The Truman Show is a movie about a man who is held captive inside a world that revolves around him. Truman Burbank, the main character has been raised on a huge TV Soundstage filled with hidden cameras and actors who pretend to be his friends and family.
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This world is one where he is literally trapped in his own life by the surreal existence in which he has been forced to spend every day of his thirty years. Since the day he was born Truman Burbank’s life was controlled from a huge control panel in the sky; controlled by a manipulation of how life should be, in a perfect world. At the hands of such manipulators we see how the role of media in our world persuades us into living in a way that we would otherwise not intend to. It is quite often oblivious to all of us, the effect that media has on us. However, where ever we look the effects of media have altered the course of living. The clothes we wear, the sports we play, the music we listen to and our political opinions are all aspects that are influenced by the media. Advertising is the chief culprit in many cases. We often see others responding to the effects of media whether it is consciously or subconsciously. As victims of commercialism, we then respond to those who have been affected by media. An example of this is the clothes that we wear.
We see people on television and elsewhere, looking trendy and we respond to it by going out and aiming to look the same way, therefore buying the clothes. There are many devices that aid in media’s effect on people. Television, radio, newspapers, billboards; magazines and the Internet are all forms of media and they all are forever surrounding us. One or the other is sure to appease to most people’s tastes. Pessimism we can see is often a device of the media; it seems to attract much attention. Newspapers constantly thrive on human tragedy and pessimistic issues to create a public interest. Media is found wanting on many occasions. These pessimistic articles are only published to sell. However, what they do not realize is that behind these articles there are actually people who suffer, these people are tools of a money making scheme. This is also a good example of Truman’s treatment in The Truman Show. He too, was being used as a lab rat to make a profit. The Truman show distinctly reveals how we are forever surrounded by the manipulative effects of media and that each of us like Truman are held captive in a world that has been altered without our permission. We in our own lives are held captive to the effects of media. In every direction we move we will always come to a wall, some form of media or advertising will stop us and attract our attention. It is a reality that we are unaware of and we cannot escape.
Truman was cornered in a world that altered his decisions. However, in Truman’s case the media’s effect altered his decisions into conforming into a very narrow lifestyle. The media manipulated Truman into remaining in the one place for thirty years, creating phobias so that Truman would never try to escape the island. Many exaggerations were made in The Truman Show; however these exaggerations showed effectively how the media can create such an impact into altering the course of life. We in the real world, are much like Truman, held in captivity to this media influenced society. The silent, but deadly effects are evident and do pose considerable risk to our race. This is effectively portrayed in the movie The Truman Show, yet we still remain to ignore it, in ignorance to what is right and what is wrong in our society. Media has proved to have a negative effect, as it sometimes leads ordinary people into doing things that they otherwise would not have done without the influence of media. Media has the ability to train people’s opinions; this takes away the freedom we are born with, the ability to think for ourselves and to make objective decisions.
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