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The Truman Show Essay - 757 Words - StudyMode
On their first date they had gone to the beach and Sylvia had started to tell Truman the true nature of his life and how it was actually a television show; due to this she was briskly escorted out of his life with only ‘moving to Fiji’ as the explanation.
Elmer Davis, seeking to account for such sentiment in his recent book, But We Were Born Free, ventures a psychological hypothesis. He concludes, if I understand him correctly, that the genuine difficulties of our situation in the face of the power of international communism have inspired a widespread feeling of fear and frustration, and that those who cannot face these problems in a more rational way “take it out on their less influential neighbors, in the mood of a man who, being afraid to stand up to his wife in a domestic argument, relieves his feelings by kicking the cat.” This suggestion has the merit of both simplicity and plausibility, and it may begin to account for a portion of the pseudo-conservative public. But while we may dismiss our curiosity about the man who kicks the cat by remarking that some idiosyncrasy in his personal development has brought him to this pass, we can hardly help but wonder whether there are not, in the backgrounds of the hundreds of thousands of persons who are moved by the pseudo-conservative impulse, some commonly shared circumstances that will help to account for their all kicking the cat in unison.
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Harold soon developed models in his head of how to communicate with people and how to use others as tools for his own learning. Thanks to his mom’s attunement, he became confident that if he sent a signal it would be received. Later in life, his sense of security enabled him to go out and explore the world. Researchers at the University of Minnesota can look at attachment patterns of children at forty-two months, and predict with seventy-seven-per-cent accuracy who will graduate from high school. People who were securely attached as infants tend to have more friends at school and at summer camp. They tend to be more truthful through life, feeling less need to puff themselves up in others’ eyes. According to work by Pascal Vrticka, of the University of Geneva, people with what scientists call “avoidant attachment patterns” show less activation in the reward areas of the brain during social interaction. Men who had unhappy childhoods are three times as likely to be solitary at age seventy. Early experiences don’t determine a life, but they set pathways, which can be changed or reinforced by later experiences.
There is, however, a dynamic of dissent in America today. Representing no more than a modest fraction of the electorate, it is not so powerful as the liberal dissent of the New Deal era, but it is powerful enough to set the tone of our political life and to establish throughout the country a kind of punitive reaction. The new dissent is certainly not radical — there are hardly any radicals of any sort left — nor is it precisely conservative. Unlike most of the liberal dissent of the past, the new dissent not only has no respect for non-conformism, but is based upon a relentless demand for conformity. It can most accurately be called pseudo-conservative — I borrow the term from the study of The Authoritarian Personality published five years ago by Theodore W. Adorno and his associates — because its exponents, although they believe themselves to be conservatives and usually employ the rhetoric of conservatism, show signs of a serious and restless dissatisfaction with American life, traditions and institutions. They have little in common with the temperate and compromising spirit of true conservatism in the classical sense of the word, and they are far from pleased with the dominant practical conservatism of the moment as it is represented by the Eisenhower Administration. Their political reactions express rather a profound if largely unconscious hatred of our society and its ways — a hatred which one would hesitate to impute to them if one did not have suggestive clinical evidence.
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The intention of this essay is to discuss both films (The Truman Show, 1998 and Rear Window, 1954) alongside established theoretical criticism (Laura Mulvey and Norman K.
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