Impsons as Archetypes

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There are stereotypes of different people and beliefs throughout American's thinking. From early on we learn to associate certain cultural differences to certain individuals. The cartoon representations on The Simpsons are a perfect example of such associations. Each character from the long-running, prime time television show is an archetype of individuals in the American society. Homer, Lisa, Barney, and all the rest give us a look at what "typical" Americans should act like while, at the same time, critiquing their attitudes and behaviors. The Simpsons is not the average cartoon show. Although it features cute, animated people and many humorous situations it was not meant for children. This is how the show's writers can get away with such a complex stereotype for each character. Adults and in particular American adults will understand references made buy the characters, their actions and thought processes. When picked apart the main characters of the show, the Simpson family, each have their own Americanized attitudes, which when thrown together encompass the typical "nuclear" family. To set the scene for this example, picture a family of five, all doing their various daily activities: the little boy skateboarding around the neighborhood causing trouble, the little girl at school concentrating on her music, the mother and baby at the supermarket, and the father driving home from a hard days work at the plant. All of a sudden the viewer is in this family's house watching them flop onto the couch in front of the television and doing something to make you laugh. This is just the beginning credits from every Simpsons show. From the description given here, it sounds like a nice normal family but actually seeing the events transcribed here paints a very different picture. Each family member in the sequence does something stereotypical of an individual in America. Bart, for example, is getting into trouble, running into people on the sidewalks with his skateboard. His...
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