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    Edward Scissorhands and Pleasantville Essay

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    Imagine moving to a completely new society where being different makes one an outcast. In order to make an effort to have a rightful place in a new society, change is introduced in a transformative manner and with painstaking consequences. The following movies introduce the protagonists in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands and Gary Ross’s Pleasantville who enter into a new environment. Their impacts alter both societies and themselves. In both movies, the protagonists attempt to help their own society, but instead the civilization misunderstands their intentions.

    On the other hand, the antagonists take advantage of the protagonist’s lack of knowledge in a new environment. The introduction of strangers from the two films does guarantee a change, reminding one that altering one’s environment is not only life changing, but also painful. The two movies portray that when one tries to assist their community, they are misunderstood, often inflicting unintentional pain. Thus, Edward Scissorhands demonstrates that when the protagonist, Edward, attempts to make a positive change in society, it backfires.

    When welcomed into his new family, he is considered an outcast by his intimidating appearance, causing difficulties to enter a new society. For instance, Jim convinces Kim to manipulate Edward into breaking into Jim’s house, but Edward is unaware that he is exploited into burglary. Momentarily, Edward enters the house and he becomes isolated when the trespasser alarm starts ringing, accused of theft. Kim knowing the situation approaches Edward after realizing that “it must have been awful when they told you whose house it was” (Burton).

    Therefore proving that Kim is unsure of Edward but her opinion changes after mistreating him. Both Kim and Jim corrupt Edward’s innocence for wrongful intentions. Finally, Edward is easily misunderstood, although he attempts to make a good impression on society, it ricochets against him. In addition, Pleasantville is a movie about two modern teenagers, David and his sister Jennifer somehow transport into the recently trending television show, Pleasantville. The two are trapped as Bud and Mary Sue in a different dimension and make changes to the lives of the citizens of Pleasantville.

    When Mary Sue introduces the concept of pleasure, the townsfolk find it vulgar. For example, when Mary Sue meets Skip, she introduces an uncommon nature of intercourse. Later on, it becomes overrated and, the citizens find it disturbing. When Mary Sue goes to Lover’s Lane with Skip she tries to intimate with him. However to Mary Sue’s dismay, Skip questions, “Oh. What’s sex” (Ross)? Mary Sue introduces a foreign feeling to the citizens. The community is dismayed from unfortunate actions provoked by teenagers.

    Soon, these two films share a common theme, in which, when one tries to fit in a new society, change can be transformative and painful. The two films prove that in Edward Scissorhands and Pleasantville that creating change in a society unfortunately builds up consequences. Moreover, the antagonists are attempting to take control of the protagonists’ lack of knowledge towards a new environment. In addition, Edward Scissorhands proves how the antagonists think of ways to damage the protagonists’ chances of success. For example, Edward meets a woman who is in love with him.

    Edward does not accept the concept of love just yet; he views it as feelings of admiration. Marge is interested in Edward and she shows this through small actions like how she says, “Edward I baked cookies for you” (Burton). Marge clearly loves Edward but is immediately blinded as soon as Edward dismays her feelings. Marge changes her opinion of Edward forcing others to exclude Edward from fitting into society caused by self-issues. On the other hand, Pleasantville establishes the same concept, the TV host for his own desires forces an unknown society to the protagonists.

    For example, when Jennifer and David were enjoying their time together at home watching TV, the TV repairman forced them out of their comfort zone. The TV repairman suddenly blurts “Listen, uh, why [not] take this remote instead? It’s got a little more oomph in it. ” The TV repairman is taking control of the protagonists for his own experiments out of curiosity. It is proven since there is no consent from either Jennifer or David. To conclude, both Edward Scissorhands and Pleasantville’s antagonists take control of the protagonists to foresee change in society.

    In conclusion, the protagonists from both films do guarantee a change, reminding one that changing one’s environment can suffer consequences. In order to prove this, Edward Scissorhands and Pleasantville support this theme. When the protagonists bring beneficial ideas to the society they are treated with disgusted reactions. Contrarily, the main characters are easily tricked for not knowing enough in their new society. Therefore, the two films demonstrate that the characters that feel that change is helpful in a society experience inflictions to their dismay.


    Edward Scissorhands. Dir. Tim Burton. By Caroline Thompson. Perf. Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, and Dianne Wiest. Twentieth Century Fox, 1990. DVD.

    Pleasantville. Dir. Gary Ross. New Line Cinema, 1998. DVD.

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