Volunteers: Movie Analysis

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Volunteers is a great movie for depicting the situations that may be faced in volunteer work. Tom Hanks was irritating, in a good way, in protraying his role as Lawrence Bourne III. Lawrence is someone you can call a selfish, arrogant, happy-go-lucky guy. He likes to gamble with money that he doesn’t have and depends on his father for support. He seems to be an intelligent man considering that he graduated from Yale University, but his actions as irresponsible. Prior to graduation, his roommate, Kent, encouraged him to join the Peace Corps to Southeast Asia but Lawrence mocked the idea. Due to a tight situation brought about by his gambling problems, he was forced to join the Peace Corps to get away from the people he owes money to. His father…show more content…
It is mainly because Tom Tuttle, portrayed by John Candy, wanted to cut down trees which the village considers sacred. They firmly resisted the idea as they don’t want to anger the spirits living in them. Considering the circumtances, I believe the reaction of the villagers are valid. It’s just like At-Toon said, they “have a certain way of doing things”. In my opinion, it is imperative that the volunteers learn about the community’s culture and tradition first before making certain changes. Volunteer work should be based on what the community needs and the way to understand that fully is to talk and be acquainted with the community. More importantly, it is a way of showing respect. Every community is different, and in the case of the movie, Lumtah is on the other side of the world. Lawrence, Tom, and Beth came from America which is a modern, progressive country while Lumtah is a secluded village in Thailand which inherits traditional Southeast asian culture. They could have perceived the barriers that they will…show more content…
The most important of all is the language barrier. She may know a few words but creating sentences that makes sense is a bit lacking. She also has trouble connecting with the villagers. These obstacles created a misconception on the villagers’ side that makes it more difficult for Beth to get the participation of the community. All the same, she never gave up. She kept on trying that shows her genuiness in what she is doing. She mingled with everyone and did her part in helping in whatever she can help with. She didn’t even bother doing work that men usually do. In the case of Lawrence, when he finally became motivated to build the bridge, he used At-Toon’s help to translate the plan and explain the benefits that the community may get from building the bridge. He also explained how the bridge can be a symbol of pride. His tactic was very effective because finally, the villagers of Lumtah were able to understand their goal and what brought the Peace Corps in the
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