Jan 23, 2009

Creator of Peter Rabbit: Beatrix Potter

A5 Speech, Rebecca Chou  


This figure is well-known around the world like Disney cartoon characters but he is from England. A naughty rabbit likes carrot!  Maybe you haven’t read the book but you must have seen him before.


Peter Rabbit is one of the imaginary characters from Beatrix Potter. She was from a wealthy family but she had a lonely childhood as she didn’t go to schools. She stayed in the family with her different pets. When she was a little girl, she started to sketch her pets and that helped her to practice the drawing skills and be a world famous illustrator around her 30s. If you think she’s only a child book writer, you will be surprised to know that her contribution is much more important than doing that only.


She is from a traditional upper class family but she is economic independent and makes her own living. At that time, the mission of females is to get married and take care of her spouse and children especially women like her background. And the social status of them is nothing but belongings of their husbands. However, she never gives up her dream and finally she has her books published and after decades, they have been translated into varied versions. She learnt drawing from the nature beauty and developed the stories based on her surroundings, the countryside view of England. If we were her, maybe we just married to a gentleman under the parents’ and social pressure.  We may not fulfill our dream like she did. When we face difficulties, we may change our mind and try to get an easy life. I am also in my thirties now and I am still quite confused of myself and the future. I hope I could be as brave as her and find my way and go for it.


When she fell in love with the publisher, Mr. Warne and was engaged with him, the wedding never came true as he passed away in a sudden disease. She might be in huge grief but she wasn’t beaten off by the fate. I remembered when I first watched the film “Miss Potter”, I was sad to see this scene. She was so close to happiness but she lost it easily and she couldn’t do anything but just accepted it. Even though it didn’t say much in the movie, we can imagine how difficult to make our lives back to normal when someone we loved disappeared. She then became a farmer in the countryside and lived there as a normal person. A journalist would like to interview her so he went to visit her. She was busy in her garden and he asked her if she knew where the famous author lived. She said “You are looking at her so now you can leave”. She enjoyed her life and didn’t expect to grab other’s attention.


Before she died, she gave away all her property and lands to National Trust which is a private organization aims on preserving natural views in England to prevent further destruction from economic development. This is the reason why Lake District now is still famous for its beautiful landscape. Miss Potter or you can call her Mrs. Heelis, is like her story books. Simple person with enormous imagination and those cute characters always make you feel good when you are low.

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