Edward Scissorhands Belonging Essay

The hunger to belong is not merely a desire to be attached to something.  It is rather sensing that great transformation and discovery become possible when belonging is sheltered and true, John O'Donohue. Belonging a concept which explores an individual’s identity and their ability to develop a sense of affiliation, acceptance and understanding within their environment. Tim Burton’s 1990 film, ‘Edward Scissorhands’ explores the notions of identity, embracing one’s uniqueness, social acceptance within their environment and relationships between characters. The film is based on an invented man named Edward who was left unfinished and isolated.
Identity is a quality which requires an individual to go through an internal struggle and be able to balance between keeping their own personality and still be able to belong, resulting in conformity. This was demonstrated through the use of a long shot of Edward’s costume contrasting with the environment around him. The long shot establishes Edward’s dark apparel juxtaposed with the brightly coloured house, reinforcing his alienation in the community. However, Peg offers him ‘normal’ clothes to create a new identity allowing him to gain a sense of belonging in his environment. Furthermore, a medium shot of Edward’s reflection in the mirror reinforces the notion of forging of a new identity as a new beginning and a new life. ‘You look fine, just fine’ justifies that Edward is starting to being accepted into society.   Belonging within a group creates your identity but it is challenged when the individual is too focused to conform and forgetting who they were. To belong, we need each other.
Acceptance is the approval of others to recognising similarities and differences allowing the individual to develop strong relationships and a sense of belonging within society. This is illustrated through the use of a high angle shot of the housewives approaching him with bowls of food. The shot shows Edward surrounded the food highlights...

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In usual fairytale movies, filmmakers intend to make films that give happy endings with simple miraculous entertainments. However, in the fable movie, Edward Scissorhand, the director, Tim Burton, positions the viewers to understand the significant meaning of particular issues. “E.S” is can be seen as a story of stereotypical suburbia with social criticism. In this essay, starting from analysing this film and providing dominant discourse, the use of characters will be discussed followed by debate of technical and symbolic codes which help to put up the discourse. In particular, this essay will consider the technical code of camera angle and symbolic codes of colour which emphasize the dominant discourse.

The dominant discourse of Edward Scissorhand, namely conformity is carefully constructed by Burton in order to confront the viewer with an ironical aspect of being fitted in society. Firstly, for the first half of the film as Peg Boggs tells Edward that ‘blending is the secret’, viewers are positioned to feel positive for conformity with a perspective of blending in society can makes people’s lives easier and happier. Use of scenes of event such as barbecues and Christmas parties encourages viewer with comfort and peace of conformity. Secondly, as Burton presents a scene of housewives gossiping about the difference of Edward in early stage, viewers are position to be aware of that conforming into society can be dangerous. Then, from last half of the film, the viewers are positioned to view conformity negatively as Burton presents stereotypical image of housewives wanting nothing of Edward and eventually pushing him out of town, back to his mansion. Finally, the viewers are positioned to see the conformity negatively as a social cohesion turns people to a mob and throw-outs Edward from town.

Creation of characters like Edward, Peg, and Joyce helps out to make Burton’s points as use of these characters aids the construction of the discourse. Firstly, a mother of the town, Peg is portrayed as a warm loving mother of town in order to privilege the dominant discourse showing viewers that this suburbia is tenderly connected and being loved. In contrast, by appearance of a horny sexual character, Joyce, viewers are positioned to see the danger of a woman as she rallies support which turns into a mob after she fails to proceed what she wants – sexual intercourse. However, the actions of main character, Edward, and the clothes worn him and more importantly, an awkward looks of him with scissors for hands positions the viewers to see him as a person who can't and never will fit in ordinary suburbia. Burton’s use of these characters is to convince viewer that whether conformity is good or bad, distinct individual is always to be left behind.

The symbolic code of colour and technical code of camera angles are not only used to support the dominant discourse, but also to make a clear aspect of Edward’s difference to the society. Burton uses a technical code in which the camera is shotted from the castle windows showing all of houses look same and insignificant. Use of colour such as the repetition of all the houses' yards as greenish colour and houses being in one colour encourage viewer with the conformity of the town. Furthermore, the bright colour of suburbia and dark and doomed image of Gothic castle present how awkward the individual can be seen in such town.

In conclusion, Edward Siccorhand is a touching film as Burton’s representation of the character and use of techniques in ‘E, S’ accomplish his goal of presenting power of conformity and the point of view about an individual who cannot comfort and mainstream to society. The director, Burton has succeeded in reinforcing viewers with his discourse of conformity being negative as it harms people.

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