Pleasantville

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Pleasantville essay
“We accept the verdict of the past until the need for change cries out loudly enough to force upon us a choice between the comforts of inertia and the irksomeness of action,” - Learned Hand. During the 50s Hand was seen a defender of civil rights when subversion, the downfall or corruption of something, was on the verge of dividing the nation, also known as the Red Scare. So, this quote is relevant to the film, Pleasantville, directed and written by Gary Ross because not only was it from the same time period as the film, but it describes the choices that the public has when change presents itself. In Pleasantville, Gary Ross is trying to convey the theme that a figure of authority or a government cannot suppress or prevent changes in a society when it begins to take root. The archetype, wise fool, is used in Pleasantville to help communicate the political theme. The definition of the wise fool is the character in a story that pretends that he/she doesn’t know what is going on but really does, and in Pleasantville, that character is the TV Repairman, though he is somewhat of a minor character. This man comes at a time when David and Jenifer are arguing and don’t really understand each other at all, and with the intention to bring them together, pretends that he just happened to be around when the remote breaks. Throughout the story the viewer is made to believe that the TV Repairman only wants someone to appreciate Pleasantville like he does, when it wasn’t about the town at all, but about making the two siblings understand each other. Though the mayor is seen as the fist of authority in the film, on a grander scale, it is the TV Repairman who holds the most power, in that he ultimately has the ability to control the town’s and the sibling’s reality. As the TV Repairman continues to talk to David throughout the film, he demands that David and Jenifer leave Pleasantville because of all of the changes that they had made in the town. In these...
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