The Truman Show Analysis

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The Truman Show
The Truman Show presents to us that the media can be very controlling and influences our lives. For example, Truman lives a perfect and happy life. This way of life is supposed to be the “American Dream” and the media is advertising this perfect life to the public. The media influences our lives in many ways such as magazines, T.V. and radio.   The media wants us to live our life in a certain way. The media sets many expectations not only to how we live but also how we look, such as size zero models being promoted which increases the amount of people desiring to be thinner. Truman shows this because his life is manipulated by the media through a universe of illusions pulled over his face; where nothing is real but he believes it is not only real but true. Truman is a happy person who lives the life of a well put together American. He has been chosen as the star of a media show because he was up against four other unborn babies that weren’t wanted by their parents. Just so happened he was born first. He doesn’t know about it because everything in his life is controlled within the world’s biggest media studio ever. He is influenced by the media by emotional manipulation and his actions are controlled. The town in which Truman lives, Sea Haven, is a giant dome decked out with high tech simulations of sun and sky, in which the rain and wind are courtesy of the special effects department. Truman alone has no idea he is in a giant TV studio, as the rest of humanity watches him from one staged situation to another. He is trapped in his own life, held down in the surreal existence in which he has been forced to spend the last 30 years. A non-stop telethon of reality programming lets the audiences enjoy his most intimate moments. This “prison” that Truman has been placed in allows us to identify with him, because we feel his emotions, we follow his struggle for freedom and privacy, friendship and love, and his search for truth, in a world that he doesn't understand. We follow him through the death and re-surfacing of his father, his battle to discover the truth and ultimately his journey for freedom, where he finally realizes the deceit in the life he has been leading, and comes face to face with harsh reality. We experience his emotions in intimate close ups, tension filled moments accompanied by heartfelt music, and in times of great intimacy, special effects are used to heighten emotions. All these techniques enhance the relationship we have with Truman and the emotional responses this evokes, which allow us to identify with him.

The Truman Show conveys the negative consequences of restricting the freedom of an

individual, namely, Truman. We are presented with a world run by big business, shown through the

manipulative character of Christof. We are positioned in opposition to Christof as he is focused merely

on the ability to make money. In comparison, we sympathize with Truman as he is depicted as merely a

pawn in Christof's game. We are shown that every attempt to escape is blocked by malevolent

simulators and high tech manipulators intent on keeping him inside. This is where values regarding basic

human rights are explored; the fact that Truman's life lacks vital elements - freedom and privacy. He is

stripped of this, as he is watched 24 hours a day, seven days a week and his life televised as a form of

entertainment. This allows the audience to become very sympathetic towards Truman and identify with

him through various technical codes. The scene in which Truman tries to escape contains action-filled

shots in which he comes up against the barrier of defense in the form of a wall of fire; and the contrived

radiation leak in which Truman's frantic efforts to escape are foiled by the people who block him. The

use of close ups of Truman's distressed face and the suspenseful music, emphasize Truman's

desperation; as to create a...
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