Pleasantville Essay, Research Paper
If you think about it, today’s world is not such what we call “user-friendly” place.
Unemployment, severe diseases, global droughts and other dreadful natural disasters that
are about to happen to our lives. Even better, the more time passes, the more chances you
get to face them in the future. But what the heck, everyone will eventually face all of those
problems one day. Danger, devotion, abomination, curiosity, and alterations are always
present in our lives. You might think that Pleasantville is pleasant. Well do I have some
news for you: nope. The name “Pleasantville” is just a simple irony that’s all.
In Pleasantville, everyone is so empty in their minds. For instance, every character
always did the same thing over and over. It’s like everything falls into the right way that it
should be. The basketball players always score, the wives are always cooking and taking
good care of the husbands and children. Husbands are working, children are little precious
angels who never get in any kind of trouble. No worries, no problems, just plain good
stability. There is no wrong for them because everything was in sync.
It would be really tough to adjust to that kind environment where everything
becomes dull and unbearable. No color, no fire, nothing exciting except the way Bud made
every shot to the basket without even trying to. No changes what’s so ever.
As soon as the characters saw changes, everything was getting completely
different. Not like the Pleasantville that everyone new. Color, was the main
transformation. All of the sudden things turned colored. Why? Because of the changes that
were not supposed to happen in that town. Then people turned color. Why? It’s a mystery
for the audience.
Some people from the audience say that the characters turned color because they
felt some extreme feeling towards something, someone, or even themselves. Like the other
scene where Betty was in the shower. Now that was a real knockout, wasn’t it? All of the
sudden she saw many colors, and then another major change happened: fire. No one saw
fire before in Pleasantville except David and Jennifer. And all off the sudden it was like a
chain reaction, change after change after another change.
Other audience say that the reason why people changed color is because of an
alteration or a small shift in their lives. Again Betty for instance, she fell in love in
someone else. A small change in her life cause a small displacement in Mr. Johnson’s life
which turned him colored.
When some people became different, in color wise, than other people, prejudice
originated in town. All of the sudden you see discrimination such “No coloreds” sign were
seen at some stores. That cause a major crisis in the city. Violence, fights, jealousy and
abhorrence among the people towards each other. That symbolized to show the real life in
1950’s unlike the “pleasant” as it seemed on the television.
If you ever saw a movie “Matrix”, “Pleasantville” actually reminds me of it
somehow. Where people take things for granted, where they don’t question their existence
and where they live in a life which is made up especially for them. In that life, some details
are absent. For instance, since no one went to the bathroom in the show by the script, the
toilet bowls were not there. Since “safe sex” was suggested in the show, a man and a
woman had separate beds. No one had sex before, until Mary Sue came along. That
harlot. She was actually the main reason why people turned color.
While Jen and David’s visit to Pleasantville, the people learned a lot. Experienced
different things that they never had been. The “in sync” system fell apart completely.
People started to read books. They never could of because they were blank and all of the
sudden they filled up. People started to question a lot: “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”,
and “Where am I going?” That has turned them completely independent of and to
everything. They became curious, a lot of questions came up to their mind. And the best
thing about it is that they did it on their own and without a script.
So why did the people turn color? No one actually exactly knows, but they can
guess. So how pleasant is Pleasantville? Or should I say WAS. People are subject to
change, they can’t live without it. It becomes boring to them. No one considers boring
pleasant. But being excited to live the next day not knowing what’s going to happen next
to their life is like gamble…pleasant.