Trip to Bountiful: What is your Bountiful?

Posted: December 11, 2009 in Uncategorized

This week for my American Lit. class, we were assigned watching the older film, “Trip to Bountfiul.” Perhaps you have seen it and if not, the plot simpyl put involves a lady who wants to return to her home town which now, no longer exists and because she is older, no one believes it ever existed. Thus, she seems a little tipsy to everyone around her. However, Bountiful is a real place, not only to Madam Watts, but also in the film, and also and more importantly, Bountfiul is a real place in everyone if we remember accordingly. The below is my one page response to the film. I encourage you at the end of it, to reflect upon your life and think about your ‘Bountfiul,’ and maybe you have more than one. Enjoy:

Trip to Bountiful
“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.” – Chaim Potok

Mrs. Watts’ longing to return home after roughly twenty years highlights an emotion which I believe resonates deep within each of us, only if we were to reflect upon some dear time in our life and remember it rightly. For the young and because they are young (myself included) we are feeble in our memory. Hence, we have not too many strong happenings in our life evoking emotion in our life to create a longing to return to that happening again and again. For me at the end of my time at Moody, Madam Watts resonates with me, for Moody is my ‘Bountiful’ and how I dear wish often I could return to the beginning of my time here at MBI, my Bountiful.
Jesse- May, that nagging cancerous daughter- in- law is nothing but the pressures of life which lead one to remember their ‘bountiful’ and long for it more and more. Sure, Mrs. Watts hangs her life, emotions, and everything upon one ideal to return to some place no one thought was real nor cared about, but for her it was her source of hope, keeping her peace and sanity (which is ironic because everyone thought she was crazy). As Christians one could easily look at Mrs. Watts’ longing to return to Bountiful as their longing to go to heaven and anxious longing for the new heavens and earth. This would align well, for as many people who did not believe Mrs. Watt’s Bountiful really existed, so too do many people disagree on the existence of heaven.
Regardless as to whether it is healthy for someone to hang their being on a want in life, which usually sets up for disappointment, we can nevertheless glean from Mrs. Watts that to remember rightly is important, and to remember from whence we have come as a person is crucial to understanding our tomorrow.
For example, look at Ludie, the son, throughout the film. He seems to be mildly sad. Sure, this may have to do with his real boss in life, his wife Jesse- May, but he has not remembered Bountiful like his mother and thus, he seems to not have much hope. It is interesting the only time we really see Ludie smile or have some peace is when early in the morning near the beginning of the film, Mrs. Watts, Ludie’s mother, and he are up early talking and she is reminding him of Bountiful.
Thelma serves as those people or things we hear about in life which make us think about our own Bountiful. Mrs. Watts even tells her that she is the daughter- in – law (or daughter) she never had and this she concludes after only having known her for a day or two while riding on a bus. Because our Bountiful is different from our current state, when we meet someone who if different than most and perhaps does or does not remind us of something about our Bountiful, we are drawn to them and are willing to become personal quickly with them.
The ‘Thelmas’ in my life are the under class- men who have often approached me for advice in life, and of those, many I see characteristics of myself, namely the want for an adventure and it is in them I instill what I may have done differently in life. Trip to Bountiful was amusing to watch, and for some reason, though this is irrelevant, it made me think of my favorite film, Fried Green Tomatoes.

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