What kind of era exactly are we all living in? The development of technologies, the abundance of meterials, are these liberation or chains? Are these pushing us into the direction of independence and autonamy or putting us in oppositeness, making us lose the self, pulling us further and further away from the real world, real life? The Truman Show gives us an interesting answer, with an almost cruel story, in an allegorical narrative.
Obviosuly, Truman only belongs the the Truman Show, a manipulated virtual world. His birth, growth, every emotion, including his death, if without accidents or mishaps, will be manipulated, designed and staged, and watched by countless men and women living in the rich and bright modern world.
But this unheralded reality show, designed and lasted for 3 decades, will end in smithereens, as a result of Truman’s suspicion and his desire to explore the world beyond. After weathering the artificial storms, lightning, and the test of waves, the boat the carries him toward the truth is hit relentlessly, by the glaringly blue, beautiful but fake sky. At that moment, a myth is ended, a conspiracy is exposed under the sun. More importantly, the deep impact proves that as long as humanity survives, the mind can never be manipulated.
However, Trumans does not only belong to the show, he is, at the same time, you and me who live in a world filled with electronic smoke. Growing up, our understanding of the world has always been limited, we can never be as the Almighty God can, to be omniscient about the world.
We have to resort to a variety of carriers, to transcend the bodily barriers, so that the soul can access the distant past, think into the faraway future, in order to satisfy the infinite curiosity and hunger for knowledge.In this sense, we have to agree with Marshal McLuhan’s maxim:”media is an extension of ourselves”
However, the development of civilization often moves toward a direction opposite of the self, and becomes an accomplice in the depravation of liberty, and disappearance of subjectivity. Today, the popularity and rapid expansion of electronic media on a global scale, has fully realized the genius prophecy of McLuhan about the Global Village.
Precisely because of this, people around the world are able to be on the same planet, watching the Truman Show, while interepreting so vividly, in the vast scope of time and space, the human’s desire to pry and spy.
The tragic reality is that, no one is able to escape the fate of Truman in this era of the media, no one has full confidence to say that he/she has nothing to do with Truman. In the various forms of reality TV show, do we not see some shadow of Truman? Do we not see in us, some shadow of the audience holding the TV, staying up for Truman?
In a world driven by economic interests, where business logic is flooding, we can only entertain ourselves, and in our revelry, betray our money, our privacy, freedom and even life.
It seems that the Truman Show as a metaphor of manipulation, not only tells us the true and false issues of boundary, more important is it reminds us to walk out of the scam of the times, to approach our soul, and in a kind of tenacious reflection, to keep a portion of the not-so-fashionable freedom.