Friday, May 17, 2019
Homer Simpson and Contemporary American Values of Fatherhood Essay
The Simpsons is angiotensin-converting enzyme of the many television line of battles in the United States of America which features a full distance cartoon narrating the everyday lives of a family. The show makes us confront the imbecilicities of how or so Ameri piece of tails live by the braw portrayals and behaviors of the sheaths in the animated show. While each of the members of the Simpsons family represent a several prevalent attitudes of Americans well-nigh b commiting on the obscene and most bordering on the goodthe viewers perceptions not only nearly the American indian lodge in which he or she lives in but likewise about his or her self is challenged.The show seems to attempt to push its viewing audience to reexamine their lives, reflecting on each denotation in the Simpsons family and the rest of the characters in the show. In general, the Simpson household is a dysfunctional family, never aging through the course of the show in years and often ends the show portraying the family members still loving one another despite the odds. For the most part, the Simpsons family both reinforce and subvert contemporary American determine in a number of ways.Each episode highlights the struggles of the family members of the Simpson household and the neighborhood, sometimes reaffirming several social stereotypes and sometimes challenging our comfort zones and our accepted beliefs. In any case, it is important to note that even the seemingly absurd gestures and encounters of every character in the animated show point to contemporary American regard ass that may be either subverted or reinforced, depending on the interpretation of the viewer in most cases. homing pigeon Simpson, the begetter of the household, embodies the ordinary American dad. He is a father who enjoys alcohol addiction his beerspecifically called Duffwho is physically corpulence and who is protective of his family. He works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant despite his construeless characteristic, thereby suggesting that he has this potential to diddle chaos to the rest of the community with his slightest mistakes while at work.Apparently, bulls eyes characteristics reflect the typical American father who has the responsibility to shape up his kids and secure the welfare of his family. His character subverts the contemporary American perception that divorce oftentimes results from a family that is dysfunctional. Despite his failures to provide for several necessarily of the Simpson household, he has never resorted to divorcing his wife, Marge. At the end of the day, homer finds himself at home together with his wife in bed looking forward to the coming day ahead.More everyplace, homing pigeon has been shown to have a strong regard for the welfare of his family in difficult times, such(prenominal) as in Lisa the Beauty Queen (1992) where he interchange his prized car in order to enter her daughter, Lisa, into a beauty pageant to make her fee l reveal and in A Millhouse Divided (1996) where he arranged for a second wedding for his wife, Marge, to compensate for their unsatisfying first wedding ceremony. On the other hand, some of Homers characteristics also reinforce some contemporary American values.One of these values is the thinking that typical American fathers spend their time bedeviling beer and submitting themselves to their weaknesses quite easily. Some of Homers weaknesses are his strong craving for doughnuts, his aggressive behavior in difficult times or in times when he is not able to complete his delegates and his first gear intelligence. In general, these things reinforce the stereotype of the American dad, reflecting the cultural struggle of the American father in the American landscape, losing his intellectual edge along the way.Looking at the ways in which Homer Simpson handles himself before his family, it can be said that his character implies the binary star opposition amid depth and superficia l, centering and dispersal, and distance and participation. For one, the character portrayal of Homer suggests the depth of his personality, one that can be easily interpreted as the typical American father at first glance but one that can also be interpreted as an unusual American dad on closer inspection.Despite raising a dysfunctional family on a daily basis, Homer has not given up on his task as a father although there are times when he seems to be on the wand on giving up on things. While he is considered to be a borderline alcoholic, he does not end up entirely succumbing to his habit. On the contrary, he is able to maintain his fatherly consider and visualise and goes on to raise his family even when it meant attending to several jobs on many occasions. There is both the depth and the superficial qualities in Homer Simpson that represent American fathers in contemporary society.While at that, Homers character is also able to create distance and participation among the view ers. It is not move at all if the viewers of the show are able to relate to the experiences of the Simpson household because the experiences of Homers family might just as well be the equal daily experiences that other households experience. By cerebrate on the typical experiences of American families, the animated show is able to draw the attention of the viewing humanity and, in a way, to allow them to participate in the show at least in cost of being able to relate to and find a part of themselves in the show.However, the animated show is also able to distance the viewer from the characters. In the sense that the nature of the showmeaning, its animated structuremakes the characters blossom to seemingly absurd situations, it is not always the case that the viewers are able to expect an involve representation of their daily experiences. That is, the cartoon characters can perform unrealistic behaviors that the real-life viewers can hardly imitate.The binary opposition betwee n distance and participation in the show is also reflected in terms of how the show portrays the stereotypes prevalent in American society and, in the process, causes its viewers to identify themselves first with the shows characters and eventually causing them to redefine themselves. The fact that The Simpsons explores the negative stereotypes in contemporary American society suggests that its viewers may or may not be able to fully relate to these stereotypes.Those who are able to relate to these stereotypes are more or less likely expected to distance themselves from these stereotypes or, more specifically, from Elizabeth Traube calls as the fictional self that it (stereotype) constructs (Traube, p. 129). Chandra Mukerji and Michael Schudson further suggest that popular enculturation has not only been the offspring of societys beliefs, practices and objects generated from political and commercial centers but has also become an entity on its own (Mukerji and Schudson, p. 53).Thus , it is not surprise to speculate that there will be so-called popular culture so long as there are conduits for expressing the generally ob service of processd patterns of behavior among hatful. The Simpsons is just one of the many social elements that example such patterns. The assumption here is that some television shows such The Simpsons do not only serve the purpose of highlighting parts of the generally observed behaviors of peoplebehaviors that are parts of stereotypesbut also reinforce and subvert such observations at the same time.The very presence of these kinds of television shows help people realize what they have become. They aid the human civilization to notice the things that have become so long-familiar they no longer strike the vein of our senses and sensibilities. In The Visible Evidence of Cultural Producers, Maureen Mahon suggests that forms of popular culture serve as arenas in which social actors struggle all over social meanings and as visible reason of social processes and social relations (Mahon, p. 467). Apparently, Homer Simpsons character in the animated series struggles over social meanings within the context of the show.The context of the show, however, is anchored on the realities happening in the society. That, in turn, suggests that, indeed, the character of Homer is a visible evidence of several social processes and social relations in real life, from his struggles to raise his family and his role as a father. Jerry Herron also suggests that Homer Simpson is not only a reminder of how oft of contemporary America has declined but is also a symbol for challenging our attitude towards the social stereotypes.In particular, Homer Simpson is an appeal to the sensibility of the public towards popular culture to redefine themselves from the negative to the positive (Herron, p. 12). solely what exactly are these positive and negative aspects and how are we able to identify them without confusing one over the other? The answers do not seem to be as clear and as simple as they seem. Based on Jerry Herrons article Homer Simpsons Eyes and the Culture of Late Nostalgia, it appears that Homer Simpson is both a criticism to societys stereotypes and, at the same time, as an embodiment of those stereotypes.Homer plays the role of an intellectually challenged but loving father. He takes the role of the typical American dad who loves to drink his favorite beer and yet his is a character that challenges the contemporary attitude towards dysfunctional marriages and families. He directs the viewers attention to his character while making them reflect on their own lives and society at the same time. He shows some of lifes worse obscenities and yet allows the viewers to realize the stark contrasts between a life worth living and a life that is worthless.In essence, Homer Simpson subverts and reinforces contemporary American values. In Stereotypes and Registers of Honorific Language, Asif Agha argues that stereotypes are consciously grasped and are, hence, reportable, discussable, exposed to dispute and that they serve as models for some individuals and counter-models for others (Agha, p. 152). Following Aghas interpretation of stereotypes, the social perception towards the stereotype American father is still open to dispute and can in turn serve as the counter-model for what the American should be.Using Homer Simpson as an example, our notion of the right American dad can be derived from some of the qualities of Homer Simpson. The conscious video of the viewing public towards The Simpsons can be an eye-opener for reassessing our standing perception of the stereotype American father. While the image portrayed by Homer is an entity on its own, it is nevertheless still created from the social realities that persist in contemporary America. It is only through a radical change in the contemporary American value system can the American society be lifted from its status quo.But that is not to say that t he task of removing the binary opposition between depth and superficial, centering and dispersal and distance and participation begins at the stage where the American public is able to realize the stereotypes and recognize the counter-models. Rather, it begins right at the criticism of such stereotypes prevalent in popular culture. The creation of the character of Homer Simpson is perhaps the first stage in bringing the things that dumb down America into the public awareness.Of course, it is not enough to have shows such as The Simpsons, among others, to emphasize the cultural problems of America and to compel people to address these problems. However, it is only necessary to first bring elements of popular culture into the surface, elements that both reinforce and subvert contemporary American values in order to proceed with the tasks of criticizing what has become of this nation and its people and of resolving what needs to be resolved.