The Truman Show

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade January 2002

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The Truman ShowThe Truman Show starts to rise when signs of falseness about his life become aware to him. The first sign of deceit happens when he was about to climb into his car and he was distracted by a high pitched whistling sound. A stage light reading "SIRIUS (9 Canis Major)" has just fallen suspiciously from the sky. As he picks up the light mechanism and loads it into the back of his car, he proceeds to go to work.

After parking, Truman purchases a coffee and has sudden flashback of an incident when he was in school discussing careers. Truman puts up his hand and announces that he would like to become an explorer, but is condescendingly replied to by his teacher that that would be a silly thing to do. He is persuaded into another choice and Truman enters "Seahaven Life & Accident Inc.", his present career.

It is from this insurance office that Truman places a call to the telephone directory of Fiji. As he is connected, he asks for a Lauren Garland, but there is nothing to be found. He tries again with the name Sylvia, but again, there is nothing. The disconsolate Truman returns the phone to the receiver. Later, his supervisor peers around the corner and announces to Truman that there is a prospect needing to be closed down in Welles Park. As Truman arrives at the docks, he makes his way across the turnstiles, but pulls away when he reaches the gangway. His fear of water reminds him of his father drowning. He makes his way to a roadway adjacent to the ferry terminal, and places a call to his work saying that the traffic is bad and that it would be impossible to make the ferry. Truman then makes his way home.

Shortly after, Truman is gardening when his wife arrives home from work and distracts him. She holds up a device and advertises it to him. In confusion he replies "Gee, that's great". Changing subject quickly, Meryl refers to a patch of grass that he has missed. Later. his wife asks about his day but Truman refrains from telling her about the ferry incident. He picks up some golfing equipment, and heads out to meet Marlon at the unfinished bridge. Marlon makes a comment on how his swinging seems different, and perhaps something is on his mind. Truman tells him about how he is thinking about getting away from Seahaven. After Marlon convinces him what a great place Seahaven is, Truman makes his way to his car because of a sudden rain shower. To the viewer it is extremely localized, as if a miniature cloud is hovering above him, following him where he sets off. Sensing something amiss, Truman shifts his position rapidly, to find that the rain is only above him. Once it is discovered that Truman recognizes the discrepancy, the cloud size is altered to try and fool him. He runs to his car to try and avoid the event. When he arrives home, he starts to talk to Meryl about saving up some money and exploring. Meryl convinces him that there are financial obligations that need attending; therefore taking a trip would be impossible.

The next morning, Truman emerges from the parking lot and picks up a newspaper. He continues on his way to work, when he notices the reflection of a homeless man in a window. The homeless man touches Truman's cheek. Making no effort to withdraw, Truman looks deeply into his eyes and is overcome with emotions when he speaks the words "dad?" Two citizens take the homeless man away and Truman runs after to be found with no trace of the recognized stranger.

While in the basement of his own home, Meryl interrupts him while he is obsessing over a female's cardigan. Pretending to fix the upturned lawn mower, she asks if he would like any macaroni. He refuses, and waits for her to leave before reopening the trunk. He pulls out the cardigan again and holds it, reminiscing. A flashback takes place in the library when he peers around to see Lauren, sitting there with a Japanese text in front of her. He asks her out for a pizza, but is confused when she writes on a piece of paper "now." He hesitates then accepts to leave. They run to the edge of town to the ocean. She tells him that her name is not Lauren, but Sylvia. She starts to tell him that they are running out of time, and that "they" will be there in any minute. Confused on who she is talking about, Truman carefully listens. She tells him about his world being a fake, and a television show. Suddenly, a car pulls up and a man pretending to be her father pulls her away from him, leaving him deserted on the beach. He notices a piece of her clothing left behind. It was her cardigan. Coming out of the flashback, Truman places it back into the trunk.

The next morning on his way to work, Truman discovers that his car radio has been tuned to a station of a man describing Truman's journey to work. Trying to get the station back as it fades, it leaves him in mystery. He wanders aimlessly trying to observe any false moves. As he passes a building on the same street as his work place, he decides to enter as if he belongs. Making his way to the elevators, two guards stop him with questions. Truman reads his mind and makes a dash for the elevator doors to reveal that the elevator has no backing. The set behind it was filled with people with shocked looks on their faces. The guards pull Truman away. He hurries down the street to a corner store where he finds Marlon working and he stops to talk to him about all the strange things that keep occurring over and over.

At his mother's house, they are flipping though a photo album when she stops at the wedding section. He stops and stares at one picture. Under the scrutiny of a magnifying glass, he discovers Meryl has her fingers crossed in a photograph of Meryl and himself taking their vows. The next morning he decides to follow her to work. When he arrives at the hospital where she works he asks to see her, but is told that she is in pre-op. He sneaks behind and finds that the movements of the people in the operating room look very awkward and fake. He hurries to a travel agency to book a flight to Fiji when he notices posters everywhere of horrifying pictures of planes in disaster. As he tries to book a flight, there are no spaces left for him to leave that day. Trying later with the Greyhound Bus Service he again is unable to leave the city. Everywhere he goes he finds that it is impossible to leave the city. He realizes he is being lied to so he decides to escape once and for all. The next morning, he looks into the mirror and puts on a show for the camera operators to watch. Using soap he draws a space helmet on his reflection for a laugh. When he escapes he faces his fears of the water and decides to sail into the ocean to find truth. Christof is determined to keep the truth away from Truman by almost killing him with fake wind and waves.

The climax of the story is when Truman survives the horrible conditions and lies motionless in the boat. He is disturbed by the sudden crash of the boat into the side of the Dome where the world he knows ends and outside world lay. In amazement, Truman gets out of the boat and stares at the painted wall in disbelief. He makes his way over to a set of stairs which lead up to the door of truth, the door to the outside world.

The falling action is when Christof comes on to a sound projector and calls out to Truman. Truman takes a moment to overcome his fear and astonishment. Christof tells him the truth of his life. He warns Truman that he may leave or stay, but both worlds have lies and deceit, but in Christof's world Truman has nothing to fear.

The conclusion is when Truman finally makes his decision of whether he wants to stay in the world where there is nothing to fear, or go to the world where his true love is present. No more acting, no more cameras, and no more false behavior. Just life. Truman decides to leave with the words "In case I don't see yah"”good afternoon, good evening, and good night."