Faculty Mentors

Dr. Megan Melancon


In this movie, Ray, the lead character, is a Berkley University graduate from the sixties turned corn farmer in Iowa with a wife and one daughter. Ray is afraid of turning into his father. He is afraid that he will live and die and never pursue his dreams. When Ray does decide to pursue his dreams, he does so believing that he is helping others and that he is doing it for someone else, but in the end, it is his own hurt and pain that he ends up reconciling and his own dreams that he fulfills. People remember the haunting voice out in the middle of the field saying, "If you build it, they will come." Others remember when Terrance Mann, played by James Earl Jones, stands in the way of Ray's van after a baseball game. Other people remember when Doc "Moonlight" Graham steps off the baseball diamond back into his old self to help save little Karen, Ray's daughter, who was choking on a hot dog. Everyone remembers the speech that Terrance Mann gives to Ray at the end of the movie, and they remember the famous line, "People will come." Why do these lines and. images burn themselves into our minds? How and why do they have this effect on us? Is it the words and actions themselves that effect us, or is it based on our own interpretation and understanding of the words and events? This movie speaks to the audience on a number of different levels, and these levels are not always clear or distinct. However, this does not mean that it isn't worthwhile to try to separate the various levels at which this movie speaks to us from each other and then to break them apart and see why they affect us like they do. To this end, the analysis of this paper will focus on the Terrance Mann "People Will Come" speech but will also include the scene in the movie leading up to the speech and some dialog after the speech's conclusion. The basic conflict lies in the fact that Ray and his wife, Annie, do not have enough money to keep their farm. In spite of this, Ray has built a baseball field after continuously hearing a voice say, "If you build it, they will come;" the field takes up a large portion of land which would otherwise be used to grow corn. Mark, Annie's brother and Ray's brother-in -law, is trying to convince Ray to sell his farm; Terrance Mann takes the opposite tack.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.