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  • Writer's pictureТимофей Милорадович

Movies and books can reflect the ideas / TOEFL essay

Question: Movies and books can reflect the ideas and the spirit of a particular period. What have you learned about a place or its people from watching films or reading books? Use specific examples and details to support your response.


Watching a movie may tell the viewer about the country in which it was made in a couple of ways. Primarily, he can see life in its natural environment. In addition, the viewer may understand the ideas the natives have about themselves. When he sees a movie, he gets complete information in unrehearsed form, leading to the ability to see how the people think about one another, and ultimately the viewer could integrate his ideas with those of the others.

The movie tends to relate information that is usually most effective to the viewer if it comes naturally. For example, the speech accent from a particular area of the country may automatically blend in with the script. If a movie is filmed in the northern part of a country where a particular accent is dominant, that accent may shine through with the extras in the cast. Also, depending on the type of movie it is, environment sometimes plays a giant role in depicting the daily life of that area. The Great Plains' region of the United States, for instance, relies heavily on the dairy industry for its capital. This may be obvious in movies set in that geographical location. Further, it is evident in movies set in the South that certain crops generate jobs, skilled or unskilled; create production for textile plants; contribute to the trucking industry; and sustain the economy in many other aspects, as well. This leads to the information the moviegoer gets about the people.

Many movies stimulate conversation about a topic, perhaps an event from the past, that opens up feelings that are usually avoided in textbooks. The southern United States again provides adequate examples. In order to convey heartfelt resentment that one group harbored toward another, writers will include disparaging remarks, disturbing scenes, and even value judgments in the plots

of movies. If the audience members watch closely enough, they can catch a wealth of information simply through the conversations. Plus, the movie producers and directors want to produce a lifelike situation, either to make a lot of money or to make a social comment. Consequently, the elements therein allow people to learn, much more so than by merely reading a book. These warrant some final consideration.

Close observation opens up new worlds in many ways. It can tell us things we would otherwise never know. Most often, we see more when we look and listen. Fortunately, movies give us that option, but it requires diligence.

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