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Themes

  • Environmentalism: Hushpuppy and her teacher have a unique philosophy about the interconnected nature of the world, and respect for life and nature. The environmental impact of the storm is also an important part of the film.  
  • Historical Context: The film features a devastating storm and the aftermath of that storm, which is reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. This would provide an opportunity to discuss how communities were impacted by those storms. It could also lead to a conversation about the criticisms brought against the Bush administration for its inaction in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as well as the displacement of many of the people of New Orleans and surrounding communities and their continued challenges to this day.
  • Role of Government: The citizens of the Bathtub largely see the government as intrusive, and in a specific sequence are evacuated by force from their community. This raises some interesting questions about the role of government, and how well-meaning outside forces can be sometimes unwanted or unhelpful. 
  • Myth, folklore, magical realism: Storytelling also ties together the citizens of the Bathtub, and Hushpuppy’s own journey draws parallels to a mythic heroic quest.
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