Cartoons — Can we learn stuff?

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This week we it’s all about cartoons, I do want to start off by saying that I definitely enjoy watching The Simpsons,  this television series of  the hilariously entertaining depiction of an average middle class family definitely hones in on many political and controversial issues and spins them into a comical and casual occurrence.  I believe that this is one of the longest standing successes in American television. I remember that my mother prohibited me from watching these, “wildly rude and inappropriate” cartoons, yelled to me in Spanish of course. Even as a kid I still found them entertaining. I would chuckle and laugh at rude jokes and scenarios that I could relate to, I remember that I would sneak over to a friend’s house or watch them when my mother wasn’t looking.


The episode that I choose to watch is from The Simpson’s, episode “My Fare Lady” season 26, episode 14. In this episode Homer once again manages to wiggle himself out of his responsibilities by burying himself in a pitcher of beer, leaving Marge with a very detailed driving list of destinations and chores that needed to get done in an orderly fashion for the kids. This depicts some aspects of contemporary culture since we are a multi-tasking society we get caught up in having to constantly reschedule, squeeze in, and run last minute errands. As stated in the article, “The Function of Fiction: The Heuristic Value of Homer” by Jennifer McMahan, “Because [fiction promotes simulation] it forces of individual to shed her conventional orientation and try it on another, Feagin contends that simulation “enriches and deepens one’s understanding of the representation situation and makes one better able to deal with a situation the bears similarity to it.”  We are constantly on the move and this episode made me realize how hard it is to do it all and how stressful this could be and how constantly being on the move can actually deprive an individual from enjoying the important things in life, especially when you are doing it alone and others rely on you. After analyzing this episode it really resounded with my experiences as a child and my mother taking on both the mother and father role for my siblings. Now I can truly understand why I am able to relate to these cartoons.

McMahan states that, “We learn from fiction not only because it offers accurate representations of individuals and promotes feedings for those individuals but also because it promotes identification.” Ultimately it seems like fiction is a useful medium for us to express truths and harsh realities in a comical and accepting way. We are able to use fiction to view different perspectives, experiences, and beliefs.


One thought on “Cartoons — Can we learn stuff?

  1. I like when you said ” Ultimately it seems like fiction is a useful medium for us to express truths and harsh realities in a comical and accepting way.” There are undoubtedly a lot of truths today that lots of people don’t really want to talk about — at least in the open. I agree with you on the notion that fiction helps uncover these truths in a non-obtrusive way that has people actually listening. Great post — I enjoyed reading!


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