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PLEASANTVILLE: Betty Parker

Sociology, P3
by

Julia Dela Cruz

on 5 February 2015

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Transcript of PLEASANTVILLE: Betty Parker

A STUDY IN BETTY PARKER
Julia Dela Cruz
Sociology P3
character synopsis
ethnocentrism
cultural relativism
american values
subculture
counterculture
The coloreds are their own example of counterculture because they defy the "Pleasantville Code of Conduct."
Sanctions
A few young men taunt and harass Betty after seeing the nude painting on the window of Bill Johnson's soda shop. This is an informal sanction because the young men see Betty being colored as wrong and of her own doing.

George tries to tell Betty not to go outside because then the townspeople will see her in full color, which would mean she would be discriminated. This is an example of a negative sanction because Betty would be affected by the derisive comments of the others.
Once landing in Pleasantville, David tells Jennifer that they have to take on the role of Bud and Mary Sue, respectively, and that meant also having to play son and daughter to Betty and George.
Betty is curious as to what goes on in Lovers' Lane, even asking Jennifer what the teenagers do.
Betty is also sympathetic towards the coloreds, seeing as she turns one herself after feeling intense emotion.
David, during his trial, gets George to see that Betty is beautiful in color, and that he wishes to tell her that, which results in George shedding a tear and turning to full color. David uses his "mother" to help the townspeople see that emotions are not things to persecute/judge just because it's different from what they've always known.
George tells Betty that they are going to the meeting and sticking to the Pleasantville values they've known all their lives. However, Betty has already begun to change and leaves to go to Bill.

Big Bob and the rest of the town fathers write up a constitution that clearly discriminates coloreds and by instituting that the only acceptable colors are gray, black, and white, indicating the original state of the town.
cultural universals
Betty is a part of an ideal family.
Her clothing is standard for the time period.
She cooks a large breakfast for George and the children.
Once she's changed to color, she uses makeup in order to blend into the culture and not be persecuted.
Betty Parker is the wife of George and mother of Bud and Mary Sue on the TV show
Pleasantville
, a show which David watches. She is a repressed housewife who eventually finds freedom of expression to change from the traditional black-and-white to full color. She falls in love with Bill Johnson, the soda shop owner, and gains full color, which she quickly covers up with gray makeup. Later on, she accepts herself and defies Pleasantville's values.
Betty is the typical American 1950s wife, which includes taking care of the house and her family.

An example of romantic love as a core American value would be Betty and Bill Johnson. They fell in love once they saw each other, whereas when Betty and George were together, they were together due to circumstances.

Freedom is a value exhibited when Betty stops repressing herself from true emotions and goes to Bill. It is also exhibited when the whole town stops repressing itself, and Betty catches David's eye in the crowd and smiles at him.
Pleasantville is its own subculture because its citizens (Betty included) have no idea of what's outside Pleasantville, even though they have similar customs to other American towns.
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