The Cider House Rules

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1 March 2016

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“The Cider House Rules” is a very fascinating movie, adapted by John Irving. The movie was cast in the mid 1940s, shortly after the beginning of World War II . The movie revolves around an orphanage run by Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine), a good-hearted doctor, who not only procures abortion of unwanted children but also take care of abandoned infants into his friendly orphanage until the children become mature enough to be adopted. The Cedar House of Rules title comes from a list of rule and regulation found in the apple orchard. These are rule that are not established by migrants who are expected to follow and obey them. The title, however, serves as a metaphor from Homer’s situation. For instance, as a discipline, Dr. Larch expects Homer to obey the rules imposed on him by an outsider. Dr. Wilbur Larch ensures that the orphans in his orphanage are taken good care of as if the orphanage is their real home. In the orphanage, Dr. Wilbur Larch ensures that children are entertained by showing them movies, recites poems, read to the infants at bedtime and wishes them a good night, when the time comes for sleep. Nonetheless, the children in the orphanage appear very eager to be adopted. They keep asking themselves when their would-be parents will come to adopt them from the orphanage. Services at Odds

Two services are definitely absurd and at odds with each other in the movie. On one hand, the doctor promotes abortion of infants by mothers; while on the other hand, he offers a safe haven for abandoned children in the form of an orphanage. Nonetheless, the services can be made to coexist when abortion is only procured in the event that the mother’s life is at risk. Doing this shows that the doctor is concerned about the health and well-being of a mother and infant, the same way he does by running an orphanage that harbors children abandoned by their parents. Saving the life of a mother whose life is at risk is a form of humanity, just like an orphanage. Homer Breaks the Rules

Abortion has become one of the most contentious issues in America’s history. This is presented in this movie in a series of discussion between Homer and Larch. Homer is a pro-life crusader and believes in the sanctity of life. He believes that abortion is not only messy and goes against the sanctity of life, but also illegal. Despite his ethical stand on abortion, Larch teaches him how to perform abortion on women. The moral dilemma particularly comes out when Rose conceives and threatens to abort the child herself using risky methods. Cider House Rule’s presents this part as the most crucial moment in Homer’s ethical journey. This is because Homer has to decide whether to help Rose procure an abortion using safe procedures he leant from Larch or just allow Rose to go ahead and perform abortion herself and risk her life. The birth presented in the film changed Homer’s view about the world a great deal. This is brought out where he is forced to intervene and abandon his ethical stand on abortion to help Rose procure a safe abortion. When Homer agrees to help Rose, this amounted to a change in ethical stand as regards abortion. In addition, it showed that Homer had come of age and had to make decisions that sometimes go against his moral stand. Homer is forced to change his view after learning that allowing Rose to proceed on his own and procure unsafe abortion might put her life at risk.

Therefore, as a trained professional, he had to ensure that Rose procured a safe abortion by following the safe medical procedures. Homer broke the Cider House Rules when he decides to live with Wally and his girlfriend Candy after an abortion procedure. In fact, he went ahead to take up a job of apple picker on Wally’s family farm managed by Wally’s mother. Since he was trained to help in procuring abortions, his decision to work as an apple-picker goes against the rules of the Cider House. Personal Reflection

The story revolves around the need for family and purpose. In addition, it focuses on the need to allow women to make their own decisions about what to do with their body. One of the issues relevant to reproduction in the story is that women should be allowed to procure an abortion when their lives are at risk due to the pregnancy. Being a Hero of your own life implies succeeding in life, regardless of the challenges that might come along. For instance, Homer managed to make a hero of himself by being able to help women procure safe abortion despite being an orphan and not attending a high school education. The dilemma that Homer finds himself in, in regards abortion, relates well with my life. This is because, being a pro-life crusader, I would also find myself in a similar position. I strongly believe on the sanctity of life. Life, according to my belief, begins at conception.

Therefore, procuring an abortion is not only messy, but also goes against the Biblical teaching that prohibits murder. However, since my profession demands that I procure abortion, which is legal in the U.S., I will be forced to do it against my ethical belief.

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"The Cider House Rules" StudyScroll, 1 March 2016,

StudyScroll. (2016). The Cider House Rules [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 6 December, 2023]

"The Cider House Rules" StudyScroll, Mar 1, 2016. Accessed Dec 6, 2023.

"The Cider House Rules" StudyScroll, Mar 1, 2016.

"The Cider House Rules" StudyScroll, 1-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). The Cider House Rules. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

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