn’t for older people. I totally agree with you when you say that the movie portrayed death in a religious way because God was brought up many times throughout the movie. When explaining how God has a bigger plan after death, how Landon was her angel, even how her spirit is still around after she dies. Although we aren’t all so lucky in finding love and getting married at such a young age and before dying like Jamie did, I do feel like the movie was not misleading when it came to death.

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