Norma Rae Essay, Research Paper
It is easy to see why the film, Norma Rae, received great praise at the time of its making. Sally Field gives a heartwrenching performance, providing a realistic portrayal of the shockingly oppressive working climate of the blue-collar worker. This is an older movie, thus sustaining the elements of the ‘Hollywoodism’ that are prominent now to a minimum. Nevertheless, the director successfully portrayed reality through exhibition of a certain culture, language, gender roling and other imminent aspects of life. This movie is not a thriller or an action packed flick, which would make it a Blockbuster hit now, but instead a great unfolding story with fantastic character development and acting.
Norma Rae could be looked upon as a controversial character, due to her overtly rebellious behavior and spicy ideas. Every one of her words is filled with great meaning, though it might not be apparent to the immediate ear. Through a suburban, uneducated, loose woman, great depths loom into the lives of tired and overworked people. There is a part in each of us that desperately wants to find the courage to unreservedly stand up against those things that keep us prisoner in this world. Therefore, as Norma Rae stands up to her oppressors in the middle of the mill, facing her fears and the fears of hundreds unspoken souls, your heart extends to her and you certainly feel her struggle.
The culture that is presented to the eyes of the viewer is a conglomeration of behaviors, practices and thoughts that constitute a specific social existence. Deliberately, the director created the character of Reuben as a man of different values and life style. The separation of the two cultures draws significance to their distinct contrasts; inadvertently creating mis-en-scene.
This movie inspired documentary images in my mind; a wholehearted look into the pain and struggle of a subculture that had no one else to help them except themselves. Norma Rae?s ideology differed greatly from the ideology of her family, friends or the society in which she was born and raised in. The film provided a didactic approach to cinema, teaching and moralizing its audience. Reuben was brought into the plot to show Norma Rae, the heart of the town, the value of life and all its possibilities. He saw the people of the town suffering from alienation, losing every sense of them selves to their oppressors. In the theories of Karl Marx, this sort of patterned behavior and thought process would classify under the term ?Das Kapital.?
The movie Norma Rae is an implicit film, filled with conflicting ideas that are presented by the antagonist and the protagonist. Consequently, the finale of the convoluted, unfolded story reaches a happy ending. Unfortunately, this occurrence did not take place without personal struggles and bating. Norma Rae as a woman, a mother, a daughter and a wife was tormented by the system and its unfortunate advocates. She was a woman who was not afraid to take a stand and voice her opinions, regardless of the controversy that they advocated. Her endogamous nature prevails as millions of ideas come forth and dominate the society.
Gender is another prevailing theme that is reoccurring in this film. As a woman, Norma Rae encounters many more double standards and boundaries than she would if her gender was different. Her private life is pick apart by complete strangers, whereas that part of her life would not be centralized if Norma were Norman. It was a great victory and an unusual victory for a woman in the suburban south to have accomplished great hights as Norma Rae did. She created an image of a strong woman who could be a role model for many women, regardless of age, race, nationality, or sexual preference.
As a strong woman, Norma Rae opened doors for all kinds of people living in her town and out. Sally Field filled her role with perseverance and courage, inspiring all to stand up and form a union, literally or connotatively.