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Norma Rae

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The film about Norma Rae was very interesting and inspirational. The film took place during the summer of 1978. Norma Rae was one of the many people who were victimized of unfair wages and poor health conditions, from working in a textile mill. Norma soon became conscience of all the negative actions, and joined a laborer union. The union provided a better life for the workers, and she did everything in her power to prove that statement. Her determination and stubborn personality lead to others considering the great possibilities. At the termination of the film Norma Rae was arrested for disorderly conduct. She was accused because she stood on top of a table with a sign that spelled union. Only good came out of her actions, for the workers one by one turned off their machines. I enjoyed watching the film, Norma Rae. She was a very brave woman for standing up to what she believed in.

The book explains the movie with a lot of positive and confrontational observations. The book states, "It confronts viewers with a realistic vision of an exploitive work system, prompting sympathy for the victim" (Toplin p.204). Norma Rae is not the actual name of the woman who took part in the fight for labor unions. Crystal Lee was the woman who had a significant role in the union victories. The movie makes Crystal Lee (Norma Rae) seem as if it was mostly her who took part in the battle for unions. Despite her powerful aggression towards the subject the book describes it being much more complex than the movie portrays. In reality there were many other people who contributed to the union victories, and it was not only one textile mill that fought. This process also took many years to complete, and the movie suggests that it took place over such a short duration of time.

The union struggles began in the early 1970's. The movie came out in 1979, and one year after it was released the president of J.P Stevens signed a statement agreeing to allow union representation. All of this happening in our history contributes to other issues such as, race and woman's rights, which both the book and the movie talk about. In the movie I don't think the health issues are shown to the extent of reality. Workers died all the time from various different reasons. Black lung was a main cause of death. Injuries happened constantly and the workers didn't make enough money to pay for hospital bills. In the movie Norma Rae's father is suffering from a heart attack during work, and his manager would not allow him to take a break. This was a clear example of the unfair treatment that went on through out the mills.

The story about Crystal Lee was put into production through the movie Norma Rae. Although the movie was close to the truth it also did a good job with mixing fact with fiction. Lee played a large part in our history and is recognized still to this day. She was a very promiscuous woman, and the movie makes it seem like she was the only women like that. The movie also twists around the story leaving out important details. It is not half as detailed



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