Edward Scissorhands - Use of Allusion and Symbolism

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Edward Scissorhands – Use of Allusion and Symbolism

Nothing just happens in film. Directors all make certain choices in production in order to invite a particular response from the audience. The film, Edward Scissorhands is based around the introduction of a social outcast into a community and his attempts at acceptance. Although at first he is accepted whole heartedly and somewhat smothered, he later learns that despite how human he is, he cannot co-exist in the same world due to his differences. Using the production elements of symbolism; especially hands themselves, and the use of allusion to elements from other genres; particularly those from fairytale and gothic romance/horror films, Tim Burton has directed the film in such a manner to illustrate, emphasise and ridicule the materialism and lack of imagination of society. The film however, is prominently a satire which has certain elements from fairytale, comedy and horror genres. Through the choices made by the director, the audience is invited to become aware of the inhumanity present in the way society functions, especially in its prejudiced treatment towards people who do not conform.

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The use of allusion in Edward Scissorhands is one of the most important choices in production that has been made by director Tim Burton. In order to fully appreciate and understand the plot, the movie is dependant on the audience being able to recognise certain references and elements emulated from other films. Edward Scissorhands is especially reminiscent of the themes and concepts from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which is also based around the isolation, introduction and persecution of a man-made individual into a community. In addition to this, by casting Vincent Price; famous for his many roles in Hammer Horror films, as the ...

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