Breaking Down Barriers

The term “Breaking down barriers” means to appose a rule or restriction set up by society or to overcome a personal limitation. These ideas are explored in the allegorical film Pleasantville directed by Gary Ross and we are represented the device of the 1950’s sitcom through symbolic codes, colour and camera angles. Martin Luther-King chose to break down barriers in his speech during the March on Washington for jobs and freedom through figurative language, anaphora, imagery and tone.

The device on the 1950’s sitcom informs the audience of the significant barriers which can exist in a society. The 1950’s were known to be insular and conservative, so that Ross can show what can happen in a society which is so strictly regulated. One example of this is the ‘code of conduct.’ Bill and Bud’s passive protest with the brightly coloured mural and the subsequent court case highlight the problems of censorship, because ‘things change.’

The character of Bill Johnson demonstrates the breaking down of personal barriers and how doing this flows on to the rest of society. Bill is severely limited as operationally and this is represented through his childlike personality and automation like movements. His repetitive wiping movements are a source of humor as he tells Bud,” I didn’t know what to do. So I just kept on wiping.” but it shows that he is a victim of his personal limitations. After he confides in Bud that he ‘ really likes painting the windows at Chirstmas.’ Bud shows him the Book of Art. This book symbolically represents the catalyst for Bill to transform into an artist. His facial expressions whilst during the pages imply that he has found.

Colour is the predominant technique used in Pleasantville to represent the contrast that occurs when barriers are broken down. In the 1950’s television eas in black and white. Everything in Pleasantville was clearly understand; everything was either black or white. Colours show the belongings. ‘we should be in colour.’ this...