The movie Trip to Bountiful

In the movie Trip to Bountiful, Carrie grapples with her identity and self-concept among several occasions. Initially, the movie almost seems to project Carrie as having all odds against her; her son Ludie consistently aims to control Carrie’s life, often in ways that result in the restriction of her identity and self-concept by surplus safety and a lack of initiative to care for her as a person. Ludie and his wife put Carrie’s physical health before her own actual interests, most prominently exemplified by them denying her and trying to stop her from visiting her hometown, Bountiful. Carrie responds to these threats with what can be summed up as almost rebellious behavior; setting out to take care of her personal needs herself.
Towards the resolution of the film, Carrie finally reaches her hometown to find that it resembles a ghosttown. In the years she was gone, the population of the town migrated and ultimately abandoned Bountiful. The climactic reveal of Bountiful and its withered state pose likely the biggest threat to Carrie’s self-concept of all – The place she came from and those she wished to see were gone. The origin of who she was and sought out was shown to have been lost with age. Unlike previous challenges in the movie, Carrie handles this threat to her identity with reflection and acceptance. Although Bountiful was far from what she wished to see, her wish being fulfilled sparked new potential and energy for the present. The hopeful ending in which Carrie seems to be heading towards a better, more cooperative life with her son and daughter-in-law suggest that Carrie ultimately accepted that her identity and self-concept are shaped from her past, but do not rely on it.

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