Truman Show: Ethical or Unethical?

Topics: The Truman Show, Noah Emmerich, Reality television Pages: 4 (1562 words) Published: July 12, 2006
Imagine a life with friendly neighbors, a town where everyone knows your name. A simple, routine life with a lovely wife and a best friend you've known since childhood. But what if this perfect life was a lie and the story of your life was actually a TV show? That is the life of Truman Burbank, who was born and raised on a set his entire life without any knowledge of it. So the question is asked: is Truman's lifestyle an abuse of human rights? Two characters arise to form two sides of the argument. Christof is the creator/producer/director of "The Truman Show" and has watched over Truman since before he was born. Christof believes that his actions are justified through "love" and for the sake of Truman's happiness. On the other hand, Sylvia is Truman's first love, who sees the TV show as depriving Truman of his freedom and denying a chance for him to choose how he wants to live. Using Aristotle's appeals and Burke's pentad, the two arguments address their views of Truman's life.

From a single issue, the two sides interpret Truman's situation in two different lights. Burke's pentad helps address the differing viewpoints of Christof and Sylvia, both arguing and speaking up for their beliefs on the behalf of Truman. The pentad representing Christof would look as followed:

Act: Keeping Truman safe from the real world which is a dangerous and "sick place." Scene: Peaceful town with friendly people.
Agent: A loving producer.
Agency: Love and care for Truman.
Purpose: For Truman's "happiness" and for a show that "gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions."

Through Christof's pentad, it shows that Truman's way of life is a blessing. The first few scenes of the movie display Truman's life as wonderful, "a novelty," according to Meryl, Truman's wife, in her interview. There is a home that will always be there without fail, friends and family who will stick with him through thick and thin, and a pleasant town that is far from disorder and...
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