MovieChat Forums > The World According to Garp (1982) Discussion > The girl with the glasses: What does she...

The girl with the glasses: What does she represent?


I still don't understand the girl with the glasses and the brown hair who is apparantly named "Pooh". She seems more like a symbol than a character to me. What is she supposed to represent? Why does she keep ruining Garp's life? What is wrong with her?

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It's explained in the book more. She is the little, brat sister of Cushy, the girl he plays with in the beginning and "attempts" to have sex with when he is a teenager. She just doesn't like Garp. But at the end, she is an Ellen Jamesian - and he wrote the book about Ellen and the people who started a group in honor of her, which the Ellen Jamesian's did not like. So she had another reason to hate him.

I could've sworn in the movie though, right before Garp gets shot, that he says "Cushy!", not "Pooh.!" - did I hear incorrectly?

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What does she represent? A b*tch.

I figure she was probably pissed because Cushy was pretty and she was all dorked out. I don't know how anyone could hate Garp, he was totally loveable.

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Nope, he definitely says Pooh.

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It's been awhile since I've read the book, but I also think Pooh blames Garp for Cushie's death. They don't show this in the movie, but Cushie dies giving birth. If I'm correct in my memories of the book, Pooh saw Garp as sort of the reason for Cushie's early sexuality which, in her mind, transcended into her untimely death that had resulted from her having sex.

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Eh, without getting too much into the book(which I never read) or into psychology, etc. All I can say is the thing with Pooh as related to some of my experiences so far in life, is that certain people for whatever reason just bear incredible grudges or hatred towards certain other people.

She disliked Garp as a kid, disliked him even more for whatever reasons or motivations that she had as she grew older, and flat out had black filled hatred towards him at the end. The explanations some of you gave sound too fancy and over the top.

Just chalk it to the fact that Pooh hated Garp and was a troubled kid,. You don't go ahead and do what she did at the end and still be called sane or 'resentful' Really. I don't think too much should be read into it, but I guess people will go on and do that.

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Well, in Irving's book, he explains Cushie's hatred in a way that can't be translated into film. Like I said in my first post, she really felt he had inadvertently killed her sister. She blamed him for her early sexuality, for her sexuality, period, and for her death.
Aside from this, Irving makes mention repeatedly of her instability. She was the prototypical "weird" child who turned into a deranged adult.

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Having just read the book (finished it about two hours ago) I am going to support your comment that Pooh sees Garp as the reason for Cushie's death. Not an "over the top statement" just what is written in the book. At Jenny Fields' funeral Pooh sees Garp who shouldn't be there (no men allowed) and starts yelling at him (this is before she became an Ellen Jamesian). What she is yelling is "You *beep* my sister to death" over and over as he runs out of the building.

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I agree with you; Pooh hates Garp because she sees him responsible for Cushie's death.

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You heard incorrectly.Before he was shot he said"Pooh".

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I guess that she represents hatred towards Garp. I don't really beleive, though, just why she hates him, she just does. One of the things that has always pissed me off about the movie is that Pooh ALWAYS gets away with her crimes against Garp, and I do beleive that in a way she is one of the movie's villains. (Spoiler here) When she shoots Garp at the movie's end she is shown tackled by the boys Garp is coaching and that's it. I just wish that director Hill would have shown - at least in a brief scene - of her being thrown into a police car handcuffed or even hogtied screaming all the time to show her insanity. I mean we know she will be going to the chair for this crime because she has basically killed Garp in cold blood. But it would have, at least to me, given the ending a little bit of closure concerning her if they would have shown her getting some kind of comeupence instead of showing nothing.

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Well life doesn't work that way. Men and women will always be enemies over the silliest things. Jenny field was murdered not ever having the love of or from a man by a man who hated the way she was changing women. Garp was murdered knowing and feeling love from a woman something that his killer will never know, just like his mother.

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"Well life doesn't work out that way" (iamcool316)
Your right, but in the movies that is. In real life it's a different story (don't you ever watch America's Most Wanted with John Walsh?). I don't care what you say, Pooh should have had some kind of comeuppance!

I don't apologize. I'm sorry, but that's how I am. - Homer Simpson

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I've seen the movie a few times and read the book (a long time ago).

I think Pooh is the female counterbalance to the guy who shot Jenny. No doubt it's a battle of the sexes and some people hate the other gender. Maybe she didn't like the way her father treated her mother, maybe she was abused by a caretaker, or maybe she was just born that way. I think Pooh never liked Garp, right from the start. Remember, when Garp and Cushie are in the bushes, she points it out for Helen.

Just as Jenny's book pissed some people off, Garp pissed some people off. Pooh didn't even start as neutral toward him.

Maybe she crossed the sanity line when he bit the dog's ear off?

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A lot of good points here.

It's worth noting that she never sees Garp sympathetically, and in a way, always sees him at his worst.

Children form grudges over things we take for granted. I kept thinking in the first scene that maybe Pooh had a crush on Garp but Garp preferred her sister, so she resented him and her affection turned to hate. Or, even without the material from the book, she sees him as taking her sister away -- perhaps she feels neglected when her sister wants to play with the boys and not with her anymore.

So we've got:
1) anger toward Garp over her sister
2) biting off a piece of her dog's ear
3) leading one girl on but then trying to sleep with another
4) writing an anti-Ellen Jamesian book, and
5) sneaking into his mother's memorial service

Add it all up and her view of Garp is composed entirely of negatives.

My only foible with the movie is the seeming inability to unite the sexes and calm the severity, but maybe the film is saying that once extreme views take root, they can't be undone, and the end result can only be violence.

Dave

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I thought she represented death. She always seems to be near by but rarely addressed(like death). She is always watching and waiting for an opportunity, of any kind(Dog, Blowjob, funeral).She nearly kills him at the beginning of the film using Bonkers and smiles about it. I think even how the assassination played out was death like. No matter where you go or what you do Death will find you when its your time. Also He addresses her before she shoots. It's as if he was saying hello to his old friend death.

We know death was something that always weight on his mind. When he loses his first story in the wind he even says. "Men in my family die young." His son reminds him on Halloween by saying the only thing bears fear is death.

I've only seen the film once and I haven't read the book. The car wreck kind of screws up my theory but metaphorically it works I think.

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Sounds like a personal problem to me. No, really.

I think it's funny that misogynistic men generally refuse to consider the very distinct possibility that the rejection they get from individual women is personal and against them specifically and not all men in general. Predictably, they prefer to pretend it's the fault of "man-hating feminazis" instead of realizing that what they put out there they are merely get in return.

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Nice imagery. Do you kiss your mother with that foul mouth?

The movie makes it pretty clear that she's angry and unbalanced from childhood. You can blame it on the extreme causes she was drawn to (and "feminazis" or any women who find misogynists repulsive) OR realize that there are some people who are born not right in the head.

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I think she represents irony. Or maybe her evil sister sarcasm.

For god sake she's named Pooh! The whole movie was wonderfully absurd and even though it got darker and more mature towards the end this is kind of in the "spirit" of the story. *beep* happens. Her mother killed by a crazy Misogynist and him killed by a crazy Misandrist (Misandristress?)

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I'd say she's supposed to characterize radial politics. In the book Garp is rescued by Ellen James after his mother's funeral and (upon learning Ellen has no family or friends) offers her to live with the Garps. Ellen becomes a poet writes a blisteringly nasty essay against the Ellen Jamesians. The Ellen Jamesians fight back against the woman they claim to stand with. Garp, feeling fiercely protective of Ellen James, writes an essay in her defense. This sets up for an intense hatred from the Ellen Jamesians that Garp (already considered an enemy) has corrupted Ellen James with his domineering masculine ways.

In the end, Garp's murder is the end of the Ellen Jamesians. They quietly go away.

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Garp’s guilty conscience? She appears at times when Garp feels he is not living up to Jenny’s high ethics and is somehow letting her down. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen this but that is the impression I got. Pooh appears, Garp starts self-doubting his actions, whether its impulsive teenage sex or writing a book that takes down Jenny’s ardent followers, the Ellen Jamesians

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