7 September 2013
A Lack of Choice in Truman Show
Truman’s lack of choice proved he was practically a modern day slave to the corporation he was born into. The life of this one man was broadcast around the clock to millions of people without his consent. No one should have to live a staged life and have someone else watching them twenty-four seven. Everyone should be able to have self-determination and express individuality. In The Truman Show director Peter Weir chronicles the life of a man who at the beginning is unaware he is living the life of a reality TV show constructed around his life. Hidden cameras would be live and broadcasting his life across the world twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Truman’s lack of choice, privacy, and individuality upset me.
From the moment he was born Truman Burbank was no ordinary child. He was the un expecting star of a hit reality T.V show filming his whole life ahead. Truman’s hometown is a complete set with all of his family, friends, and neighbors as paid actors and actresses. In the beginning of the film the director goes through desperate measures to instill a fear of traveling, so Truman won't be able to escape this perfect life planned out for him. Including: making many news reports and commercials about the dangers of traveling, and featuring television shows about how good it is to stay at home. The worst of them all was falsely killing off Truman’s father on a boat so he would be afraid of water travel (Weir). During the 30th year of filming The Truman Show, Truman starts to notice things in his life seem strange. He notices the same people would pop up in the same places at the same times, and people he didn’t know knew his name. It was hard keeping the cast in character. There were many slip-ups among them. The biggest slip up was Truman seeing his father after he was killed off in a previous shipwreck fictionally created by the director. He gets fed up and overcomes his fear of water and sails away on a small boat named the Santa Maria. The director creates a fictional storm and tires to capsize the boat but then realizes it would not be smart to kill the star. The director terminated the storm and Truman finds a set of stairs labeled exit. The director then tries to persuade Truman there is nothing better in the outside world. He proceeds to bow and recite the words “In case I don't see you... good afternoon, good evening, and good night", and leave the life he was born into forever (Weir).
The Truman Show made me upset because Truman had a lack of choice. Truman was born into a life he did not choose. His whole life was chosen for him. From the moment he was born Truman was a star. He had his life already mapped out for him unlike us. Everything in his life was set up perfectly with white houses, picket fences, and housewives. He was adopted into a major corporation at birth. From that moment his life was to be monitored every day of his life. I can only imagine being watched every day and not even knowing it. There were no rooms for slip ups. If Truman had known his life was to be broadcast for the world, it would have make the show more scripted. At least he would be giving the proper consent for a scripted show.
It also upset me that Truman had no privacy. He could not wake up everyday and simply take out his trash without cameras following him. The fact that he had no idea the cameras were following him was a complete invasion of privacy. The basic human rights to privacy were taken away from Truman at birth. He never got a chance to experience a normal life and make mistakes without the world viewing them. I am sure it