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Norma Rae The Movie: a Detailed Analysis

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The movie Norma Rae is a typical underdog story. the main character, Norma Rae, works to get the textile factory she works at unionized. Before the thought of unionization Norma Rae was a single mother, still lived with her parents, and was in an abusive relationship with a married man. After befriending the new union leader, Reuben Warshowsky, she begins to demand respect and change within the workplace. Although newly inspired, Norma Rae faces many consequences during her attempt at unionization. These consequences included being arrested.

In the movie, Sally Fields plays her part as Norma Rae very well. She convinces the audience that the workers union is very important to Norma Rae and that change is her new passion. There was no point of the movie that I had to roll my eyes at bad acting, which I usually end up doing a lot while watching older movies. Even in the scene where she is being dragged from the factory into a police car, she is able to maintain her role and convince the audience that she is scared of what will happen to her.

In Norma Rae, Beau Bridges played Sonny. Sonny was an old friend of Norma Rae’s and a very flat character. They got married to make it easier to care for their kids and afford living. I feel like Sonny was a very unimportant character in the movie. He is supposed to be Norma’s supporter but that role was taken by Reuben Warshowsky. Sonny was just there in the background to yell at Norma Rae every time she did something he didn’t like. Although he showed that Norma Rae had moved on from her abusive relationship, he really wasn’t needed in the movie.

Reuben Warshowsky, played by Ron Leibman, was an extremely important character in the movie. Reuben was the union leader who first met Norma while asking her father if he could rent out a room. Throughout the movie, Reuben and Norma became very close and worked together, at great personal risk, to unionize the textile factory. Reuben passed out flyers and held meetings to circulate knowledge of the union. He made it clear that anyone, no matter what race or religion, was welcome in the union. Aside from his work in the union, he help Norma Rae find herself and do what was right for everyone.

My favorite scene from the movie was the scene where Norma Rae stood on a table in the factory holding a sign that said Union. She was silent while holding the sign but all the workers got the message. One by one they all turned off there machines. This was my favorite scene because it portrayed the power of a single woman. No one believed that she alone could make a change, but she did. This scene also showed that violence is not needed to get what you want. Norma Rae’s silent protest got her more than a violent one would have.

Something that was very disappointing about the movie was what happened between Norma Rae and Reuben Warshowsky. Even though Norma Rae was married, there seemed to be something going on between her and Reuben Warshowsky throughout the movie. It ws a disappointment at the end when he decided it was time to leave. And he left with no hug or kiss or revelation of secret feelings for Norma Rae.

Overall, the movie Norma Rae was the perfect drama with the theme of finding yourself and doing what’s right.

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Norma Rae the Movie: a Detailed Analysis. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from
“Norma Rae the Movie: a Detailed Analysis.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
Norma Rae the Movie: a Detailed Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Jan. 2022].
Norma Rae the Movie: a Detailed Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 12 [cited 2022 Jan 26]. Available from:
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