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1. Give examples from the film where Truman understanding of reality is deliberately manipulated using language. In the film, when Truman was young, he wanted to travel to Fiji but the teacher told him that he would not ever make it. Moreover, when he grew up, he wanted to buy an air ticket in the travel agency. Yet, the travel agent said all flights to Fiji were fully booked or unavailable.
2. Give examples from the film where Truman’s perception of reality is deliberately manipulated.
The town is formed in a giant dome decked out with advance technology simulations. Truman himself has no idea he is actually living in a giant TV studio. And the rest of the audience from the actual reality is watching him go from one staged of his “artificial” life to another.
3. “We accept the truth of the reality with which we are presented” (Christof). Bearing in mind this quote from the film, what does this film teach us about perception?
Formation of perception is actually affected by our environment, culture and experience since we absorb knowledge starting from our first day of life.
We accept the current existed reality is because it occupies our view and actually the existence reality helps us to form our own identity by understanding the information that we acquire from the world and analyze with our own perception. Change in attitude as a transformation in the way Truman sees his surroundings. First of all, Truman is raised by his stage-set world. He is convinced it is real that set up his view.
But the flaws occur in the studio lead him questioning his existence and the world he lives is actually an illusion. Especially when he makes his escape, the producer of the show blocks him at every turn, which reveals the producer wants to keep his own perception intentionally. The movie also depicts the critics who invite us to see through media illusions in the form of characters who try to warn Truman he is on television. Most notably, there is the woman who reveals to him that he is on TV, before she is removed from the set.
His dream of finding her is also the dream that, at first, he does not know he has, of finding the truth of the outside world, where there is genuine relationship in place of the saccharin marriage he believes is authentic. These ideas remind us in dramatic form that we are absorbed by the environment’s own take on the meaning of things. Like Truman, we are manipulated and entertained by lifelike simulations. We identify with Truman and psychologically become a part of his world.
So the movie uses the manipulations of media in order to manipulate us into seeing through the manipulations of media.
4. “We’ve become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions, we’re tired of pyrotechnics and special effects”. How real is Truman’s world? How real is Truman within this world? What is real in Seahaven? Truman’s world is fake for normal people like us because we are living in a true reality in which we are not fully manipulated by other people or forces in the form of propaganda or other forms of media.
Under the modern society, most of us have the right to develop our own identity. However, the studio world is true to Truman because he was raised from that world since he can form memory. If the studio is designed flawlessly, Truman will never recognize that his world is created artificially and specially for him. This is because since his memory is acquired from the studio world (Seahaven). He will barely have the ability to deny Seahaven is an illusion as that is the place which he grows up and forms his truth and identity.
Once he discovered Seahaven is an illusion, he will strongly believe that the world we are actually living is the true reality because he might not feel a strong centre of attention as before in it. As he mentioned in the movie, life will not have strong coincidences as he experienced in Seahaven, the fate or incidents that he may face differently in this world will lead him find difficulties to cope with the actual society we are living because not everyone will care for him in terms of protection, welfare to sustain his life and so on.
5. Can Truman ever really know anything?
No, he would not. This is because I think there is infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom. And in this stage, we discovered very limited data to form knowledge and we are unable to discover all of them in this lifetime. In other words there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom and there is always information on so many things, which it may be too many for us to get all in one life time. Knowledge is the data you record in our head and without use; it slips away if we do not fully understands it.
But wisdom is the way how we think base on how our own identity and philosophy is formed. However, Truman is a very strong example to let us understand he will never know all the true knowledge around the world because he is manipulated by the filming crew such as the actors and actresses, director and so on in terms of language and the information provided to Truman in his daily life. In other words, his identity, memory and knowledge are manipulated by various form of propaganda.
6. What is truth to Truman? “What is truth? ” is a very simple question.
However, it can be one of the toughest questions to answer in our entire life. It can be defined as like “Truth is that which conforms to reality, fact, or actuality. ” But this basic definition is unable to complete the whole meaning of “truth” because its definition is open to interpretation and a wide variety of applications. For example, “What is reality? What is fact? What is actuality? How does perception affect truth? ” We could offer answers for each of these questions, but then we could again ask similar questions of those answers.
But I can say there is no truth in Truman’s world because everything is set up in the Christof’s own will in order to prove to the public is that we can be manipulated by something in our life because we believe everything acquire from the world we are living through our senses builds our identity to define truth. For example, his father is drowned in the sea when he is young in a thunderstorm but in fact his father survives and he is forbade to go back to Seahaven to look for Truman.
This incident proves that once Truman’s faith is controlled by others, we can say Truman is living in an illusion because normally he cannot distinguish or recognize our reality.
7. “We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented. ”
“There is no more truth out there than in this created world. ” This quote was said by the shows director just before Truman left the dome. What point do you think he was trying to make? The director wants to convince us that we are actually living in a manipulated world, a world which is controlled by each other.
In reality, we make good use of each and others advantages to survive. And truth’s existence is actually established by our ideas because we cannot establish truth base on our own perception, in which the ecological validity will be very low. Visual perception varies in all of us. It happens when through observation and then come up with our own conclusions. However, visual evidence does not lead us to know the true nature of the subject. More senses is require comprehending the subject besides sight such as touch, smell, and sound. However, deception may occur.
To avoid visual deception, wisdom and eyes alone cannot provide us with enough medium to see through deceivers. We need to collect both primary and secondary sources to distinguish which information is true. For example, we need to be clear what relationship are we looking forward to have with someone and do not just fully trust the people say it to ourselves directly because the things they are saying might not be true.
8. What knowledge dilemmas might Truman face as he enters the real world? He will find difficulty to travel around the community because once he leaves Seahaven.
He will be unfamiliar with the world we are living in terms of infrastructure. Secondly, he will find difficulty to cope with people in the beginning because no one will protect him in the true world because when filming, everyone has to make sure is safeties in Seahaven. And his other moral values may have huge difference with people out of Seahaven because his view are manipulated by the production through language and the ways on how he is raised such as people in Seahaven always abolish his self-esteem when they heard him want to travel out of Seahaven.
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