The movie, Pleasantville, had a large number of sociological theories and ideas expressed in very concrete ways. The people of the town were so obsessed by their norms that they were unable to function without them. It is a wonderful example of the functionalist perspective in action. I found it fascinating that the town was overwhelmingly concerned with “conventional morality which is based on right and wrong as embodied in social rules and laws” (notes). They never even thought to question what they wanted in life; their needs were not even a thought in their mind. The norms of this town were totally different than today’s society where violence, nudity, sexual conduct, and profanity are just part of everyday life. The normative order in this place was so in check that peaceful social control had been taken to a whole new level. Everyone was so afraid to rock the boat before the two new transplants got there that; social control had become an art form. The young man in the story understood the town's need for social order, but Reese Witherspoon, on the other hand, thought she would challenge their mores with her deviant behavior by introducing the town to sex out at Lover's Lane. She also was an agent of change with her own Mother, when she brought up the issue of sex and this concept was so foreign that she had to explain the process. You could tell that the mother was intrigued by the idea but knew that her husband would never agree to such an outlandish idea as this; for goodness sakes, they slept in two twin beds in the same room. Being the deviant that she is Witherspoon suggested that she could take matters into her own hands so to speak. These breaks from the norms that this town held so dear started to break out a rash of people seeing and being seen in color for the first time. Before Witherspoon's character came to this sleepy little town, there was no one to challenge the perfect little town's ideals and norms.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document