Edward Scissorhands Essay

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With an in depth study of the films personal and social contexts one is able to develop a more thorough comprehension of Tim Burton’s subverted gothic drama Edward Scissorhands and its relevant themes. Edward Scissorhands is a 90’s film set within the 50’s, with elements of the 60’s, and explored under Tim Burton’s personal context. An understanding of the 1950’s American dream, cold war conformity, the rebellious 90’s and Tim Burton’s own life experiences allow the viewer a more personal appreciation of the film due to the heavy influence of these contexts on the film. Knowledge of the 1950’s context would provide you with the information to identify with the theme of conformity explored throughout the film. Snippets of Conformity are scattered throughout the film, seen in the opening panning shot over the visually cookie-cutter like society of identical houses, perfect grass and identical cars. Peggy’s standard 50’s ‘nuclear family’, a mother and a father with one son and one daughter, represents the 50’s aspiration for the “American Dream”. Esmeralda represents the cold war paranoia over nuclear war and communism, dark background music plays as she compares Edward to the devil for just appearing different “it’s not heaven he’s from its straight from the stinking flames of hell”. Edward defends himself and the Boggs family by stating that “were not sheep” which indicates that Edward objects the idea of conforming. Society repeatedly tries to make Edward conform, Pegg mentions “You know I have a doctor friend that could help you” and also in the TV interview an audience member asks “Have you ever thought of having corrective surgery or prosthetics? I know a doctor that may be able to help you”, the people here echoing assimilation of the foreign an idea rampant in the 50’s. Finally the aural amusement of playing a stopwatch ticking sound in the morning as all the

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