Reality In The Truman Show Essay

827 words - 3 pages

We live each day of our lives without questioning the life around us. We have an innate belief, or faith in our world, and our reality. In the film The Truman Show, the lead character, Truman Burbank, is born and raised in a mock reality. He grows up having faith that his world is reality, and never questions it. He grows up in a world where his destiny is controlled, but not fake. These concepts and more lead to an inevitable question: Is Truman's world imaginary? It is nearly impossible to define imaginary versus reality, and it is for this reason that one must approach this question from a different angle. It is better stated as: What makes a world real? Reality is defined by three characteristics: material possessions, relationships with others, and faith. Truman Burbank embodies these three characteristics to the fullest, and for this reason, it can be said that Truman's world is not, nor ever will be, imaginary.

A house, a car, a television set. Each of these can be found in the life of a middle-class citizen, much like Truman. They are concrete, physical objects which we can see and touch. These objects undeniably are used in society as measures of success, which is no different in the miniature society of The Truman Show. Material possessions are universally accepted as a method of verifying the world we live in. For many people, they seek to prove their success and place in the world by purchasing items of excessive grandeur and dollar amounts, while others live more modestly. Truman's reality is affected by materialistic possessions through the advertising spots which the actors on the show are required to subtly include in conversation. As Truman is in the basement, fixing the lawn mower, Meryl enters and looking directly into the camera, states: "You really oughta' throw out that mower. Get one of those new Elk Rotaries." ("UN-Official", n.d.) This represents the effects that society can have even on a sub-society created within itself.

While society is able to influence the choices of beer Truman makes, they have little clout when dealing with matters of the heart. Although Truman's relationship with his wife, Meryl, is largely controlled by the producers of the show, it is obvious that he cares deeply for her. While most of Meryl's decisions are controlled by the show, Truman makes choices everyday which affect his relationship...

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