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The Truman Show is a comedy that is centered on the unusual life of the lead character Truman Burbank. Truman has been the subject of a reality show although he is not aware that his life is a fake. The show has been controlled since his childhood by the director Christof who is in charge of the grand scheme of manipulating the life of the young man in a way that convinces him that it is actually his real life (Null). Truman does not seem to come to the realization that his entire life is a lie (Null). The world has been manipulated in a way that shows everything to be natural and perfect in order not to arouse any form of suspicion in the life of the young man. The interesting parts of the film entail the suspicion by Truman that things around his life are unnaturally perfect.
The Awakening Process
Truman embarks on a journey of discovery, which leads him to the unsettling truth that his whole life is being controlled, as he was some kind of a guinea pig in a suspicious experiment. The process of awakening is invested with suspense and anxiety as the audience follows the painstaking efforts of a man who has to fight a war of discovering the truth. His eventual escape from the fake world redeems both himself and the audience from the horror of witnessing the stifling forces that have dominated the life of a hapless individual for an entire lifetime. The film incorporates both the elements of satire and comedy (Null). The satirical element of the film is situated in the fact that a sane individual could lack the mental balance to determine whether the world around him is real or not.
Critique of Existence
On this score this film could be considered as a critique of existence. The inability to conceive of reality around us hints at the dangers of blind and blunt impulses that prevent us from determining the exact nature of truth regarding the happenings around us. In some sense, this film celebrates the art of existence by warning of the possible perils that might befall individuals who want to take things around us for granting. Truman would have extricated himself from his situation had he applied the powers of introspection and deep reflections at an earlier stage of his life. The film also hints at the possibility of living in a private world that is sheltered from the naked truth of the outwards world (Null).
The substance of the comedy invites viewers to reexamine the world around them in an effort of reclaiming parts of truth that are hidden in the objects and associations around them. The underlying lesson is that the world could conspire to present us with mirages that pass for reality. Truman becomes a tragedy of human existence. He epitomizes the danger of illusions. The people around him are complicit in the grand scheme of sheltering him from the truth. The film adopts a critical view of the sense experiences, which often lead us into making certain perspectives that do not tie in well with reality. It might be argued that the film’s director also sought to critic the genre of reality television.
Reality in the life of Truman does seem to be perfect according to some laws of science or the cosmic order. The world appears to be very predictable and everything appears to fall into place. The film director attempted to create a world in line with man’s desires for perfection. It is this desire that manifests every time that Truman attempts some kind of an escape. Noticeably, the stories and fears that filter into the world of Truman are all designed to hold him back from desiring to stage an escape into the larger world. In this sense, the film mirrors the elusive desire for man to recreate the world on certain idyllic principles.
Critique of Reality Television Genre
The film appears to be a warning of the possible lengths that reality television might go in manipulating the lives of individuals (Null). There is a strong ethical dimension to this film. This is concerning the extent to which reality television might use the life of an individual or a group of individuals to reach certain ends. Analyzing the merits of this film from a moralistic perspective shows reveals that the film director attempted to direct some focus on the element of ethics in the portrayal and controlling the lives of individuals. It would be important to conceptualize the merits of the comedy in light of the arguments that have questioned the privacy of lives in the wake of reality television. Therefore, this comedy could be analyzed in terms of its possibility to warn of the possibilities of collapsing the role of reality television within the interests in humanity.
It would be important to consider the fact that reality television thrives on the possibility of portraying the uncensored lives of people. It would be dehumanizing for an individual to be exposed before millions of audiences around the globe without his knowledge or consent. The Truman Show depicts society as a complicated network of associations and discourses that may expire to construct individuals and groups into particular dimensions. This portrayal is important in revealing the fact that individuals are naturally products of the overwhelming influences, which operate at the levels of society. Truman is caught up in an intricate mesh of realities that determine his every action. However, the fact that he finally reaches the supreme moment of awakening means that it is possible for people to challenge the forces that dominate our lives through an active and thoughtful search for answers.
Society, according to this film, is not to be trusted at face value. People must learn to engage with the society in a manner that sheds light on the salient features that determine the kind of relationships that exist between them and the objective world. It would appear that this comedy invites viewers to develop a critical approach of reality. We must begin to question the legitimacy of everything that appears real and natural to us. People must seek to move beyond their adopted positions in order to discover how these positions compare with other positions that have been known to be true. The difficulties and the near-death experience that Truman faces in his attempt to escape are symbolic of the difficulties that people are likely to encounter in their attempts to flee from certain long-held positions in their search for the truth.
Metaphorical and Allegorical Dimensions
In one sense, the Truman Show could be considered as both metaphorical and allegorical. The artificial world in which he lives since childhood might represent the tendency of individuals to hold firmly one element of reality. The point that is made is that it is possible for us to construct a false world in our minds so that only the millions on the outside can perceive of our folly. The mental world will naturally prevent us from savoring or even being exposed to other possible worlds. The comedy also serves as a cautionary reminder of the possible prisons that may play out at the levels of the ego and the self. The false world might as well symbolize the possibility of people locking themselves in the prisons of the self so that alternative views are systematically restricted.
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