In the film Spellbound, there are many themes that are may seem evident, and then there are those which are underlying, but just as significant. One palpable premise is the levels of intensity in terms of support, studying, and the general environment from the parents. For example, Neil had a very concentrated father who was constantly involved in preparing his son for the spelling bee by being his tutor and providing him with heartening words. April's parents expressed their inability to meet with their own friends because they were so consumed with helping her study. On the other end of the spectrum, Ted's parents seemed somewhat supportive, but did not show too many signs of encouragement or assistance with studying or training. Another theme some might argue is that this spelling be is a form of child abuse. It could be thought that the parents are pushing their kids to hard to win. Instead of the spelling bee being a friendly competition, it could turn into something that weighs own on the child with the feeling of potential disappointment from parents and perhaps a loss of their own self-assurance.
An additional theme is the way the children were presented in their school and social life in, for lack of better terms, a nerdy way. None of the participants are made out to be relatively popular; their interests are depicted to be more unaccompanied and considered somewhat out of the ordinary for kids their age. April's activities were shown being done by herself, and her mother even stated that April often was teased for being so occupied with spelling and studying. In Ted's case, his teacher commented on how he had not been able to adjust well to the new school and kids, and she also conveyed that his interests were different from his peers. One of the last subject matters had to do with the places and settings in which the interviews and commentaries took place. In Neil's case they tended to show expensive cars and homes, which gave an impression of a...
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