The Addams Family is actually about the importance of books.
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and . . . book-y? Yes, the Addams Family may have a monstrous manservant and a severed hand for a pet and a high-pitched mop of a cousin, but today I’d like to turn your attention to the fact that they’re also a bunch of book lovers—just like you and me. I recently watched the hit 1991 film, The Addams Family, for the first time (I know, don’t @ me!) and I was utterly delighted by the film’s underlying message, which is obviously that books are magical and transportive.
Firstly, they’ve got a gorgeous, dusty library filled with leather-bound books (practically mandatory for any creepy mansion owner). And what haunted library would be complete without a trap door? (See: books can take you places.)
And as we learn from this scene in which a shifty loan shark mistakenly opens up Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, books have the power to blow you away:
They are a wonderful resource, a valuable guide from which we can learn new skills.
And if you find the right book, it can be a balm for bad days. It can warm your soul, as Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises has done here.
The film also strongly emphasizes the importance of family reading time. These are valuable teaching moments!
Let’s not forget the scene that promotes theatre as a way to bring literature to life (or death). Thank goodness for Uncle Fester, who helped these kids learn their Shakespeare and get the special effects down in time for the school play.
Of course, books can also be used as our strongest weapons. In this pivotal scene (spoiler alert!), Fester fights off the bad guys with this book about a hurricane. Was The Addams Family trying to tell us that we need to arm ourselves with knowledge to fight the bad guys and stop climate change? Not no.