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Identity Conflicts - Research Paper Example

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This paper is about a black-and-white suburban community that celebrates traditional values and practices. This film explores the conflicts and issues of race, gender, civilizations, and identities, using different lighting, shots, and cinematography techniques. …
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Identity Conflicts
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"Identity Conflicts"

Download file to see previous pages The colorizing effect of the movie is considered as a “racial metaphor” (Johnson). This conflict has been resolved when people realize the essence of accepting changes, especially when it concerns multiculturalism. Man versus himself is also a conflict in the film, such as when Mary Sue grapples with a new identity. She resolves this when she accepts the new her- the “self” who wants to study and know more about the world. The conflict of “man versus society” arises, because of the conflict between the traditional Pleasantville values and new, radical values. The people resolve this by also accepting the existence of a new, pluralistic world. The film uses several symbolisms to depict internal and social changes. One of the symbols of internal change is the use of the mirror. During the hearing of Bud and Bill’s graffiti, the mayor becomes colorized. Betty throws her facial powder mirror to Bud and the mayor “sees” that he also changed. He has felt anger, which is an unpleasant emotion. Another symbol is the burning tree. This tree burns after Betty reaches her first sexual climax. The tree stands for the tree of knowledge, because Betty learns about sex for the first time. For Pleasantville, sex is a sin and when Betty sexually gratifies herself, she partakes in this sin. When the tree burned, she achieves freedom from the norms and the will to pursue individual changes. The rain with bolts of lightning symbolizes social changes. The storm acts to clean away the Pleasantville’s superficiality. It is ironic that the rain is washing away the “purity” of Pleasantville, which is also its impurity. After the rain, the teenagers all turned into color; because they felt what it is like to be free and to...
This work helps the audience relate to the characters, because it depicts various gender, racial, and identity issues. Pleasantville conditions people to think and act as “one.” The lower classes in the film are the colored ones. A civilization is the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species. The film shows, however, that this utopia is false. People should accept that they can change, as well as others too.
Afterwards, while Pleasantville people are experiencing changes, combinations of black-and-white and colored are used. Ross employed framing to explain how people see themselves and others and how they relate to other people too. The editing and change of scenes hasten as Pleasantville “changes” increasingly.
The diegetic sounds are used mostly for Pleasantville before the changes in the people. Non-diegetic sounds are more added, because of the impact of external changes on the people. Weber depicted a multicultural society, where people accept different forms of personalities. Pleasantville is also transformed to a multicultural identity. Pleasantville transforms from a single culture to a multicultural society, when people learn to accept social and individual changes as part of reality and human nature.
The implicit content of the film is that people are not always ready to acknowledge and accept changes. “Pleasantville” underscores that people should learn to accept the existence of different, even conflicting, identities and cultures, because in reality, people are not black or white, since they also have their own individual and cultural identities. Ross questions traditional ideals that reinforce tyrannical control. It tells people that utopia is not utopia without free will. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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