The Truman Show has a lot to say about the culture and society we live in today. It is one of those lot….. and we ended up with this presentation, where we shortly show how The Truman Show can be and the principals of Marxism person’s reality is constructed by how they experience and interpret their personal reality, and also believes that the outcome of your experience is not certain and universal but relative and incomplete.
It questions the rationalization of generally accepted ideas of certain groups, cultures, traditions or races and focuses on truths relative to each people. explanation for everything for everybody (Faith and Reason). 3. Why is Truman Postmodern? shows how each person’s world is relative to their experiences and interpretation of the world around them. person’s own reality and creates meaning for them. In order to do this, it creates a world within a world - an utopian like world within the movie.
And throughout the movie, it exposes the structures of this world. It is skeptical about everything in Truman’s world, including the media, the people he loves, his friends, the company he works for, his memories, his upbringing, his aspirations, his home and his habits. Through this perfect, constructed world, it tries to show how our own world is constructed similarly are constantly at work to create his world. . What is Hyper-reality? Hyperreality can be described as the failure of the consciousness to draw distinctions between reality and fantasy, especially in technologically advanced progressed postmodern cultures as we live in today. (Hyperreality. 2010) Cultural representations are not measured against a particular human reality, but become automatically accepted in the culture. representation, mirroring a articular real, but it is now a “model of a real without any origin” and that is the hyperreal. So there is no longer a real, and a representation, it is only the hyperreal that exists and alters the real (Baudrillard 1988). This hyperreal is produced from ideas from people’s memory storage and authoritative models, which allows the hyperreal to not make sense or be rational, because it is not measured against an original representation still leaves the real complete.
But because the simulation produces signs of the real, the real loses its meaning and can not be accepted as the truth anymore, because it can be simulated (Baudrillard 1988). This simulation with its system of signs has the ability to “murder” the real. In today’s world, people 2 think that a sign could refer to a meaning, and have depth of meaning. In other words, that the sign could exchange for meaning. that murders the real, because the real never has to be produced again (Baudrillard 1988). s relevant because of the sign exchange value. The one brand may show that the product is fashionable and the other brand advertises/sells wealth, thus consumerism can be seen as a important contributing factor to the creation of hyperreality. Hyperreality deceives the consciousness into breaking free from any real emotional commitment rather choosing false simulation and nonstop the temporary simulacrum of reality, rather than any affection on the “real” reality (Hyperreality 2010).
There are three orders of simulacra. and the simulacrum tries to portray an ideal image of the real. For example a painting, photoshopped image of someone, fashion, theatre. BUT the original still exists and exposes the fake The second order, the “Production”, dominant in the industrial era “up to the middle of the 20th as the original) but we can still distinguish between the real and the copy. The third order, in the present age is the “simulations”: they have no original.
They produce the model “of a real without origin of reality” and this produces the hyperreal. This is where the death of - hyperreality. Examples: virtual realities, Disneyland, opinion polls, media, “nike sneakers as status symbols”. (Mann 2010) 5. “The Truman Show” movie and hyperreality 5. 1 Why is TV a hyperreality The television screen is a hyperreality and I will explain how Baudrillard tries to argue this.
They weren’t necessarily an honest representation of reality, but they were honest about being based on a reality and we could distinguish between the reality and the representation (King 1998). For Baudrillard, with the television, a cultural revolution took place where the representations are not related anymore to a particular reality. Baudrillard argues that a live scene is still connected to a reality and can still be interpreted and compared to something real in order to show how incomplete it is.
But not with a television screen (King 1998). He says that the television blocks all interpretation from the viewer, because TV is automatically translated in the viewer’s mind. The process of interpreting, reading and participating is eliminated in “the hyperreality of television” because we are passive witnesses (King 1998). 5. 2 Why is reality shows and “The Truman Show a hyperreality? The reality show “The Truman Show” within the movie is a hyperreality, because it tries to be more real than real.
Reality shows in general are hyperrealities because of the fact that it claims to be 3 behaviour and the footage is always selective (King 1998). But, in “Truman Show” Truman does not know of the cameras and the footage is 24/7 playing. Does this then make the reality show “Truman Show” more real than other reality TV shows. No, because the people in Truman’s life (the cast of the Truman Show) know that there are cameras.
Also, the watching him, everything around him that makes him who he is, is part of a construction of the Reality show. So, when this reality show claims to portray the real of Truman, it kills the real (that is it kills the real Truman. When it asks the people watching “The Truman Show” to accept that what they are seeing is the honest and true life of Truman, it demands that the actual Truman, how he would be outside of this show, does not exist.
He can only be “real” inside this the dome which is Seahaven Island. It then kills his “real” ambitions, interests, fears and personality because it claims that only his ambitions, interests, fears, personality and ultimately Truman’s identity on the show is what is only real that exists. This is directly true for all of the people or the cast living with Truman in Seahaven island.
The cast does not have the same identities the moment they exit the show (or the dome that is Seahaven) - for example the wife is only his wife, while she is in truman show, outside the dome - who is she then? 5. 3 Why is The Truman Show, so appealing to the average person It is a reality show of a really average man living in a plain, average city or island. His life isn’t very exciting and consists out of the average events and mundane routines.
So why do the people keep on watching it? For Baudrillard, reality TV “increases our fascination with the obscene” that is the thirst for “the invasion of privacy” (Chin-Yi 2007) Baudrillard argues how reality television shows how people desire the display of banality or the cliche. There is this explosion of interest in daily life. People are fascinated with the pointless, mundane aspects and events of daily life on the TV, because of the boredom of our own lives.
When unplanned events, spontaneous and “authentic” and often showing unpleasant aspects of the person’s life (Chin-Yi 2007). as if they are really gazing at the people in the show and makes the viewer able to be part of the “production of meaning” of the show. This is used in Big Brother in the form of the participants’ “confessional diaries” and in American Idol when the public can vote to alter the outcome of the show (Chin-Yi 2007).
In the Truman Show, cameras are placed strategically so that, as in the Big Brother’s “confessional diaries”, Truman looks directly into the camera and makes the viewer feel as if they are really gazing back at him. Reality TV and “The Truman Show” operates as a perfect model. “The Truman Sow” is a representing a real world or place. It is made to be better, safer and happier than any reality - more perfect, more controlled. Show” believe that actual reality is elsewhere.
They watch with the idea that their lives is the real, the mundane and the Reality show is what they should strive to and what is more interesting. It is the 4 perfectness of the world, the orderlyness, the synchronization, construction that fascinates the people people switch on the TV and they can “become part of his life” or be transported into his life. This process murders the real of the people watching “The Truman Show”.
Because they watch “The Truman Show” with the idea that the boring, mundane world is the world they live in, it murders their own reality. Seahaven Island is actually the “real” world - a miniaturised, utopian “real” America, because it contains the ideology of America and what Americans hold high. It conceals that it is the real world and is therefor presented as a fake, safe, happier than happy place. The rest of the world is no longer real, because it is part of the “order of the hyperreal” - it becomes part of the simulation . Marxism Theory of economic management which results to the oppression of the proletariat, who ad up to the most of the world’s inhabitants and dedicate most of their life labouring for the advantage of the bourgeoisie. Marxism today regularly has more remarkable things to say about “culture, consciousness,” and associated problems that it does about economics (Berger 2005). There are a few basic principles of Marxism that comes accross in “The Truman Show” and can be used to analyse this movie 6. Materialism Marxist ideas are known as being materialistic. Marx underlined the connection between society and our consciousness. The mode of production is everything that goes into producing the necessities of material life as in economic relations, “labor, instruments, raw materials”, social structures that regulate humans in the production of goods, how we produce goods and what we produce;; this all determines our thoughts, our consciousness and how we express our lives.
So our social being comes before our consciousness (Felluga 2011). Marx suggests that there is an “inner logic at work” which means the economic system shapes So our ideas are not completely our own, but affected by the media (Berger 2005). his day revolves around his occupation. Obviously with the motivation to earn money, which is a of the morals and rules that is set up.
For Truman, this is also true because his public social image was constructed before he gained consciousness as a person. The moment he was born he was chosen to “star” in this reality tv show and from thereon everything in his life was previously determined and controlled by the creators of the show. with messages aimed at giving Truman certain ideas. These ideas help secures Truman in his world
And lastly, by setting up events in order to mold Truman’s fears and ambitions, one of them being an incident where Truman and his father sailed out to sea when he was small, and his father supposedly got swept away by the sea, which made Truman scared of water ever since. 5 to get to, we know he show has created his fear of water and his occupation uses this to gain control over him so that he would stay in his place.
Warts also mentions that the company is making cut than your teeth if you don’t meet your quota”- so here are limitations that is set up by his work, these a things he has to adapt with and determines the decisions he will make in future. These examples used in the reality show is symbolic for how the economic system and mode of production shapes our consciousness. The media also gives us ideas that shapes our lives. f the individual realizing how he is being induced with materialistic ideas and make contrasting decisions (Berger 2005). This idea is illustrated in multiple instances in The Truman Show where Truman suddenly starts questioning the intention of the people around him and the messages being bombarded at him. 6. 2 False consciousness and ideology wealthy and maintains them in their current ruling position and makes it hard for normal people to extend of false consciousness (Berger 2005).
In the reality show, Truman, trough-out his life literally accepts a false consciousness provided by the ruling class, in this case the creators of the show, that keeps him from realizing his real situation and maintains their superiority over him. Truman life is seen as the noble life,as his wife tells in her interview, as no different to real life and this must be seen as natural way of living, or the right way a family, pay your house mortgage and live a mediocre life. hese things are seen as the right and sensible ways of living but in the end only oppresses the proletariat leads to stand up to the ruling class. His life serves again as a symbol of how we are affected by ruling class ideologies that affects our “whatever is, is right” (Berger 2005). 6. 3 Alienation This term “alien” suggests a “stranger in society” that has no relation to anyone else.
This principle implies that the work is something outside of the worker and it is not a part of his/her of sadness,he/she is physically tired and mentally corrupt. This alienation causes them to view their work as work for someone else, and not their own work so that he belongs to someone else when he his/her sadness, with advertising it creates a desire to consume more, cause the people to work more intensely (Berger 2005). Truman experiences the feeling of alienation in his work.
His work, becomes the symbol of routine progression. Each morning plays out exactly the same: Truman greets the same people in the same spots, buys a newspaper, greets more people and walks through the doors of the insurance company he works for, all of this happens to the tune of classical music. Although Truman seems happy, he says things like “I’mnot that eager to get there” which suggests he also feels alienated by his 6 is distracted from his work.
His routine and his work serves to keep the people watching Truman, in their working class positions, to also work hard in order to consume. He doesn’t go on spontaneous vacations and when he tries they try to stop him. This also encourages people to rather stay where they are and work hard, rather 6. 4 The consumer society Advertising is important in the developed capitalist societies for the reason that is essential to encourage people to work hard so that they can spend more money to buy things.
Advertising maintain the consumer culture (Berger 2005). Advertising and product placement is used throughout The Truman Show, which creates the false need in people watching the show to buy the products in order to achieve the perfect lifestyle with work hard in order to buy all the things they see on the show. 6. 5 Bourgeois heroes: Heroic characters such as men, women and animals hat play roles in television series,comic books, are created to maintain the ideology of a capitalist society which helps to keep “consumer lust” high.
For people heroes are the role models that they can copy and which gives them identity. One of the concepts that bourgeois heroes promote is individualism, which has a link to alienation. For Marxists tough, the hero should be the p though he is part of the working class, proletariat, his image is marketed as someone who supports consumerism and is contempt with their everyday routines in life. These are characterizations of a ruling class ideology.
In other words, the way in which they market Truman Burbank as a person (which is not necessarily his true ideals) supports the ideology of the ruling class and help keep consumer lust high. to break out of the chains of the creater of the show, which is the symbol for consumerism and the ruling class ideas. In the scene where Truman is sailing on the boat, trying to sail away from his home, the show’s creator and his panel capture him in a “hero shot”.
This shot is contradictory to the way they have been promoting Truman before - someone who consumes passively and accepts their reality. The creator probably didnt think that Truman would really escape the dome, and would maybe sail out looking like a hero, but then turn around because according to the creator Truman “ultimately prefers his world”. person’s reality which is shown with the help of theories such as hyperreality and Marxism.
It makes us question our identity, desires and ideas and if we are ultimately shaped and controlled by ruling powers.
7 7. Bibliography: Baudrillard, J. 1988. Simulations and Simulacra. In: Poster, M. (ed). Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Chin-Yi, C. 2007. Hyperreality and the question of agency and the phenomenon of reality television. Felluga, D. F. 2011. Mode of Production (Marx) [online]. Available from: http://www. cla. purdue. edu/ english/theory/marxism/terms/modeofproduction. html [Accessed 5 April 2011]. Faith and Reason. Postmodernism [online]. Available from: http://www. pbs. org/faithandreason/ gengloss/index-frame. html. [Accessed 29 March 2011]. Hyperreality. 2010. Bookrags [online]. Available from http://www. bookrags. com/wiki/Hyperreality [Accessed 12 March 2010] King, A. 1998. A critique of Baudrillard’s hyperreality: towards a sociology of postmodernism. In: Philosophy & Social Criticism. Sage. 47-66. Mann, D. 2010. Jean Baudrillard: A Very Short Introduction [online]. Available from: http://publish. uwo. ca/~dmann/baudrillard1. htm [Accessed 29 March 2011]. 2008. YouTube. THE TRUMAN SHOW - HQ Trailer ( 1998 ) [online] Available from: http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=NkZM2oWcleM [Accessed 11 April 2011] 8