Pleasantville: Two Siblings Trapped in a Perfect TV Show

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1004 Words
Date:  2023-06-08

Pleasantville is an American film that is centered on the story of two siblings who end up trapped in a TV show. The show is set in a small Midwest town where everything seems so perfect, and everybody is welcomed. The film is about two siblings David and Jenner, who exist in separate schools and social environments. David is very much fascinated by the show Pleasantville. He is a very much introverted young boy who would rather stay in and catch up with the show, whereas Jennifer is a social animal who fun and enjoys being around people. They on the day found themselves in a fight because of remote control, a man mysteriously appears, gifts them a remote control which sends them to the Pleasantville world.

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In the old world where they were in, David was considered a loser who tried to be happy, but in this new Pleasantville world, a sense of contentment is filled. He is fascinated by everything and feels as if he belongs. The lifestyle in Pleasantville comprises predestined responsibilities within the community. The lifestyle can be described as that which is pure that the residents have learned to accept as their norm or reality. There is, however, a lot of ignorance, and restrictions such as those of expressing personal views. The residents are subjected to a form of conformity. This is a similarity in Plato's allegory of the cave with how, in both scenarios, there is a lack of personal opinions. When the two siblings enter Pleasantville, the world there is black and white- a symbol that signifies their blissful ignorance that the residents are caved in. After the two join the setting, the dynamics start to change. David immediately blends in the setting, whereas Jennifer cannot find her place, and desperately wants a way out. Things, however, start to change when new things such as intercourse are experienced in bulk or when Skip misses his first basket. The world then starts to change to a colored world. It signifies how people are becoming conscious of their emotions. It is also a symbol of humanity.

Just as how prisoners in Plato's book cannot continue with their blindness once they are enlightened, the residents in Pleasantville cannot en route to their old way of life. At first, when the two were transported to Pleasantville, they stirred the range from the residents who disliked a change in their ways of order. They entirely had to learn how to exist in a completely different environment while sharing their ideas and perspectives to the rest. Slowly by slowly, the town residents begin experiencing consciousness by getting in touch with parts of themselves. They had no idea existed. According to the dynamics of the town, once an individual explores their personal choice, there is no turning back. Since people in Pleasantville have discovered new things about themselves, they all run from the cave to gather more knowledge. The path to finding enlightenment was, however, not as easy as they anticipated. The two siblings Jennifer and David had a rough moment trying to contemplate leaving their masks behind. Pleasantville also has a hard time trying to gain new ways to view things.

The new consciousness that booms in the town, residents, begin to question how they were brought up. However, to completely turn away from the confinement in Pleasantville, an individual has to challenge the authorities and defy the black and white world that they were brought up in. It is this phenomenon that separated the light from darkness- the ignorant from the enlightened. Both sides were having a rigid idea of what the truth could be. The ignorant who see change as a threat to their values rejecting enlightenment and the knowledgeable choosing to embark in the search for individuality. As more and more people chose the path to self-realization, things between the two groups intensify, and a ban on the people of color is started.

Developing consciousness can be seen through the symbol of a double bed. At some point, residents of the town are seen paraded in front of a store that is promoting beds. The society in the town conformed to the idea of strict sexual ethics even in marriage as couples never shared the same bed. The full bed symbolizes diversity that is creeping in the town of Pleasantville. It shows how people are continuing to embrace change. Another symbolic scene in the town was Rain. As the film started, there was a thunderstorm. Also in Pleasantville, there was a thunderstorm that swept over the town that sees Jennifer discovering a book. Rain in the film was a symbol that signified the turmoil that was about to happen in the town.

The fire was used as a symbol in the film. In a scene where Jennifer confronts betty and tells her of the sexual encounters and masturbation, betty is seen locking herself up in the washroom and tries to have a taste of what she heard of. When Betty was about to reach climax, a tree outside where she caught fire. The fire here is only but a symbol of the sexual encounter that is more of an awakening and discovery to new dimensions. In another scene, David and his girlfriend Margaret are having some alone time. Margaret then offers him some fruits to eat. As he was enjoying the berries, Margaret talks to him about all the different types of fruits that are available in the town. Margaret goes ahead and searches for an apple and gives him a bite. The apple in this scene was a symbol that magnified the desire to change and explore.

David and Bill then team up to paint a mural, an action that sends them to trial. They stir up the desire to be free from societal shackles, and Eventually, the people in Pleasantville chose to leave the shackles of darkness. How everybody in the film had to overcome their fears and start their journeys to self-awareness is a masterstroke.

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Pleasantville: Two Siblings Trapped in a Perfect TV Show. (2023, Jun 08). Retrieved from

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