American Beauty Semiotic Analysis
Through its use of symbols and the identity of the film itself, American Beauty makes us take a look at the characters and their philosophies (American dream, their standards of success, splendor, and many others.) both as they may be and as they may be perceived. No one in the movie is in reality as they seem. In the cease, the creepiest (Ricky) is the nicest, the successful spouse is an unstable ruin, and the American beauty is a substitute plain.
The red rose petals, which appear in numerous instances all through American Beauty, symbolize romance, sensuality, and vitality. However, it is essential to word that the pink roses are implicitly an illusion in the course of a maximum of the movie. The crimson roses in the context of a phantasm come to stand for a sugar-covered reality.
By sugar coating, I imply that which covers up the natural stimulation (flavor, sight, touch) with the aid of “sweetening” it. In all but one of the scenes, the crimson peddles around Angela protecting her bare body in a way that makes whatever lays below that rather more enticing, via the usage of sensual reds and the sexiness of thriller. Not to say excessive spectacles which regularly accompany Lester’s dream scenes.
However, within the scene wherein Lester finally receives what he has wished for, Angela has no purple peddles around her. Unlike her breasts in the first scene, which had been blanketed up with vibrant pedals, this scene exposes her frame for what it is, and we love Lester begin to feel like Angela won’t have been all she changed into cracked up to be. It isn’t always that Angela isn’t always stunning; it’s miles that no one could stay up to the god-like expectations that Lester’s wild fantasies created.
After Lester reveals that Angela is a virgin and not at all what he idea she changed into, he is going out to the kitchen and picks up an image of his family. As Lester appears at a picture of his family announcing “man oh man…” a buy of purple roses(actual to the ones proven in advance) are proven for approximately 5 seconds. These roses, unlike all shown previously, are actual, now not a dream. Also, not like the roses showed in advance, they’re associated with his own family and now not Angela. In this context, the roses do not constitute sugar-coating; however, actual love, sensuality, and vitality. Seconds later, we see a puddle of crimson blood. Shortly once we experience, using video montage, Lester’s lifestyles flashed before his eyes, the love, sensuality, and power the picture represented.
The subject of factors no longer being what they appear is not isolated to Lester’s view of Angela. In several instances for the duration of the film, Carolyn says, You need to undertaking achievement always to, in the end, turn out to be successful. Lester additionally feedbacks to Ricky’s Dad that his marriage”…Is just for display”.
Many characters appear to obsess over how human beings understand them but show little take care of the truth of factors. Ricky’s Dad hates homosexuality, and could it be known several instances at some stage in the film; in the end, he turns out to be interested in men sexually. Carolyn and Buddy are obsessed with seeming “successful” and having others think they are a part of an “everyday” family; it is the conflict to seem this manner for each of them which makes them emotionally unstable and tears them other than their households.
Through its comparison of truth and perceived reality, American Beauty makes us look at what American splendor is, the American Dream, and the way actual promises those narratives offer really are.