Field of Dreams
Baseball is used as a metaphor in Field of Dreams (Robinson, Kindness, 1 989) to explain how the main character Ray Kindness attempts to reclaim his innocence. The All American theme of playing catch with your dad is re-visited and it is the premise of the whole movie.
The whole plot culminates at that one pastime that so many fathers and sons enjoyed. The viewer finds Out that Ray, and his father have never had a good relationship when Ray refused to play catch with him one day. They never reconciled their differences and Ray’s father dies.At this point in the movie, we can start to realize how important our relationships with our parents are. The expectations that we set for them as children are no where near what we achieve as we grow older. As a child though, we feel that our parents are invincible. We expect them to make everything work out the way we want it to.
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When they fail to do that we lose faith in them, and begin to push away from them not realizing that one day we will be in the same shoes. The saying “you’ll understand when your older” is a perfect reminder of what we can expect when we become parents.When Ray’s father dies he hears a voice say “if you build it, he will come. ” It was a subliminal message but Ray had visions of a baseball field in his head as he heard the voice. At first he doesn’t understand what it is all about, but he gives in to the voice and builds a field in his cornfield. Months go by and nothing happens, then one lonely summer night players from the 191 9 Chicago White Sox come out of the cornfield and start playing ball. As mind boggling as it may seem, the voice comes back and repeats the same message as before.
Ray can’t figure out who “he” is though.Everyone in his town finds him to be nuts- He learns that he will soon go bankrupt, if he doesn’t replace his cornfield. This is the point where Ray has the option to give up his dream. He doesn’t even realize that his dream is unfolding before his eyes. Granted it is hard to believe when deceased baseball players are appearing out of thin air, but Ray has to believe that this is real, to see this ordeal all the way through. His sole motivation is to find out who “he” is. The voice prompts Ray to find an old ballplayer named Archibald Controlling” Graham, who had been dead since 1972.
Ray sets out to find the author Terrace Mann, who writes about baseball players of the past The trip takes him all the way to Boston. Hear he tells Mann Of the rift between him and his father because he refused to play catch with him. At this point Ray is fully engulfed in finding out what he is supposed to accomplish. This is exactly what he needed to do though. By being fully immersed in figuring out this mystery, he has allowed his mind to believe what is happening, and if he rides it out he will find the truth. While Ray is in Boston, full fledged games are Ewing played at his field back at home.This is another affirmation that his dream is falling into place; this point of the movie represents him getting closer and closer figuring out who “he” is.
Ray travels back to Iowa, with Mann. When he returns he finds that he is bankrupt and that his house is being foreclosed. Mann tells Ray that spectators will come watch the games and pay admission so they can “recapture their innocence”. It is almost like Mann is a link to the past. The movie uses him to capture the surreal essence of baseball, the “good ole’ days” where the roots of baseball were born. Rays life is crumbling before his eyes.He put everything he had into finding his dream and it seems as if it’s too late.
It is at that point when all seems lost that Ray is rewarded for his commitment. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, a member of the 1 919 White Sox, infamous for throwing the World Series, says “If you build it, HE will come” and then points toward the catcher at home plate. The catcher removes his mask and Ray sees that it is his father as young man. Ray’s father starts to walk off into the cornfield with the other mystical players ND Rays stops him and says “dad” and asks him if he’d like to play catch.As this happens a line of cars can been seen, all waiting to see the game. This is the classic story of a man recapturing what he lost as a child. Even though it is fiction it is a reminder to cherish the moments we have as children, because we never get the chance to relive that again.
It also shows that parents are always willing to forgive their children no matter what. To people who watched the movie, and received the message, they realized that in order to achieve their dreams it is imperative to never give up, even when it seems that all is lost.