Symbols for Truman
In the movie The Truman Show, the director, Peter Weir, uses many symbols to help convey ideas throughout the film. By the use of these symbols, Weir can create representative concepts and ideas that show us more than what we, as viewers, literally see. In The Truman Show, there are many of these representative symbols.
Near the beginning of the movie, a light falls from the top of the dome. This light is part of the show equipment and set, and it symbolizes Truman’s world crashing down to the ground. After the light fell, there was what seemed to be a chain reaction. Many things in Truman’s world began to unwind as a result of that one light. The action of the light falling also creates a sense of foreshadowing, giving us insight into the full collapse of Truman’s world.
Throughout the entire movie, there were many scenes where Marlon and Truman conversed on an unfinished bridge. In these conversations, the two men discussed many things going on in Truman’s life, but in particular, every time they were on the bridge, Truman was unsure about something. And that is what this unfinished bridge symbolizes, indecision and uncertainty. This bridge seemed to really convey the concept. While Truman would talk of the possibility of “something else out there”, his lack of knowledge and self-confidence was backed up by the unfinished bridge, showing its true meaning.
Near the end of the movie, there are two really meaningful symbols that present themselves to the audience. While trying to escape, Truman skippers a sailboat to travel the watery expanse of his world. The very next scene depicts a bold bald eagle’s head attached to the front of the boat. This eagle is very symbolic. Eagles teach us to follow our true path, and in this way, the eagle symbolizes courage, the confrontation of fears, and the ability to follow what is right. This is exactly what Truman is doing at this point in the movie. By battling his way across the water, he is facing his fears and he is following his instinct to do what he feels is right. This brings up the other great symbol at this point in the movie.
While struggling against all odds, Truman falls over the side of the boat and clings to the railing, revealing “Santa Maria” as the name of the boat. This is very symbolic, because the Santa Maria was the largest of three ships