eng 300 final - Jonathan Zatz ENG300 Final Paper Present...

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Jonathan Zatz ENG300 Final Paper Present day society is infatuated with the idealization of appearances. The media in particular perpetuates the idealization and glorification of a specific type of appearance. However, it is an innate human tendency to idealize appearances and in some cases people construct their own without media influence. However, this concept of an “ultimate” lifestyle can have grave consequences for people on an individual level and also on society as a whole. The negative effects that come about from the idealization of appearances can be explored through the films V for Vendetta (James McTeigue, 2005) and Vanilla Sky (Cameron Crowe, 2001). There are only a few solutions to the problems that this concept causes and they too can be examined through these two films. In V for Vendetta the media is a constant staple throughout the film. The movie can be read as a harsh criticism of the media in present-day society. There are many striking resemblances between the news shows in the film and the news shows that are on television today. The character of Lewis Prothero (Roger Allam) can be read as a critique on the popular hard-line conservatives of our day such as Bill O’Reilly and Tucker Carlson. People like this have a great deal of influence and because of this have the power and means to in a way dictate to society the “correct” way to live your life and also what beliefs/actions are “right” and which are considered wrong. It is in this manner that the media plays a major role in the creation of an idealized appearance and in turn social construction. The film’s critique is that the media should not be allowed to have this much control over people’s lives and that it should not create a particular
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image or standard that society must live up to. The consequences of this are clearly shown in the film by the poor state of England’s totalitarian and oppressive society. Nietzsche’s concept of “the herd” is closely related to the problems caused by media influence. In the book “Will to Power” Nietzsche states: “The instinct of the herd considers the middle and the mean as the highest and most valuable: the place where the majority finds itself…It is therefore an opponent of all orders of rank, it sees an ascent from beneath to above as a descent from the majority to the minority. The herd feels the exception, whether it be below or above it, as something opposed and harmful to it.” 1 In the film V for Vendetta the people that make up society and who have essentially been brainwashed and force-fed what to believe and how to act can be viewed as the herd. From the quote, characters such as V (Huge Weaving) and Evey (Natalie Portman) can be seen as those who have ascended from the herd mentality that has been
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENG 300 taught by Professor Dunno during the Spring '08 term at Binghamton University.

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eng 300 final - Jonathan Zatz ENG300 Final Paper Present...

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