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A Social Commentary On Contemporary Social Issues

If popular, a pictured parody of controversial issues of the society is the most effective approach that aim for various dilemmas within the culture without offending anyone idea, notion, religion, gender and lifestyle. Although satire is usually produced to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive cultural criticism, using jocularity as a weapon. "The Simpsons" series, as a very popular show worldwide, looms to be always a brilliant epitomic example of paradoxical happenings in the American society. The main aim of the existing assay is to delineate the reflectiveness of "The Simpsons" show, representing the modern-day sociable issues of the American population.


The main opportunity of the current essay is showing that from what degree the American series "The Simpsons" serve as a interpersonal commentary on modern day social issues. To this end, different facets of "The Simpsons" series will be mentioned.

Needless to say that media, in virtually any kind, has gigantic effects on social action casting social reorientation and documenting happenings. It is a double-blade sword, creating true or even bogus conceptualizations/notions that could lead a focus on society into one particular direction. That's the reason it is recognized as one of the most pivotal tools for soft-impelling of patterns. Because of this, many merits can be transposed to something new even though the nature of real human behavior may also be unpredictable.

Speaking of civilizations, inherently, is a controversial concern and no person can image all aspects of such intricate matte. While movies and top series may impact social traditions, they are also projection and/or articulation of traditions exhibiting transitional changes of individuals deeds. Actually, in modern day times, media stand for transition/development of ethnicities within societies and even organizations which range from the oil fields of Dallas to regulations firm in L. A. Laws to Al Bundy's footwear shop in Married (Rhodes 2001). Nonetheless, the question is how specific is such exemplification? And, to be specific, how insightful and reflective would be a tv set series (e. g. , The Simpsons for American culture or EastEnders for English culture", picturing reality of ordinary lifespans, civilizations and organizations in a society?

Presumably, American animated series called "The Simpsons" made by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company is the foremost paradigm that presents ironic parody lifestyle of an ordinary middle-class American family, whose day-by-day efforts are the primary leitmotif of the series. The superstars are not real, but their travesty actions appear to ironically entertainingly magnifying the prevailing ethnical issues, taboos and dilemmas. Hence, having harnessed various released articles and catalogs, the main objective of the current article is to investigate the reflection image of "The Simpsons" reflecting the approach to life of an American middle-class family from communal, educational, political, spiritual, and cost-effective viewpoints. Since its first debut on Dec 17, 1989, The Simpsons series broadcasted more than 500 shows. As the one of the most popular series, it's been announced as the longest-running American sitcom that has been awarded in various celebrations, such as Primetime Emmy Prizes, Annie Prizes, and Peabody Honor. In 2000, it has also been elected as the 20th century's best tv series by the Time mag and also given a superstar on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Simpsons family

The Simpsons are epitomized by its family including Homer the father, Marge the mom, Bart the brother, Lisa the aged sister and Maggie the younger sister. The show is set in an illusory city of Springfield where, there can be found various symbols such as Springfield Nuclear Electricity Plant (SNPP), Church, School and Golf club, etc - in part as parodies of American society. Actually, different episodes picture various areas of the society, in which each of the personas (i. e. , Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson) aspires to confer a message as a sketch humor program. Each ironic mockery exaggerative persona embellishes taking care of of population to highlight the problem no matter what!

While the Simpsons are somewhat dysfunctional and many observers of the series confer somewhat detestation feelings, virtually, it appears that ultimately there is much recognition of the show. Paradoxically, most families think its great as deriving power for a concealed solidarity within people. Considering some archness of the show (e. g. , consistent action of Homer when he struggles Bart up to the level till Bart's eyes protrude out of his brain), it could be regarded as an immoral epitome. Marge is the dedicated wife of Homer and mother of three kids. She is an orthodox archetype who signifies diligent American mothers, trying to keep carefully the family united on the trail. In fact, Marge's goal is to fascinate the family toward some kind of unanimity, yet keeping the personality of each relation. She actually is the center and heart of the Simpson family. Unlike her husband, Marge does not have plenty of time to socialize with others since she is too busy taking care of her family. The lumbering fool "Homer" spends variety of time along with his friends at club boozing, and frequently makes clumsy problems! Lack of intellectuality is part of his personality, keeping Homer as paradoxical man and father who enigmatically acts weird packed with provocation and conciliation without thought. Although Homer is not necessarily fully devoted to his family because of selfishness and recklessness, still he is popular as he eventually does the right thing, at which the spirit associated with an American father is portrayed (Rhodes 2001; Scanlan and Feinberg 2000; Todd 2002). The free spirited Bart, who's the oldest child, represents an epitomic mischievous kid provoking troubles everywhere he should go. However, comparable to his father's conditions, the story brings about a redemptive moral lesson of life. Unlike Bart, Lisa, the second child, epitomizes a sensible child with future and great expectations. Lisa plays as central intelligence of the Simpson family with works of clear consciousness of concomitant situations. She actually is a inquisitive grille characterizing new generation of American ladies whose desire is to explore as seen for Lisa when she discovers and employs Buddhism and also become vegetarian. Despite being the youngest person in the Simpsons family, Baby Maggie sparks on the family issues by sucking her pacifier. She always show some knowledge and consciousness as a child gal (Rhodes 2001; Scanlan and Feinberg 2000; Todd 2002).


Homer works at Springfield Nuclear Electric power Flower, while Marge is a caring housewife who adores her hapless blundering cumbersome husband. Homer's character is and admixture of clumsiness and provocativeness, who operates without pondering or even based mostly upon unusual thoughts. Edward de Bono has articulated six-steps of technological thinking skills as different hats (De Bono 1973), while Homer' head wear of wisdom is often the same, a yellow hat of transitional shallow benefits. Perhaps, he's the one who gets the greatest influence on culture culture, so the catchword "D'oh!", which is interjectionally used bt Homer's, has been adopted into the English language.


Homer's better half, Marge with distinctive blue beehive hairstyle, appears to be a well-meaning and extremely patient matron who cares and have great interest and astuteness, but it seems that she sacrifices herself on her behalf family as a stereotypical mother.


The only kid of Homer and Marge is Bart, a decade old teenage, who's the eldest child in family with rebellious attitude. Bart looms to be very proficient at floundering. He presents special identity of disobedient son with sarcastic bittering activities no real matter what! Having such persona, he has been casted as a poor role model for children. The terminology of "I am Bart Simpson", who the hell are you?" means Bart doesn't not care - no guidelines, no regulations, no jurisdiction (Ott 2003).


Lisa Marie Simpson, as older child of the family, is eight years old second child of Homer and Marge. Lisa is incredibly smart, who breaks the restrictions to find new entities. Lisa plays the baritone saxophone, and has been casted as a vegetarian (season 7), a Buddhist (season 13). Her advocacies for a variety of political occasions (e. g. , Tibetan freedom activity) make her as the intellect of family and the series, but as other sensible individual she is suffering from loneliness even inside the family (Simpson 1998).

Inexplicable Admixture as a Family

Avaricious and sometimes covetous Homer the father with nurturing Marge the mom in blend with the rancorous actions of Bart and intelligence of Lisa along with reticent persona of Magi provide such an admixture that should be carefully analyzed. Talking about "The Simpsons" episodes, one should concur that many controversial issues (e. g. , gay marriage and religion in public areas schools) are the subject of the series and it appears that nothing is considered as taboo (Bonne 2002).

Homer's relationship with his Father, Abraham Simpson (also called as "Grampa") shows loss of traditional lifestyle. Intriguingly, Marge Simpson's more mature twin sisters, hold a solid dislike because of their brother-in-law, Homer. These twins work at the Springfield Office of Motor Vehicles (SDMV). In terms of personality, the two minutes elder sister Selma appears to possess a solid desire to have "esprit de corps", while Patty happens to be the feminist sister who pliably likes to be a lesbian. Marge sisters' romance conveys another level of Santa's Little Helper (dog) and Snowball (kitty) also cause some hidden aspects of their lifestyles.

An Avenue for Land Views

Inherently, the truth is that "Springfield is nowhere", but it could be any express, representing whole region. It is the same for all caricature superstars of the show. Homer Simpson or Lisa Simpson could be anyone. This revolutionized series, despite being set in an unknown talk about, signposts unity of the nation and is wonderful effort to echo American world overall in each tv show. Such representation has drawn many visitors from all over the country. It ought to be outlined that the flavour of the TV shows varies in different locations or civilizations. While, the visitors in the New York prefer to follow a how like "Sex and the town", a show like "The Simpsons" using its unidentified setting up can appeal to all Americans (Grey 2007). The Simpsons series is a trajectory of not only American culture but also arc of the world federation ethnic transitions.

Citizenship, democracy and political apathy

The Simpsons series also show different levels of citizenships. Four main types of complementary citizenships can be recognized in "The Simpsons" series (Lund 2006), as follw:

Party-based general population life that may be exemplified by Homer Simpsons

Trust-based general population life that can be exemplified by Marge Simpsons

Knowledge-based public life that can be exemplified by Lisa Simpsons

Right-based general public life that may be exemplified by Bart Simpsons

These categorizations happen to be successive with time, nonetheless not mutually exclusive, that is to say that none of these four types have entirely subsumed the others although impression of visitors of the series varies. It should be evoked that other types of citizenships have been presented during different shows. Above all is "religion-based public life that may be exemplified by Ned Flanders who is a descent well-meaning good-natured person among the few in Springfield town. Actually, such diverse epitomes of citizenships look like good representatives of American culture that may be considered as symbolic model of democracy which is held in a family yet is a representation of the whole modern culture. The show combines various viewpoints within a family and also among customers of different celebrations. The show focuses on political apathy though a self-deprecation method together with a refusal to adopt subjects seriously. Pursuing are a few examples of such transverse articulations:

"An election!? That's one particular bargains where they close the pubs isn't it?", said --Barney Gumbel.

"Uh, Lisa, the complete reason we've elected officers is so we need not think all the time. Exactly like that rainforest frighten a couple of years back again: our representatives saw there was a problem and they fixed it, didn't they?", said Homer Simpson.

"Lisa, if you don't like your job, you don't affect: you just go in every day and do it certainly half assed. That's the American way. ", said Homer Simpson.

"I wish we lived in a place similar to the America of yesteryear that only exists in the brains of us Republicans. ", said Ned Flanders.

Presumably, one the most hilarious, yet mirthful, articulation was on Ned Flanders delineation when he was asked by his kid Todd Flanders: "Daddy, what do fees pay for?" Ned Flanders: "Oh, why, everything! Policemen, trees and shrubs, sunshine! And let's not forget the folks who just don't feel like working, God bless 'em!"

In brief, politics is a common area of the Simpsons show, which practically exhibits some restrictions of the polarized American politics, even though there exist some voiced oppositions to the show by itself. For example, the ex - Republican Leader of USA, Mr. George H. W. Bush condemned the show at the Annual Convention of the National Faith based Broadcasters by articulating "we need a nation closer to The Waltons compared to the Simpsons, an America that rejects the incivility, the tide of incivility, and the tide of intolerance" (Armstrong 2005; Turner 2004). Actually, after a liberal slant of the show, this was joked about in the episode "The Simpsons 138th Show Spectacular, " in which reference was made to "a huge selection of radical right-wing announcements inserted into every show by creator Matt Groening. It well worth to remind that the "138th Tv show Spectacular", written by Jon Vitti and directed by David Silverman, was a parody of the communal planning among live-action series to produce clip shows. This episode, as the most watched shows of the growing season, has received positive reviews with a Nielsen (viewer/audience dimension system) ranking of 9. 5 and a Nielsen list of 48.


Several reviews and literature have been shared on The Simpsons series and education (Luccasen and Thomas 2010; Gray 2005). It seems It has been stated the fact that Simpsons is a carrier for creating discourse in particular among young undergraduate students. While three levels of jokes are actually provided on the show as: a) elite laughter, b) nonelite laughter, and c) obscure referrals, the breadth of scholarship or grant on the looms to be indicative of the show's place in popular culture (White and Holman 2011). The multiplicity of the enthusiasts proves the fact that Simpsons typifies the general appeal of satire. Accordingly, its enthusiasts include political elites and standard people from significantly different backgrounds. For instance, Tony Blair is a major fan of the show, and visitor starred as himself in an occurrence "while a sitting head-of-state" (Woodcock 2008). Conventional constitutional scholar Harvey Mansfield has supported the show by articulating that "The Simpsons is the best thing on television". Hence, The Simpsons series seem to be able to connect to the elites representing various issues of scholar world mainly by Lisa Simpson.

The Simpsons: Craving for food Games or Against It

Whether we enjoy it or not, Homer Simpson points out our postmodern id turmoil (Bybee and Overbeck 2001). The Simpsons show (Roberts 2010). Like the "Hunger Games", with loss of id we will just make it through and eventually will realize the transitional reorientation/modification of the society. Having used the "militant" irony or sarcasm, The Simpsons show often professes to approve of (or at least agree to as natural) the very things that are aim for for the harm. While the Being hungry Game may happen within the societies for most reasons, the point out of satires in confirmed show like the Simpsons may reveal the express of civil liberties and individual rights. Obviously to fight the illiteracy in virtually any kind that could lead contemporary society toward "Huger Online games", in which any criticism of the politics/religious system is suppressed, satires will provide an available door for clarification.

The Simpsons and Religion

The Simpsons series critically show the modern religious concern in the American society (Bowler 1996; Satkin 2002; Lewis 2002). For example, the episode, "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star", Springfield's only known pastor, makes a Unitarian reference point when Homer Simpson asks if he must "wail over a few Unitarians" to become Catholic. Talking about religious issues in the show, the most religious characters happen to be Ned Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy. In fact, Flanders is apparently the most conventional Religious with little tolerance to other believes (e. g. , pagans, Jews, Hindus and homosexuals), expressing that the other believers are all epicureans and whoever pursue such notions will directly go directly to the Hell. On the other hand, Reverend Timothy "Tim" Lovejoy, who is the preacher of the Traditional western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism church that everyone in Springfield attends, symbolizes different figure. The show makes ironies on almost all religions, however the Islam and Muslims appear never to be the prospective of the show! For example, in another of the shows, the Hindu god Vishnu is shown as seated in the center of the planet earth and managing the world with different handling devices, likewise it's the same for the Hindu god Ganesh, usually by Homer when getting together with Apu.

Social Commentary on Controversial Issues

The Simpsons show seems to be also a gay-friendly animated sitcom (Padva 2008). Given the actual fact a truly subversive gay representational practice must contest not only the gay subject's connection with heterosexist persecution but also their experience of patriarchal privilege, Jackson talked about that one gay male cultural methods that transvalue deviance as a good function of self-identiЇcation contain at least an implicit critique of the normative guy ideal (and the dominant heterosexual love-making/gender system) that the gay male deviates (Jackson Jr 1993).

However, The Simpsons series occurred to display the gay matrimony and therefore spark outrage among conservative groups in America, who are against it. In the long-running show, the show embarked on some gay marriages even though Brent Bozell III, the chief executive of the Parents Television Council, blasted that at a time when the general public feelings is overwhelmingly against gay matrimony, any show that promotes gay matrimony is deliberately bucking the general public mood (Block 2007).

Controversial Storylines: an Example

In a report, in order to test the potency of using an bout of The Simpsons in an introductory sociology classes, students' behaviour (N=176) have been analyzed toward lesbians and gay men before and after viewing the episode titled "Homer's Phobia. " The participating students were asked to identify stereotypes about gay men and lesbians. It had been found that enjoying the problems came across by Homer Simpson's negative techniques toward a gay persona on the show augmented acceptance of homosexuals among freshmen students. Actually, the utilization of the bout of the cartoon happened to generate a greater depth of debate about the consequences of homophobia and discrimination of lesbians and gay men (Miller and Thornton 2009).

Concluding Remarks

In the annals of mankind, presumably, there's been a turmoil between engagement and disengagement on controversial issues of societies. To highlight interpersonal/political issues, yet preventing disconceptuality and vagueness, some music artists capitalize on the grotesque parody and jest with teasing. The Simpsons series is epitomic stereotype that targets controversial issues of the American culture to show hurdles as satire. The spectral range of the show varies in conditions of "degrees of biting" as which range from satire proper at the hot-end, and "kidding" at the violet-end. Given that teasing is the reactionary side of the comic, The Simpsons may well not be taken critically as it limits itself to a shallow parody of caricature appearance. But, The Simpsons series exploits satire to not in favor of untouchable issues such as gay relationship. Having subversive characteristics, the show seems to carry a deep moral dimension focusing on various issues to bring about possible loos of individuality in a humored buffoonery manner with little censor/exclusion. This aspect of the show should be outlined by TV critiques.

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