The Truman Show

10 October 2018

The Truman Show:What are the philosophical issues raised by The Truman Show?Peter Weirs ‘The Truman Show'(1998) tells the story of a fictional reality television program which is named after its main star, Truman Burbank. In the telling of this story, Peter Weir raises some interesting issues for reflection; is such and invasion of privacy acceptable?, what does Truman believe to be reality?, are the actors prostituting there privacy?For reality TV shows, the actors know they are on camera. Sometimes they don’t know they are being recorded, but they know they are on TV. For Truman, his entire life, from birth to being a grown man, was being broadcasted on TV for anyone with cable. He had absolutely no privacy.

Even when he thought he was alone, he had more eyes on him than most have in their entire lifetime. This is a complete invasion of privacy and he had absolutely no say in it. He didn’t even get paid for it, they just took his life and broadcasted it everywhere and didn’t even care about him. Throughout his lifetime, there came a few people who tried to tell him about the show, and the director got rid of them. When he starts to figure out that something isn’t right, they use a huge crew to make sure he stays put even though its not what he needs or deserves, but because it’ll keep the show going. This movie is very much like Big Brother in the way that Truman, no matter what he does until he escapes, has very little control in his own life. It is all planned out and altered in the way that will get the most views, be the most interesting story, and sell the most merchandise.

The Truman Show Essay Example

They sacrificed someone’s life for profit and views. And they did it all without consent.In the film, for most of his life Truman has no idea that he is actually living inside a large dome and that his life is under the complete control of a television company. This may perhaps seem strange to us, surely someone’s natural curiosity would lead them to leave the island and attempt to explore the world? However what we need to remember is that without anything to compare it too, and considering that all his life he has been taught that he doesn’t need the outside world he wouldn’t know any different. While Seahaven and all who inhabit it are not real, the one truth that Truman holds onto is that he is real. While Truman’s life may be plotted by Christof, Truman still has a mind of his own, he has thoughts and doubts, so therefore exists. He is able to doubt and question his reality and therefore he must have a mind that can reason.

“I think, therefore I am,” (Rene Descartes) becomes the basis of knowledge. This point is one that is crucial for the Truman Show. Because, no matter how uncertain Truman was about everything around him, he never doubts himself ‘We accept the reality of the world in which we are presented’ (Christof). Reality is a difficult to properly understand, Truman starts to understand his reality by doubting his world, asking questions, rejecting past knowledge, and remembering their own existence.The Truman show not only wrecks Truman’s life but it also destroys the lives of every actor involved, none of the actors can leave the show because it is live to the world 24/7. This will cause some actors to try to stop the show, so they can get out and restart their lives in the real world, this happened too many of the actors for example Sylvia. Sylvia had tried to reveal the secret of the show to Truman not only for his own benefit but also for herself, so she could leave the show.

This did result in her being removed from the show and also added to Truman’s suspicion to the reality of his world, so the secret of the show is very fragile and can be ruined at any moment.On a initial viewing ‘ The Truman Show’ is an entertaining and somewhat comical film, but with a little bit of reflection it quickly raises some thought provoking issues. What is an acceptable level of privacy, what is reality and is it okay for an actor to sell themselves to the point of no privacy.

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The Truman Show. (2018, Oct 27). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from
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