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Dr. Wilbur Larch (Character)
from The Cider House Rules (1999)
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[We see Homer writing to Dr. Larch and hear the words in his voice as we are shown variously relevant scenes]
Homer: Dear Dr. Larch. Thank you for your doctor's bag, although it seems that I will not have the occasion to use it, barring some emergency, of course. I am not a doctor. With all due respect to your profession, I'm enjoying my life here. I'm enjoying being a lobsterman and orchardman. In fact, I've never enjoyed myself as much. The truth is, I want to stay here. I believe I'm being of some use.
[We hear the words Dr. Larch writes back to Homer in response]
Dr. Wilbur Larch: My Dear Homer: I thought you were over you adolescence - the first time in our lives when we imagine we have something terrible to hide from those who love us. Do you think it's not obvious to us what's happened to you? You've fallen in love, haven't you? By the way, whatever you're up to can't be too good for your heart. Then again, it's the sort of condition that could be made worse by worrying about it, so don't worry about it.
[the back and forth correspondence continues interwoven with scenes from Homer's life at the time]
Homer: Dear Dr. Larch, What I'm learning her may not be as important as what I learned from you, but everything is new to me. Yesterday, I learned how to poison mice. Field mice girdle an apple tree; pine mice kill the roots. You use poison oats and poison corn. I know what you have to do. You have to play God. Well, killing mice is as close as I want to come to playing God.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: Homer, here in St. Cloud's, I have been given the opportunity of playing God or leaving practically everything up to chance. Men and women of conscience should sieze those moments when it's possible to play God. There won't be many. Do I interfere when absolutely helpless women tell me they simply can't have an abortion - that they simply must go through with having another and yet another orphan? I do not. I do not even recommend. I just give them what they want. You are my work of art, Homer. Everything else has been just a job. I don't know if you have a work of art in you, but I know what your job is: you're a doctor.
Homer: I'm not a doctor.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: You're going to replace me, Homer. The board of trustees is looking for my replacement.
Homer: I can't replace you. I'm sorry.
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