The house looks secondhand. It looks old and warn down, like they bought it cheap.
Then, Walter (Haley Joel Osment) also appears to be a secondhand kid. He does not seem to live the life of a normal child. He deals with his mom’s eccentricities and goes along with whatever she wants.
Then there is the salesman who brings the clay-pigeon launcher. He is kind of a secondhand salesman in that he has “been [there] before” trying to sell them stuff. He did his homework to “find that perfect item” that would attract their attention. He uses his experience with these particular customers to find what he thinks they need and want.
After they buy the “garden seed” from the salesman, they realize the seed is all “corn, corn, corn, nothing but corn”. The seed is secondhand trickery, tricking them into buying the same seed for each type of plant.
Next, they buy a lion they consider “a zoo reject” because she is old. Hub (Robert Duvall) thinks he is harboring an epic hunting trip, but it turns out to be a big bust because the lion won’t act like pray or predator; she just lies there.
The money is inherited by Walter secondhand. It is not the direct children who get the money or even other family members. Just Garth (Michael Caine) and Hub leaving the money to Walter makes it secondhand money. Also, if you believe the stories in this film, all the money Garth and Hub possess is secondhand because they stole it!
Everything about these men is secondhand. They receive everything after someone else has already used it: the kid, the lion, even the money.
This can be seen as a spiritual film.
As a teacher, I want to examine every way to approach any text, including movies.
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