Juno Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What makes Juno decide not to go through with the abortion?

    Before Juno walks into the abortion clinic, her classmate Su-Chin tells Juno that the baby already has fingernails. Juno thinks this is weird and goes in anyway. However, as she is filling out her form, she starts hearing fingernails tapping and being chewed, and all she can think is that her baby is alive and real, and she cannot go through with it. While the film does not take an active stance on abortion, Juno has a personal experience of realizing that her baby has fingernails, which makes her not want to go through with the procedure.

  2. 2

    What is the significance of the seasons in this film?

    Cycling through the seasons is a representation of the seasons of life and the stages of Juno's pregnancy. The film begins in Autumn, which is a season typically known for things coming to an end before winter, and we see this between Bleeker and Juno before she becomes pregnant. Just as the season is changing into winter, however, Juno is getting more pregnant, and her life starts to get more complicated. In spring, the conflicts come to a head and Juno goes through some real challenges with Mark and Vanessa and with Bleeker. By the end of the movie, it is summer, a season of full bloom for Juno and Bleeker's love and for the life of the baby, who is now in Vanessa's care.

  3. 3

    Why does Juno choose not to look at the child once he is born?

    Juno decides to not look at the child because she knows she is giving him away and may never see him again. If she looks at him there will be a connection far deeper, that will make both of their lives more complicated. For all of her naivety, Juno is wise and pragmatic about her pregnancy, and is confident in her decision to hand the baby over to Vanessa. Juno chooses to finish out her own childhood, rather than giving it up to raise a child before she is ready.

  4. 4

    What role does humor play in the film?

    The film is filled with jokes, quips, and witty one-liners. This is in large part due to the fact that Juno is such a quirky and humorous mind, and her unique perspective makes her almost immediately charming and endearing. Additionally, many of the people around her—like Bleeker, Leah, and her family—share or complement her humorous perspective. In these parts, humor serves to subvert the viewer's expectations about how a film about teen pregnancy might unfold. While we expect more tears, confrontation, and drama in the revelation of an unwanted pregnancy, the characters in Juno have an unexpected candor about it all that exhibits their charming resilience, and keeps things fun. When things begin to get dramatic later on, it is all the more emotionally affecting because the film has otherwise been so funny.

  5. 5

    Is Mark the antagonist? Is there an antagonist?

    If one has to pick an antagonist in the film, it would be Mark, because he causes a great deal of pain and conflict in the process of the pregnancy and adoption. However, he is not a traditional antagonist, in that he is not actively creating the conflict of the film, which is simply the complications of an unwanted teen pregnancy. Mark makes some huge mistakes, such as not speaking up about not wanting to be a father, and crossing inappropriate boundaries with Juno, but the film also humanizes him and shows his perspective, even if he is not a good guy. Mark is portrayed as an ex-cool guy who is incapable of growing up. Fortunately, his mistakes don't have too bad of an effect, as Vanessa is able to move on, and Juno gives her her baby to raise by herself.