The Analysis Of The Movie Field Of
Dreams In Relation To Human Development Essay, Research Paper
The movie “Field of Dreams”, demonstrates many issues, in regards to human development. Something can be taken and said about each actor’s character; from Kevin Kostner’s role, to his wife, his daughter, and even his brother, to that of James Earl Jones role, Doc and the rest of the ball players, and even the old men at the local farm store. This movie, which has an incredible plot and which was very successful, accurately portrays behavioral, mental, physical, and emotional/spiritual characteristics of each and every stage of human development.
The following is a list of character’s and their related stage of development. Related issues that were portrayed for each stage will be discussed.
The main character of the story can be considered to be entering the middle adulthood stage. This stage is characterized by child rearing, career success, and household management. This all boils down to becoming one’s own self, in the eyes of themselves, rather than through the eyes of one’s parents or society. All of this is seen in Ray’s character. He is the father, the husband, and the breadwinner. Then a voice comes to him asking him to do something out of the ordinary. Dig up his farm and create a baseball field. This creates a conflict within himself and his life. Creating this field will undoubtedly lead to a lack of corn, which will decrease his profits and might even cost him his property. On top of the possibility of losing his farm, the possibility of not being able to support his family is even greater. However, Ray decides to follow the voice, the dream, and the idea of becoming himself. In the end, things work out for Ray, he redeems his relationship with his father, his past, and lastly himself as both a father and as a man.
Annie is also entering the middle adulthood stage. However, her role is more concerned with the upbringing of her daughter and her duties as the housewife. A role not typical of modern day wives. However, she does play a strong role in the local PTA where she puts up a strong defense of Terence Mann’s book. In her character, the main issue is that of supporting her husband. This is an internal conflict for her, because of the reality of the consequences if things fail. However, she shows her support for her husband and tells him to follow what he believes, exemplifying the concepts of both intimacy and commitment.
Karin, the daughter of Ray and Annie, is considered to be in the middle childhood stage. The issues in this stage that are presented in the movie include moral development and self-evaluation. This can be seen in the innocent little girl who believes whole-heartedly in herself and in her father. This extreme level of faith is seen in her easy recognition of the baseball players, and her statement that “People will come.”
Terence is entering the late adulthood stage. He has become accepting of his life and the impact of his life on society. He also shows a stubborn side to the younger Ray, demonstrating his will to be left alone to reflect on his life and his future. However, he realizes that Ray’s dream and his own are one and the same; and that he too, must follow the dream. This causes him to redirect his energy and thoughts on new goals, which can be a scary thing to do at this stage in life.
Archie “Doc” Graham
Doc’s character is seen in different stages of development, throughout the movie. At one point, he is in the adolescence stage. It is in this stage that you see the budding young man trying to accomplish his goal of making it in the big leagues, his ideal career choice. To do this, he leaves home, which can also be portrayed as his trying to accomplish a sense of independence from his parental figures. This helps him to create an identity for himself. This concept resurfaces later when the young Archie has to cross the lines to leave his role and identity as a ball player to become the older “Doc”. This creates a conflict for him. He ends up giving up his dream of being a ball player, to play the role of his true self, the doctor, to save Karin’s life. By doing this he is showing an acceptance of his life and the role that he played. After which he returns to the field to enter into the corn, this time showing his acceptance of his death.
This movie accurately portrays the religious/faith aspect. This is done using all of the characters at different stages. It is also accomplished by the use of the dream/vision, the field, and the ball players. Behavior issues can also be seen when comparing the attitudes of Ray and his brother-in-law, Mark. They both want the same thing – for Ray’s family to succeed; but they have conflicting views of how this should be accomplished. The conflict ends when Ray opens his eyes and sees the meaning behind the field.
The whole movie, is one giant psychoanalytical assessment of human development, with special attention to the spiritual/faith aspect and ones’ achieving of goals. This movie helped me to understand the meaning of goals and dreams. I understand that at times in life it is necessary to follow ones dreams. At the same time, it might also be necessary to realize what ones dreams are; but also understand the need to make the right choice in ones life or career, even if that means choosing a path opposite of ones’ dream.