Personal Narrative: Bring Me Back To The Marx Brothers

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In middle school, I took part in an essay competition where we had to write about one of our strongest role models—who they were, what they did, and how they had influenced us. Other students wrote about Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, George Washington, etc. I, the youngest of five sisters and one of the quietest people in the school, chose Harpo Marx.

I did not win the competition—to be honest, my essay wasn’t very good, and I knew that, even at the time. I had bigger, better things to worry about, though. I was taking swimming lessons, and was terrified of discovering a shark in the deep end. I was making little hats for my dog Alexa, which she did not appreciate. I was busy working on a clay chess set in art class, and learning how to garden with my grandmother. I’m getting off-topic, but my point is: I didn’t need to win a competition or write an essay to feel validated. I was learning who I was, and what was important in my life. Which brings me back to the Marx Brothers.
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We’d go over to his house most mornings during summer vacation, and watch Philadelphia Story, The Thin Man, or His Girl Friday. My favorites, though, were the Marx Brothers’ films. Duck Soup. A Night at the Opera (my personal favorite). Animal Crackers. I can’t logically explain why I found these particular movies so hilarious and entertaining—there was something about them that not only made me laugh, but made me happy. Now, of course, watching those movies again, I’m reminded of those summer mornings, and of being surrounded by the people I loved, unconcerned with the world outside, that adds another layer of appreciation and

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