Analysis of Edward Scissorhands

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In usual fairytale movies, filmmakers intend to make films that give happy endings with simple miraculous entertainments. However, in the fable movie, Edward Scissorhand, the director, Tim Burton, positions the viewers to understand the significant meaning of particular issues. “E.S” is can be seen as a story of stereotypical suburbia with social criticism. In this essay, starting from analysing this film and providing dominant discourse, the use of characters will be discussed followed by debate of technical and symbolic codes which help to put up the discourse. In particular, this essay will consider the technical code of camera angle and symbolic codes of colour which emphasize the dominant discourse.

The dominant discourse of Edward Scissorhand, namely conformity is carefully constructed by Burton in order to confront the viewer with an ironical aspect of being fitted in society. Firstly, for the first half of the film as Peg Boggs tells Edward that ‘blending is the secret’, viewers are positioned to feel positive for conformity with a perspective of blending in society can makes people’s lives easier and happier. Use of scenes of event such as barbecues and Christmas parties encourages viewer with comfort and peace of conformity. Secondly, as Burton presents a scene of housewives gossiping about the difference of Edward in early stage, viewers are position to be aware of that conforming into society can be dangerous. Then, from last half of the film, the viewers are positioned to view conformity negatively as Burton presents stereotypical image of housewives wanting nothing of Edward and eventually pushing him out of town, back to his mansion. Finally, the viewers are positioned to see the conformity negatively as a social cohesion turns people to a mob and throw-outs Edward from town.

Creation of characters like Edward, Peg, and Joyce helps out to make Burton’s points as use of these characters aids the construction of the discourse. Firstly, a mother...
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