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Pleasantville Essay, Research Paper

If you think about it, today’s world is not such what we call “user-friendly” place.

Unemployment, severe diseases, global droughts and other dreadful natural disasters that

are about to happen to our lives. Even better, the more time passes, the more chances you

get to face them in the future. But what the heck, everyone will eventually face all of those

problems one day. Danger, devotion, abomination, curiosity, and alterations are always

present in our lives. You might think that Pleasantville is pleasant. Well do I have some

news for you: nope. The name “Pleasantville” is just a simple irony that’s all.

In Pleasantville, everyone is so empty in their minds. For instance, every character

always did the same thing over and over. It’s like everything falls into the right way that it

should be. The basketball players always score, the wives are always cooking and taking

good care of the husbands and children. Husbands are working, children are little precious

angels who never get in any kind of trouble. No worries, no problems, just plain good

stability. There is no wrong for them because everything was in sync.

It would be really tough to adjust to that kind environment where everything

becomes dull and unbearable. No color, no fire, nothing exciting except the way Bud made

every shot to the basket without even trying to. No changes what’s so ever.

As soon as the characters saw changes, everything was getting completely

different. Not like the Pleasantville that everyone new. Color, was the main

transformation. All of the sudden things turned colored. Why? Because of the changes that

were not supposed to happen in that town. Then people turned color. Why? It’s a mystery

for the audience.

Some people from the audience say that the characters turned color because they

felt some extreme feeling towards something, someone, or even themselves. Like the other

scene where Betty was in the shower. Now that was a real knockout, wasn’t it? All of the

sudden she saw many colors, and then another major change happened: fire. No one saw

fire before in Pleasantville except David and Jennifer. And all off the sudden it was like a

chain reaction, change after change after another change.

Other audience say that the reason why people changed color is because of an

alteration or a small shift in their lives. Again Betty for instance, she fell in love in

someone else. A small change in her life cause a small displacement in Mr. Johnson’s life

which turned him colored.

When some people became different, in color wise, than other people, prejudice

originated in town. All of the sudden you see discrimination such “No coloreds” sign were

seen at some stores. That cause a major crisis in the city. Violence, fights, jealousy and

abhorrence among the people towards each other. That symbolized to show the real life in

1950’s unlike the “pleasant” as it seemed on the television.

If you ever saw a movie “Matrix”, “Pleasantville” actually reminds me of it

somehow. Where people take things for granted, where they don’t question their existence

and where they live in a life which is made up especially for them. In that life, some details

are absent. For instance, since no one went to the bathroom in the show by the script, the

toilet bowls were not there. Since “safe sex” was suggested in the show, a man and a

woman had separate beds. No one had sex before, until Mary Sue came along. That

harlot. She was actually the main reason why people turned color.

While Jen and David’s visit to Pleasantville, the people learned a lot. Experienced

different things that they never had been. The “in sync” system fell apart completely.

People started to read books. They never could of because they were blank and all of the

sudden they filled up. People started to question a lot: “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”,

and “Where am I going?” That has turned them completely independent of and to

everything. They became curious, a lot of questions came up to their mind. And the best

thing about it is that they did it on their own and without a script.

So why did the people turn color? No one actually exactly knows, but they can

guess. So how pleasant is Pleasantville? Or should I say WAS. People are subject to

change, they can’t live without it. It becomes boring to them. No one considers boring

pleasant. But being excited to live the next day not knowing what’s going to happen next

to their life is like gamble…pleasant.


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