Textual Analysis Of The Movie Pleasantville

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"Law so infuses daily life, is so much part of the mundane machinery that makes social life possible, that ‘law’ and ‘society’ are almost redundant. Far from magisterial or above-the-fray, law is marked by all the frailties and hubris of humankind.” (Calavita, p. 5). The 1990's were a time of social justice, equality, and individual freedom. It was a time of social change and liberalization, and also saw the rebirth of mid 20th century 'retro' style. The individualistic and reformational sentiments of the time paired with the popularity of the 1950's-60's utopian/dystopian visual styles, set the perfect stage for the filming of Pleasantville. In this movie, two modern teens are magically sent back into the 1950s fictional, black-and-white…show more content…
He shares his story, and everyone is horror-stricken. Another man informs everyone that his wife told him that she was just 'thinking.' The word takes everyone by surprise. Although these people 'in charge' wanted to keep everything simple and morally sound, they were also hiding everyone, including themselves, from the complexities of life. They realize that there is an epidemic threatening their old way of life. The mayor of the town, one of the men at the bowling alley, decides to take action by calling a town meeting creating new rules and restrictions for the town. The mayor realizes that if the citizens do not maintain their roles, then a perfect society will cease to exist. “Sometimes such law-on-the-books and law-in-action gaps are the results not so much of class or race biases . . . but of structural dilemmas faced by policymakers and enforcement agents” (p.101). He does not know or want to admit that outside of his original reality, people don't always do what's best for the current society, and consequently there is always social change occurring and resisting this can only cause more social…show more content…
In this, Calavita stresses that legal systems simultaneously develop with socioeconomic systems while changing form and becoming more complex over time. In an apt representation of this, color is law of Pleasantville and when the teenagers appear from the outside with wealth of feeling, emotion, and culture, the town's very essence becomes more complex and colorful. New ideas and changes in society cause a shift from black-an-white to full color, and can bring to light to what was previously unknown in a closed system. Without being able to question their reality, residents believe the town is black and white because that's just how it is, so that's how it should stay. Only when change is forced upon Pleasantville do the residents realize they decide what color their town becomes, and they finally get to see the all the colors of the

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