“So it goes like it goes and the river flows
And time it rolls right on
And maybe what's good gets a little bit better
And maybe what's bad gets gone.”
These lyrics, which play at the beginning and end of Norma Rae, stay in my head as one of the final lingering thoughts that the film leaves you with: the vicissitudes of life. The cotton mill manages to get the “bad” out by unionizing so they will not be exploited by their owners and managers anymore. And perhaps the “good [that] gets a little bit better” is Norma’s new husband and the strength she finds as a leader of her mill’s movement to unionize.
Sally Field creates a fully-realized character with flaws and an indomitable spirit, which will inspire anyone, especially those who want to fight against injustice.