Sunday, February 14, 2010

Characters Defamiliarized to Mirror our Government (Analysis 2)

The Lion King is known to be one of the best, if not the best, animated Disney film that has ever been produced. Although the story is intended for children, the theme of injustice and oppression among social classes/ranks (rich/poor; strong/weak) is very relevant to the government that we have had, ever since governments came into coexistence. In this picture, I see Simba and his loved ones on the left and on the right we find the hyenas and Scar (Simba’s uncle) who surround Simba with their evil smirks and laughter’s. They clearly represent hatred, vice, power, lies, and wealth/power. If you look at only the left side of this picture and imagine yourself with your loved ones, it can be considered a “sublime” moment and connecting it to the right side of the picture, we see the hyenas and the uncle wanting to deprive them of the moment that goes beyond any sense in their body. This picture makes the familiar, which is the typical civilian and the evil of government, into unfamiliar characters but still bringing into light the idea of conquering evil and landing on top. This is a representation of hope, liberty, justice and most importantly, unity. As Saussure writes, “language may be analyzed as a formal system of differential elements, apart from the messy dialects of real time production and comprehension” (Saussure 59). Although the intentions of those who created this film may not be of societal class, according to Saussure, the picture can be analyzed by looking into the differential elements (good and evil) and by taking out what is only evident about the image. The concept of Semiology plays a major role and is where the signs in society are acknowledged and studied by asking questions like “What constitutes them?” and “What governs them?” (Saussure 60). Speculating this picture even further is to take notice of the cliff in which Simba and his kin stand in (green grass) and how Scar and the hyenas lay below them in dirt. This is to say that although “others” many times are scrutinized, those with evil intentions will always remain below those who are pure and loving.

Works Cited

Saussure, Ferdinand. "Course in General Linguistics." Literary Theory: An Anthology. Second Ed. Julie Rivkin & Michael Ryan, MA: Blackwell Publisihing Ltd. 2004. 59-71. Print.

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