Field of Dreams
Personal Lessons and Insights

January 19, 2003

"Is this Heaven?" "No, this is Iowa."


Brief Plot Summary

A man hears voices that command him to  build a baseball diamond in his Iowa cornfield.


Interesting Character

I thought the dual character of the old "Doc" Graham and the young Archie "Moonlight" Graham was interesting. When he first met Ray on his walk, he was able to explain how his dream of playing baseball was important on one hand, but was secondary to his becoming a doctor and serving his lifetime of patients. When Ray tried to convince Graham to return to Iowa, to "grant his wish", he said "No, I need to get home to my wife". He had realized that his life as a doctor was more important than his own personal dreams to play major league ball. While other characters in the movie where more agitated about the end of their time with 'the game' or other bad choices they had made in the past, Doc Graham was at peace, and could even tease Ray on the subject. Of course he still took his at-bat (got a sacrifice fly), and savored it, but it was just for fun, and not to resolve a life-long regret.


Interesting Scene

When "Moonlight" Graham chose to cross the dream field boundary to save the choking girl was very meaningful to me. Although it meant surrendering his dream, Graham's chosen life path was to heal the sick, and not to play ball. As he had already said, "If I had only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes, now that would have been a real tragedy". He had already made his personal peace with that choice, yet through the "field of dreams" he was able to get that "one at-bat" that he had wished for. Baseball was an episode in his life, not his life's meaning, and he had already come to terms with that fact.


Something this film made me think about.

The movie, by skipping forward and backward in time let us see (through fiction) a young man make a decision with the moral confidence of somebody that has lived their whole life, and at the same time see an old person get their 'one chance' to go back and live a missed moment. This was why the field of dreams was built, to let the young and old in each of us share some moment, so that we might peacefully make a difficult decision as a youth, and might savor the significance of that moment as only one who had lived a full life can do.

Original Web Upload January 2003
Last Update: January 19, 2003