Pleasantville Comparecontrast

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The movie Pleasantville was a commentary on the ideas of the 1950s. Throughout the movie, there are many parallels between the two. The Fifties were a time of normalcy and the desire to keep things they way they were. During the movie, the changes Bud/David and Mary Sue/Jennifer bring about are met with strong opposition. After the town rebels against the “Coloreds”, Betty Parker is almost raped because she was different from the rest of the town. The movie also touches on the gender roles of the Fifties. The movie, while a lovely movie to “veg out” and watch, has more than one underlying message to show that the 1950s weren’t like Leave It to Beaver episodes.

To the residents of Pleasantville, routines are things that are followed to the letter and never, ever, deviated from. One night, when Bud/David doesn’t show up for work, his boss doesn’t know what to do. He continues to do the first thing he does every day when he comes in- wipe down the counter. He doesn’t know what to do next because Bud/David isn’t around to help with the next step. Later in the movie, Mary Sue/Jennifer runs out of the soda shop with Skip to go to Lover’s Lane. Bud/David runs after her, leaving the store with only his boss to close down. That night, the boss shows up at the Parker house and tells Bud/David that he managed to close down the store without his help, and even did things out of order! The changes in routine and thought causes a different reaction in everyone. In some people, it causes anger because they don’t know what is going on. In others, it causes them to turn from black and white to color.

1950s society was not very different from that which was portrayed in Pleasantville. Teenagers began rebelling against “The Man” and acted out in ways their parents did not approve of. Shows like “I Love Lucy” and “Disneyland” became popular and many people spent a lot of time watching television. “Leave It to Beaver” first aired in 1957, and it portrayed the ideal family of the...
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