Reality Versus Perception In The Kasdan Films, Grand Canyon And Mumford

1116 words - 4 pages

Reality Versus Perception in the Kasdan Films, Grand Canyon and Mumford

All of knowledge is founded on axioms: assumptions that are agreed upon for stability. However, since those axioms are assumptions and cannot be proven without a doubt, nothing ca truly be known with absolute certainly. Still, in order to carry on with life, assumptions have to be made. Knowing this, the task becomes making assumption that are more educated and, given the lack of certainty, ones that matter. Furthermore, the assumption of others can be examined more accurately with this knowledge in mind. The most important of these assumptions, and in many cases points of debate, is the nature of reality. The old world thought the matters of the spirit to be truly real, or ethereal, as opposed to the physical world. The modern period, on the other hand, held that sense perception was the only evidence that was concrete and that reality was only that which could be corroborated by sense perception. This gradual shift that occurred endeavored to transform humanity’s view of reality from the ethereal to the physical. The fact of the matter, however, is that the modern period had no more indubitable evidence for believing in a physical reality than the people before it had for believing in an ethereal reality. As a result, the current time of postmodernism is fragmented in a disarray of those two realities and countless variations thereof. The world today is trying to figure out constantly what actual reality is, whether it truly is ethereal or physical. This trend can be observed in media to a large degree.

The case here is that the Kasdan films Grand Canyon and Mumford are portraying this social struggle in the bifurcation of postmodernism. The events unraveling in Grand Canyon are constantly being interpreted in a number of ways by the characters within the film as well as its viewers. The interlacing strands of themes in both films are much like those of time. Each event triggers another in a continuum of interrelationships between factors of co and counter-stimulus. The following exposition focuses on articulating how those films portray the endeavor to determine, if not true reality, then certainly some forms of realities. More specifically, attention will be drawn to the variable perception of these realities in Grand Canyon, and the notion of reality being variable in the first place from a look at Mumford.

A number of events occur within Grand Canyon, which are interpreted differently by different characters. In the beginning Mac is being harassed by a gang and thus gets, in a manner of speaking, saved from a worse fate by Simon. Mac believes this to be some sort of blessing or even divine intervention. Though if not, he certainly attributes some greater force than random occurrence to the favorable turn of events. Mac and Simon’s conversation following the incident shows that Simon may have a more rationally slanted perspective. ...

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