The Strenuous Life
A lighthearted spoof of family life and fatherhood. President Roosevelt, who had just won reelection, believed Americans had to lead "the strenuous life" (it was the title of one of his books) if the United States was to retain its position of world leadership. He also declared that married women of northern European stock had a responsibility to produce at least four children to prevent "race suicide." Porter combined these two elements into a burlesque: the father returns home as his wife gives birth and soon finds himself caring for quadruplets. Using a close up, Porter shows the father's initial expression of pride as he weighs the first baby, but this expression quickly changes to distress as the nurse brings in one infant after another.