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Music Lead to People Change

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Flashback to kinder, gentler times," states the narrator in the opening scenes of the 1998 comedy, Pleasantville. The movie begins in America during the 1990s and features a teenaged brother and sister, David and Jennifer. David is portrayed as a guy who never gets into trouble and has an obsession with the 1950s show Pleasantville. The show would be most closely related to Leave it to Beaver or The Andy Griffith Show. David's sister, Jennifer, can be seen as the typical 90s teenager; she wears the latest clothes, is boy crazy, and follows the crowd. When the pair's argument over the remote control results in its destruction, the TV-repair man (actor, Don Knotts) shows up to solve the problem. (Knotts' presence in the movie serves as symbolism, but that will be discussed later.) The repair man gives David and Jennifer a new remote, and when they use it, they are transported into the Pleasantville sit-com where they replace the fictional siblings. As the movie progresses, they introduce many changes to Pleasantville and slowly give color to the black-and-white town - something that the citizens don't view as very "pleasant".

Pleasantville demonstrates the functionalist perspective in sociology. From the functionalist perspective, Pleasantville is the ideal society. Every citizen knows his or her role in society and flawlessly carries it out. This is why Pleasantville is so pleasant. In Pleasantville, every adult woman is a married, and every wife is a homemaker. In this reality, the husbands don't have to know how to cook or do house work because they have never needed to. When change is introduced into this society, a few of the parts of the organism do not function properly. Some of the housewives realize that there are exciting things outside the boundaries of their home. Consequently, a few of the chores at home get neglected. This minor interruption in the home sets off a chain of events. The main mother character meets an unmarried ice cream shop owner and begins spending more and more evenings away from home. When her husband comes home one evening, he only hears the echo of "Honey, I'm home." As he searches the house for his wife, he doesn't ask himself, "Where's my wife?" Instead, he asks himself, "Where's my dinner?" He doesn't miss his wife, but rather the role that she played in his routine.

He has become dependent on her to take care of him, and she was previously dependent on him to provide money for the family, since she was busy at home all



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