Essay, Research Paper
Matt Groening changed television forever when, in 1987, he brought the Simpsons to the FOX network. People all across the country enjoyed these hilarious animated series, and, that same year, it was given the Fox’s Emmy award. Main characters of the Simpsons reminded American audience of themselves, showed them what they look like in the others’ eyes, and did a great job using humor to show the flaws of modern American culture. Simpsons reveal many interesting aspects of modern American culture, one of them is the stereotype of lower middle class, middle-aged, married white male in America.
The character’s name is Homer Simpson. He cheats, lies, plays with people’s emotions and uses others to accomplish his personal goals. For example, Homer is constantly using his next door neighbor, Ned Fladers. When Ned bought his TV stand, Homer borrowed it from Ned, telling him it will only be temporarily , when, in reality, he never gave it back to poor Ned. Another great example would be that of Homer using medical insurance to buy a new hair tonic, and it works, consequentially he gains confidence, gets a promotion and begins to succeed at work. He reminds me of lazy, uneducated, dishonest, easy-going-through-life people, whom I have met in my own life. I meet people just like Homer Simpson practically every day and because there are so many of them, it has turned into a stereotype of lower-mid-class family men in America.
Like any other typical American male, Homer wont miss an opportunity to get rich when he sees a chance to. That is why when Mr. Burns hits Bart with his car, Homer gets a lawyer to sue for a million dollars. Also, in the “Blood Feud”, Homer wants to use Bart’s rare blood type to save Mr. Burns Life; naturally Homer also expects to reap great rewards doing it. In “Lisa The Greek”, Homer cashes in on Lisa’s uncanny ability to pick football game winners. In “Flaming Moe”, Moe’s tavern becomes a hot nightclub, featuring an appearance by Aerosmith, after Homer creates a new drink sensation, which Moe claims as his own creation. In “Mr.Plow” Homer purchases a snow plow and goes into business for himself to help pay for it. He becomes popular for his plowing; however sparks fly when his best friend since high school, Barney, gets a plow and sets up a rival operation and eventually ruins and takes over Homer’s business. Finally, in “Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment”, Lisa witnesses her Mayor and Senator taking bribes. Homer is no exception when he gets an illegal cable hookup. All of these episodes reveal that money has tremendous power in America, that even breaking the law for personal gain is OK, as long as nobody knows about it! Episodes “Flaming Moe” and “Mr. Plow” reveal that men in America value money more than friendship these days. Even your best friends turn on you and are ready to destroy your business because of money. All these facts prove that the stereotypical male in America will do almost anything for money, even brake the law.
Episodes “Lisa’s Pony” and “Saturdays of Thunder”, reveal that love and respect of your family members has greater value to men in America, than personal well-being. In “Lisa’s Pony”, after disappointing his daughter, Homer’s feelings of guilt prompt him to fulfill Lisa’s dream of owning a pony, by sacrificing his free time, his sleep and health, working night shifts in the bowling alley. In “Saturdays of Thunder”, to be a good father, Homer sacrifices his personal time and spends some quality time with Bart, when they build a soap box racer together. Another quality of a father in America is shown in the “Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie”. When it is time to punish his children, Homer can get tough: as a punishment, Homer won’t let Bart go and see the new Itch and Scratchy movie, which teaches the kid to obey his parents. Even though they do not always enjoy it, fathers spend their personal time with their kids, because they understand its importance. This is the stereotype of a father in American family.
Ever since the beginning of time, men were idiots! You can’t totally blame them for being stupid, it’s just that they value some things more than they should. For example, In “King-Size Homer”, he sacrifices his own health by purposely gaining weight to 300 pounds, so that he could work from home, which later turns into a disaster in “Secrets Of Successful Marriage”, Homer does not want to loose his class, so he puts his own marriage at risk by telling the whole class the secrets about his relationship with Marge, which gets him in serious trouble with her. Unfortunately, this is still the stereotype of men in America. They still do stupid things, often even without realizing it. Also, just like every other man in this country, Homer hates work and loves food. I don?t think these two factors will ever change, not only for men in the USA, but all over the world!
Ever since the beginning of time men fought for power, in our days, this thirst for power still exists. Episodes “The Front” and “Homer Goes to College” reveal the importance and high value of education for men in the USA. High education brings both respect from others and better paying job that eventually leads to a higher position in the society for men in America. That is why Homer goes back to night school to complete his high school education (”The Front”) and later, must go to college in order to keep his job, because he fails a competency test at work.(”Homer Goes to College”) However, too much respect and power can be a mind-blowing rush and it has to be used carefully. It is well shown in “Homer the Vigilante”, when the police can’t save the citizens of Springfield from a cat burglar, and Homer forms a vigilante group, but, having too much power, he turns out to be the trouble maker himself!!
In conclusion, Simpsons is definitely the best television show for those, who want to learn about American culture in the 1990’s. Not only it’s educational, but it also uses humor to show the stereotype of a lower middle class, middle-aged, married white American male, during the development of American culture, on the verge of the new millennium.