Days of Heaven is about a young couple, Bill and Abby, and a young girl Linda, living at the beginning of the twentieth century. Wanting to escape the poverty and hard labor of the city, they travel south, to find employment on a farm in the Texas Panhandle. When the harvest is over, the rich farmer for whom they have been working asks them to stay because he has fallen in love with Abby. Bill is given an opportunity for a better life, when he discovers that the farmer is seriously ill and convinces Abby to accept the farmer’s marriage proposal so that they can take the farmer’s wealth. When the expected death fails to come, jealousy and impatience set it. A classic love triangle with disastrous consequences ensues, ending the lives and dreams of characters. The search for a better life and a place to belong must begin again.
In Day’s of Heaven characters are not developed through dialogue, rather their qualities are developed through the use of images or objects that relate to their character. Little is actually said about what the characters are thinking, but a great deal is shown in the way they act, with things and other people. It is through these interactions that characters are developed and their thoughts and desires are shown.
Abby struggles to accept her life with Bill. She is constantly plagued by the hopelessness of her circumstances and the dreams and desires she had to leave behind. In a scene in Days of Heaven, Abby dances in a wooded forest for the farmer. She tells him that at one point she could have been a dancer. Later in the film, Abby is shown practicing some dance moves alone beside a phonograph when Bill returns to the farm. She seems calm and happy as she dances. Abby is finally beginning to enjoy her life, a life she had always wanted. Unfortunately, her dreams are quelled again when she sees that Bill has returned. She is standoffish and seems unhappy about his return.
It is easy to say that not being a dancer holds a great...