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Being There By Jerzy Kosinski Essay

1049 words - 5 pages

In the short story “Being There”, by Jerzy Kosinski, there are multiple examples of satire that are displayed throughout both the book and the movie. A few of them are: media, death, politics, and racism. The satire of the media was very similar in the book and the movie. Media played a big role in society and still does to this day.
Kosinski uses Chauncey Gardner, the main character of the story, to show how media can affect a person. Chauncey loves TV and is always watching it in his free time. Today, that seems to be the most popular hobby that goes on within households. Adults, teens, and children are constantly watching TV. In some families, television is even watched during dinner ...view middle of the document...

The newspaper seemed to be a valuable piece of media for important information that pretty much everyone would read it to find out what was going on. Today, newspapers aren’t that common anymore like they used to be. Mostly elderly people read the newspaper and few other people who enjoy reading it in the morning. With our fast paced world, people don’t have the time to read the newspaper now. Television is a much easier way for people to find out important information in such a shorter period of time compared to taking the time to read multiple pages of a newspaper. Quite a few scenes in the movie also showed the newspaper being read. In the movie, Chauncey’s secretary would always tell him about the newspapers he was in, but he wasn’t interested and wasn’t able to read anyway.
An example of satire that was displayed differently in the book and movie is death. In the book, as the Old Man gets older, he becomes bedridden due to his broken hip. Eventually when he dies, he is carried out on a stretcher. Even though no funeral is held for him, it’s different compared to Ben Rand’s death. Ben is constantly on medication and trying to live as much of his life as he can, and he fears leaving Eve alone when he dies; death is a common fear that many people have as they age. Most people worry about leaving their spouse behind, as Ben had felt. When Chauncey comes into the Rands’ lives, Ben starts to accept the fact that he’s going to pass, and he feels better that he knows his wife will be in good hands. Kosinski does well in portraying the feelings and fear of death that many people go through as they start to age.
In “Being There,” Kosinski makes Chauncey a simple minded character whose statements are interpreted as major political pronouncements by political leaders, such as the president and Russian ambassador (Brown). Chauncey is literally speaking about the garden while everyone is quoting him, thinking he...

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