Symbolism in the Truman Show

Analyse how one or more symbols were used to present an important idea or ideas. In The Truman Show, directed by Peter Weir, three recurring symbols were used to present important ideas. These motifs; the dome, the circle and the chest present important themes, such as entrapment, repetition and an extreme invasion of privacy. These motifs are evident throughout the film, and reinforce the superficial nature of Truman’s life. The dome; the enclosure where Truman has lived his whole life; presents the important idea of entrapment.
Truman’s hometown of Seahaven is a television set, built under a giant arcological dome in Hollywood. Due to his extreme aquaphobia; forced upon him by his father’s tragic drowning, Truman has no way of leaving this isolated community. Truman is trapped, with no means of escaping his superficial life. Peter Weir utilises bird’s eye view shots over the dome to demonstrate the dome in its entirety, and the inescapable nature of it. This shot shows the audience the true cage-like appearance of Truman’s life.
His life in the dome is comparable to animals in a zoo; he has no privacy, no escape, and is being observed 24/7. The dome not only symbolises entrapment; it is the trap which Truman is caught in. The circular motifs represent the important idea of repetition in Truman’s life. Just like the cycle of actors who pass his house “Lady… flowers… dented Beetle”, his life is revolving in a never-ending circle. Truman’s life is boring; his days have little variability from one day to the next. Truman yearns for change and adventure, but his aspirations are never reached as he continues on this cycle.

The filmmaker has used other circular motifs, such as the revolving door and the round-about, observed form a bird’s eye view shot, to develop the symbolism of Truman’s life being a continuous, repetitive loop. These motifs develop the audience’s understanding of Truman’s life, as they sympathise with his need for change and adventure. Our overall understanding of Truman is deepened by his need and search for change. Truman is “On the air, unaware”. This is demonstrated by the lack of privacy, represented by his opening of the chest.
When Truman goes into the basement, he thinks he is alone, but in fact, he is being broadcasted live to millions of people around the world. Here we see Truman at his most vulnerable, as he sorts through his private possessions; his map of Fiji, Sylvia’s cardigan, and the collage he constructed of her face. This unknown privacy invasion is shown by the extreme close-up shot of the padlock as he enters his secret combination. Here the audience empathises with Truman’s need of privacy with our own. This is used to show the audience Truman’s true feelings and makes us realise how genuine he is.
Peter Weir has used the dome, the circular motifs and the chest to demonstrate important ideas. The theme of entrapment is represented by the dome, the inescapable structure in which Truman lives. The circular motifs symbolise repetition and consistency in his life, and the Truman’s struggle to break free from this never ending cycle. The theme of an unknown lack of privacy is shown by the shots of Truman in the basement, when he is at his most vulnerable. These ideas not only contribute to the plot, but to the audience’s understanding of Truman, and his struggle to break free.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Symbolism in the Truman Show
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay
Achiever Essays
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.

error: Content is protected !!
Live Chat+1(978) 822-0999EmailWhatsApp

Order your essay today and save 20% with the discount code RESEARCH