About the film Norma Rae, this was said: "She stood up on a table. She's a free woman."  How is standing on a table freedom?

1 Answer | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

When the protagonist of the film, Norma Rae, stands on the table and writes the word, "UNION" on that piece of cardboard and shows it to all the workers, it is a pinnacle moment.  Her standing on the table and displaying through silently active resistance the need for her workers to join her in the union movement helps to transform their reality from what is to what could be.  The act of standing on the table and displaying her beliefs to all is the ultimate sign of dissent and resistance.  It was a moment for Norma Rae to transcend the economic conditions that locked her fellow workers into silence, to go beyond the socially dictated beliefs that women could not be active agents of their own personal and professional destiny.  The statement's assertion of her freedom is accurate in the fact that Norma Rae indicates that individuals cannot possess freedom unless they have some control over their lives.  Norma's desire to have her other workers share in the union cause reflects this demand of autonomy in her own consciousness.  Standing on the table and displaying it to all is a moment of profound personal and social change, from bondage to freedom.

We’ve answered 318,050 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question