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How does The Simpson's episode 'Itchy and Scratchy and Marge' show the ways in which television influences children? Does it show these influences to be positive or negative?

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Introduction

How does The Simpson's episode 'Itchy and Scratchy and Marge' show the ways in which television influences children? Does it show these influences to be positive or negative? Parody is an amusing imitation of another's work. The Simpson's use exaggeration and comedy to mock the TV culture of America. In America, at the moment most children tend to go home from school and spend the rest of the night watching TV. On average the TV is on for six hours and 47 minutes a day in America. This is becoming a problem because as the average child has seen approximately 8000 incidents of TV violence by the age of 11, and by the time they are 18 they have witnessed over 200,000 acts of violence. Statistics also show that children who watch 4 or more hours of TV a day were significantly fatter than those watching fewer than two. In the episode 'Itchy and Scratchy and Marge' the producers use a variety of techniques such as humour, music, exaggeration and parody to show that too much TV violence could have harmful effect on children. In this episode Maggie, the baby of the family attacks her farther, Homer on two occasions. ...read more.

Middle

The shower scene from Psycho is made to appear shocking because an innocent woman is brutally attacked. The Simpson's use many of the camera angles to parody this. Some of the famous shots from psycho have been used for example, when Homer and Janet Leigh realise the attacker is behind them they use a big close up shots to show the emotion and fear on their faces. There is a close up of Homers mouth just as he realises that Maggie is about to hit him, in a similar way we see Janet Leigh scream as she sees the killer. Also when they feel the blow, Homer pulls the table cloth to the ground, we see the cloth rip in the same way that the shower curtain rips in Psycho. As Janet Leigh blood runs down the plug hole they use the same panning shot to show Homer lying on the floor and the red paint runs to the plug hole and then they use a fading shot into his eye to start the next scene off. The music adds tension because it stars off high pitched and gives you a sense add danger, as it goes on the pitch gets lower and slow down, the double base and ...read more.

Conclusion

One boy is shown watching paint dry and there is a saying that 'nothings more boring then watching paint dry.' This indicates that everything is not perfect after all. The positive influence of not watching TV has been well presented ever though it has been exaggerated. The children are spending their time doing positive, worthwhile things, making friends, helping the community and being much more polite. Although TV can have a negative affect on children the creators are aware that too much censorship is also bad. When Michael Angelo's David is brought to Springfield the parents begin to protest against it. Marge, on the other hand is in favour of the statue coming to Springfield. This makes Marge re-examines her own attitudes to TV violent. What one person finds offensive could be considered a masterpiece by others. She realises that censorship denies others the right of free choice. When answering the original question it would appear that the Simpson's does influence the behaviour of children. When violent cartoons such as Pokamon are popular the incidences of playground violence increases as children try to imitate their actions. However, as children grow up they develop the ability to distinguish between TV and reality. In certain cases seeing violent acts and the affect it has on victims may prepare people placed in similar situations to cope in real life. ...read more.

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