• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In what ways does The Simpsons portray American family and social values?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In what ways does The Simpsons portray American family and social values? Aims and Objectives The purpose of this study is to discuss the extent to which The Simpsons is representative of American family and social values. I will discuss how each member of the Simpsons family behaves, as well as highlighting what may be socially expected of them. Secondly, I will examine how the Simpsons family interacts with the surrounding community, concentrating particularly on the images that they portray. In order to do this, I will examine the regular codes and conventions of the series to show how the characters work together in the whole scheme of things Introduction Set in the north-western Illinois town of Springfield, The Simpsons is an animated sit-com about the day-to-day tribulations of a disfunctional lower-middle-class family. The main family itself consists of the father, Homer, his wife Marge, son Bart, and daughters Lisa and Maggie. Other family members include Homer's father, Abraham Simpson, as well as Marge's sisters, Patty and Selma. Occasionally, Marge's mother, Mrs Bouvier, makes an appearance, and on one occasion, Homer discovered that he had an adopted older brother, Nigel. Since its official launch in 1989, The Simpsons has become one of the world's most popular animated series, and has been enjoyed the world over by children and adult's alike. Originally, the show occupied a space on the Tracey Ullman Show between 1987 and 1989, and was then called The Bart Simpson Show. Its immense popularity proved so great that Twentieth Century Fox decided it would be worthwhile to launch The Simpsons as a show in itself. In this format, the first episode was broadcast in 1989, and in this season there were thirteen episodes. In fact, the show was so immediately popular that a huge wave of cross-media production and merchandising took place, and this culminated in the release of a single, "Do The Bartman", in early 1991. ...read more.

Middle

Lisa is extremely intelligent, taking from her mother's side, and this alienates her from her peers. She responds to this by immersing herself in her hobbies, including the saxophone, and her schoolwork. Lisa is usually top of her class grades-wise. But, her competitiveness has sometimes caused her discomfort, as was the case when a girl one year younger than herself entered her class and took the crown of cleverest person and hardest worker. Lisa reacted to this negatively, by attempting to replace her science project with a cow's heart as part of a sick joke. Whilst Lisa herself usually isn't very funny, the amusing situations that she gets herself into as a result of her meddling constitute her contribution to the show. Maggie Maggie is the least developed member of the Simpson family. The fact that she has been a baby for the last ten years does little to help this. But this is not to say that she hasn't had her moments. Maggie, may be the smartest Simpson, as she has often shown. When she is placed in the day-care centre, she shows her intelligence by devising a way to get back her pacifier. She is clearly smart, as when Lisa quizzes Maggie with flash cards in the blood donation episode. Maggie provides an extra touch to many episodes, especially when she is revealed to be Mr. Burns' attacker in the two-part cliffhanger. Codes and Conventions and the Surrounding Community All of The Simpsons episodes follow a particular narrative pattern, which is not too dissimilar to Vladimir Propps' idea of equilibrium - enigma - equilibrium. During the now-famous credit sequence at the beginning of each episode, Bart can be seen writing out his lines in detention, each episode having different lines. Examples include, "I will not instigate revolution", "I will not call my teacher 'Hot Cakes'", "I will not belch the National Anthem", and "The Pledge of Allegiance does not end with Hail Satan". ...read more.

Conclusion

However, she learns from her mistakes, never making the same wrong move twice. Maggie has not been allowed to grow up enough for her character to develop significantly. What we have seen of her offers great potential. She may in fact be the smartest Simpson, if Lisa's blood-type card test and Zorg's DNA are anything to go by. She is still very prone to negative influences, as was the case when she tried to attack Homer in the episode concerning the effects of media violence on the young. But, she has a caring family that does all it can to protect, and she seems to be learning this. The surrounding community interacts with the Simpsons family like any other small-town American community. Occasionally, disputes break out between a Simpson and a member of the community. But their knack for communicating means that any trouble is quickly resolved. Sometimes, for the better, these communications break down, and the end result is a fight or riot, as was the case when Homer punches the alien Zorg on the Jerry Springer show in the latest yet-to-be-shown video episode. Credits: All of "The Simpsons" pictures used in the following posters were obtained from The Simpsons Library, an internet site dedicated to all things concerning The Simpsons. Evaluation of Print Products The central theme that I hoped to convey in my three posters was how The Simpsons has managed to cross over into other areas of media production from its original guise as a cartoon. The first of my posters is a new version of the "Do the Bartman" single cover. In 1991, The Simpsons had its first screening on Rupert Murdoch's Sky One channel. Within a few months the show had become so popular that a huge wave of cross media production took hold, and within a few years, The Simpsons were everywhere. My second piece simply shows the regular Simpsons cast list, highlighting the links between the family and the surrounding community. My last piece is an impression of a web page, of which The Simpsons occupy many sites. ?? ?? ?? ?? 8 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. 'Does The Simpsons promote family values or set bad examples?' The Simpsons first came ...

    Family values are basically 'social norms' for describing a family and the 'proper' roles of its members. 'Most often, the term connotes a conservative ideology that supports sexual morality and traditional gender roles, and that opposes homosexual relationships, same-sex marriage, and abortion.

  2. Research Assessment. Representations of Families. Shortland Street, The Simpsons

    "Marshall's happy." Matt Groening's cartoon The Simpsons particularly emphasises the value of a unified family. Dysfunctional as they may seem with Homer, the father, and self-centred well-meaning oaf; Marge, his wife, the rock; daughter Lisa, the voice of reason; son Bart, anagram of brat, and Maggie the baby, The Simpsons

  1. How important is the episode in Phaeacia compared to the rest of the poem? ...

    He is equally adept at wit and conversation, convincing his hosts that he is no ordinary wayfarer. When Demodocus, the blind bard, sings of the exploits of those at Troy, Odysseus weeps, causing King Alcinous to suspect that a hero of the Trojan War is amongst them.

  2. Compare and Contrast the characters of Hektor and Paris and draw close character analysis ...

    "Shining in his raiment and his own beauty; you would not think that he came from fighting against a man; you would think he was going rather to dance, or rested and had been dancing lately". This description is very insightful as Homer is almost suggesting that Paris is only

  1. What qualities does Odysseus show in the episodes he relates in Books 9-12? Does ...

    Odysseus made a decision that he would not die and he even survives battering in the sea and the whirlpool Charybdis, holding onto the tree above him, "I clung grimly on". As more and more men are killed and he sees more and more horrors, Odysseus can be praised for

  2. Cinderella - play script

    And four white mice will never be four white horses! Such fal-der-a and fidel-dy dee of course is, Impossible! But the world is full of zanies and fools! Who don't believe in sensible rules. And won't believe what sensible people say and because these daft and doey-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes, Impossible things are happening every day!

  1. Discuss the contribution of material culture studies to the understanding of social identity.

    sample."4 So in understanding identity we may be able to place these artefacts in context as we will know what particular objects are used for certain practices, for instance burial customs or forms of pottery produced.5 Jones defines cultural identity as "that aspect of a person's self-conceptualization which results from

  2. "Lysistrata is Funny As a Play but Not As a Character." Discuss.

    All four are stopped individually and altogether by the old women led by Stratyllis. Before this, the old men, trying to batter the door down got soaked in water by the old women. Later, the magistrate is dressed up both as a woman and a corpse by the women, completed with a tiara and ribbons.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work