In the film “Il Postino” by director Michael Radford, the character Mario Ruoppolo is a functional illiterate whose life changes when he meets the recently exiled and famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Prior to the arrival of the poet, Mario leads a dull life on his island and according to tradition is destined to follow in the footsteps of his father who is a fisherman. Mario wants nothing to do with this type of life, so instead he takes on the job to be the personal mailman to Neruda. As time passes Neruda takes a liking to Mario and takes him under his literary wing. Neruda teaches Mario how beautiful the world of poetry is. Almost immediately Mario begins to see the world in a different light. This inspires Mario who improves his literacy skills to the point where he attempts to create poetry of his own to win over his love Beatrice. Initially his attempts at poetry fail miserably, but that is not the point of the film, especially since Mario dies tragically before reciting his poem dedicated to Neruda. The point of the film is really about how literacy can change a person's life for the better.
I believe that I can compare experiences in my life to those of the character Mario. I immigrated to the United States several years ago with little knowledge of English. Although being a college level student in Ecuador, the English I learned was rudimentary and not enough to enter college in the US. Instead I attended English courses for about two years and eventually qualified to attend remedial English courses at LaGuardia Community College. I feel that this period of my life is one which I can relate the most to the character of Mario. I really wanted to learn English, it was my dream. I knew that without a mastery of English, life would be difficult here in the US.
Like Mario who was mentored by Neruda, I was mentored by my first English professor Sue...