Power Of The Individual Die Welle Pleasantville

1548 words - 6 pages

The conflict between individuality and community has been on going, and perpetually changing for as long as humans have had able-minds to process thoughts, personal desires, and beliefs. These two terms are social constructs that categorize people and how they interact with one another -- more importantly how they, themselves, ideologically view the world. According to Webster's Dictionary the definition of An individual is a single human considered apart from a society or community and community is a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests, and perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists. The films Pleasantville and Die Welle show the power struggle and repercussions that face community as a whole. In both films, individuals catalyst a change throughout the community, that in turn, ends with overwhelmingly negative consequences.The movie Pleasantville depicts a lifestyle where individuality is non-existent, and the cliché status quo of the 1954 nuclear society is preached, and epitomized. The streets all lead to the same place, the books all tell the same story, and each and every roll is carried out exactly the same way. The community of Pleasantville is completely secluded from the rest of the world, and only when a foreign influence, is magically placed in the center of it all, does the world begin to spin. David and Jenni are that foreign influence - it is their individual nature that challenges the community,Die Welle is a modern day depiction of what can happen when a powerful and manipulative person uses his knowledge and ability to control a community of individuals. Rainer Wegner, a high school professor, uses an experiment in the classroom to show the positives and negatives of an autocratic government -- mimicking the fascist ideologies that governed their country sixty years prior. The students all believe that as a modern day intellectual society, a community of students conscious of their past, that it is impossible to ever allow themselves to be governed or be lead by someone that would disregard and relinquish their individuality and human rights.The primary difference between these two films is, in Pleasantville the individual is brought into the community and is the impetus for the changes that take place. However Die Welle, there is a community of individuals that all strongly believe in distintness, yet through the power of an individual, their belief system gets manipulated and they become a community of followers.David and Jenni upon arriving in Pleasantville inadvertently spark the individualization of the entire community just by being themselves within the bodies of Bud and Mary Sue. David is conscious of the community standards and the status quo and attempts to hinder Jenni from upsetting the norm, because he knows her natural persona will plant a seed that will one by one change the community in ways they could...

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