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Discuss Three Aspects Of Western Society That Have Been Ironically Commented Upon In The Episode Of The Simpson's, "Bart The Murderer".

1130 words - 5 pages

The Simpson’s episode “Bart the Murderer” iconoclastically attacks many elements of western society; however makes elaborated social comment on the recurrent themes of parental inadequacy, incompetence of law enforcement officers and greed. The episode follows the events of a unfortunate day for the protagonist, Bart Simpson, as he misses out on an ideal field trip to the chocolate factory after forgetting his permission slip. Instead, he is forced to lick envelopes all day for Principal Skinner. Whilst skateboarding home, Bart inadvertently finds himself at the Legitimate Businessman’s Social Club, the hideout of the Springfield Mafia. He is hired by the leader, Fat Tony, as a bartender, and gradually acquires more of the traits of those surrounding him. Bart’s father, Homer, approves of his son’s employers; however Principal Skinner goes missing soon after making Bart late for work. Police and the general public suspect that Bart and the mafia are responsible, as indicated by the rumour that “Bart had Skinner killed by gangsters”. Fat Tony’s gang uses Bart as a scapegoat, claiming him as Don. Skinner emerges just before sentencing, however, claiming that Bart and the Mobsters didn’t do anything to him, resulting in their release.The theme of parental inadequacy is explored in this episode through the character of Homer. Homer is stereotyped to be an unintelligent American father with the ironic inversion of parent-child roles due to Homer’s immature behavior. This becomes evident as Bart childishly hunts through a cereal box saying “looks like I've got me a genuine glow-in-the-dark police badge! Hey, it's not in here. You stole it!” Lisa claims that no one wants his “stupid” police badge, juxtaposed with Homer’s entrance and announcement of “Hey, look what I got! A genuine official police badge!” Ironically, Homer laughs to himself as he says "Calling all cars! Come out with your hands up!", however it is in fact himself that is the subject of the joke. Bart retaliates, saying “Hey, that's my badge, Homer”, with the use of his father’s first name intended to show Bart’s lack of respect and discipline. His father corrects him with “That's Officer Homer!”, again with dramatic irony presenting Homer as the source of humour due to his inadequacy.A hyperbole of parental ignorance is also portrayed in Homer’s interaction with Bart’s employers, the Springfield mob. Bart’s mother, Marge, takes the stereotypical role of concern when Bart confidently claims that he has a normal job “picking bets”, “mixing drinks” and “cutting cigars”, suspecting that he may be associated with criminals. Irony is presented as Homer skeptically claims that “A job's a job. I mean, take me. If my plant pollutes the water and poisons the town, by your logic, that would make me a criminal.” Marge...

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