1. History – the book2. Author – Mary Norton3. Video clip4. Storyline5. Characters6. Theme7. Film style8. Cultural aspects9. Class questions together10. References
• Stories of little people or fairies are an essential part ofBristish folklore• “The novel examines how individuals, most specificallyArrietty, grow and mature through their increasedunderstanding of themselves in relation to theirfamilies, their natural environments, and their pasts, andhow they create stories of their lives as part of thisprocess of understanding and growth.”
• December 10, 1903 (London, England) – August 29, 1992 (Hartland, Devon)• Educated in a convent school in London and was originallytrained to become an actress• Had two book series:• Bedknob and Broomstick• The Borrowers• In each of her novels she has the reoccurring story of a youngperson’s growth to maturity• Her works are bildungsroman’s, narratives of rites of passagethat belong to story traditions extending back to thefolktales, legends, and myths of most preliterate cultures
• Almost 14 year old Arrietty and her family (the Clocks)live in a peaceful, secret home made by items the borrowfrom the humans. Little do the humans know that theClock family is living under their floorboards. When anew teenage boy moves into the house life starts tochange when he sees Arrietty. In the mixt of him tryingto help Arrietty and her family, the crazy housekeeperstarts to get involved. Leaving the clock family with adecision to stay or retreat.
• Arrietty is the only child from the Clock family. She has amother and a father that love her dearly. During themovie we join in on Arrietty’s first borrowing. She is avery adventurous and very curious young girl. She isalways looking to try something new. You can tell shewants to provide for her family as much as she can andwill do whatever it takes to protect her family.
• Shawn is a teenage boy who is struggling with a heartproblem and his parent’s marriage is in turmoil. So heescapes to his mother’s childhood home in attempt torelax. You can tell he is very caring and respectful. Hetakes advantage of being able to take care of Arrietty andher family because he is always being cared for. Just anoverall mellow and sweetkid.
• Haru is the care taker of the house and of Shawn. She is arather grouchy and unhappy woman. . Haru is also theantagonist in the film. She has a constant suspicion thatborrowers exsist, and once she finds proof she stops atnothing to capture one.
• Pod is Arrietty’s father. Pod is a very quiet and goodtempered man. His wife – Homily – is a rather excentricwoman, so he balances out with her really well. He is agood father and provider for the family and knowsArrietty likethe back of hishand.
• Homily is Arrietty mother. She is the definition of what amother is. Very caring and loving towards herfamily, especially Arrietty. She is always worrying aboutArrietty and what will happen when she goes out intothe humans world. Her personality and emotions arevery animated. Shealways seems stressed.
• Spiller is a beacon of hope to the Clock family. He is thefirst borrower they have seen in ages and he also helpsPod home when he is injured from a borrowing. Spiller isan outdoor fellow and dresses like a caveman/NativeAmerican. He grunts and lives off the land. He is quitebut a good guy. The family trusts him on their journey toa new life.
• While there are many small themes in the movie the mostmajor, unifying idea is trust. Throughout the entirety of thefilm they are clear examples of trust. For example right fromthe start of the movie we see that Pod, Arrietty’s father, hascomplete trust in Arrietty and lets her go on her first“borrowing” with him. But what’s important is how confidentand brave Arrietty was because this could just be the mainreason the she was allowed to go on the adventure even at hermothers disapproval.• And of course another good example of trust in the film ishow Arrietty trusted Shawn with her and her families secreteven though she could have put her family in danger. We cansee even from this example how confident Arrietty really isand it pays off in the end because of the friendship betweenShawn and Arrietty he eventually helps retrieve HomilyClock, Arrietty’s mother, from Haru.
• The animation and film style in this film takes frommany different movies especially from other Japanesefilmmakers. This is because the director and animator ofthe film is Hiromasa Yonebayashi, he also directed andproduced the films Spirited Away, PrincessMononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo.• The plot of the movie is a classic tale of heroism but itdiffers from most films because the main character is theheroine and she is confident and courageous. Thiscontrasts some of Yonebayashi’s other works where themain character would either be a male hero like inPrincess Mononoki or a shy unconfident girl like inSpirited Away.
• The Secret World of Arrietty has a few culturalinfluences from Eastern culture. Particularly the faces ofthe characters have a very typical Japanese anime-typelook to them with large eyes and sometimes overexaggerated facial expressions. The film itself has adistinctive anime-style animation. In addition, Arrietty’sfather is the stereotypical hard working father who onlywants the best for his children, typical of Asian families.The architecture of the house and vegetationsurrounding the house also have an Asian feel to them
• While the Clock family has encountered numerous neardeath experiences throughout the course of thisfilm, they managed to get their things together and arrivesafely at the desired destination so that they can continueon the journey for a new life. They stick together like afamily should and continue through all the hurdles thatlife has thrown at them. Not only are the Clocks satisfiedbut Shawn is as well. He got to help someone for the firsttime and but their well being before his, and he got thesurgery and survived.
1. How does your opinion change on stealing or“borrowing” ?2. Have you heard any bedtime stories or folktales aboutlittle people?3. How would you react if you were in the human’sposition and you found little people living in yourwalls?4. If you were in the same position as Arrietty’s familyhow would you feel about borrowing and what wouldyou do about it?
• http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/420153/Mary-Norton• “Mary Norton” by Jon C. Stott• Pg 136• Pg 36
• http://muse.jhu.edu.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/journals/chq/summary/v025/25.1.hopkins.html (Have the downloadedPDF)• http://muse.jhu.edu.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/journals/chl/summary/v031/31.1omalley.html (Have the downloadedPDF)• http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/420153/Mary-Norton• “Mary Norton” by Jon C. Stott• Pg 136• Pg 36