Places in the Heart
Starring: Sally Field,
Lindsay Crouse, etc.
Director: Robert Benton
Year of Release: 1984
Video Release Date: October 9, 2001
Set in 1935 Waxahachie, Texas, this story shows
how determination and hard work can overcome overwhelming
odds. Alone and broke on a small farm during the Great Depression,
the recently widowed Edna must rent a room to a blind boarder
and hire a wandering black man in order to stave off the bank
and feed her kids. The black man knows how to grow cotton,
but when the bottom falls out of the market, their only hope
is to win a bonus by beating all the other farms in a race
to see who will be able to bring in their crop first. Meanwhile,
storms, exhaustion and the KKK stand in their way. Things
go from bad to worse, but it is when they look darkest that
Edna’s doubts about her capabilities diminish and she
finds a hidden reservoir of conviction and fights off despair
only to come out shining on the other side. At the end her
self-esteem has grown immensely.
Notice how Edna faces many overwhelming challenges
after her husband died. With strength, courage, and determination
she is able to master these challenges successfully and change
her view of herself.
- How did Edna first think negatively
- How, do you think, was she able to let go of her self-doubts?
- Imagine yourself as Edna when she let go of her negative
- What distorted thoughts about yourself are dropping away
as you “become” her?
- Do you believe that your situation is too overwhelming to
ever get a handle on it?
- What are the influences in your life that seem overwhelming
- Do you have some control over simplifying your life?
- Would exercising some of this control you can make things
- Or do you have to face these challenges as Edna had to?
- Can you see her as a model and find the samestrength, courage,
and determination inside yourself?