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As audiences enjoy the new movie, The Truman Show, many are impressed by what seems to be its striking originality. But the truth is, The Truman Show is repeating a story that dozens of other works of popular fiction have used for decades. It is a story that reveals an essential truth about what is happening to society in the 20th Century.

What is that truth? In part, it is about how the media and corporations have begun to surround us with a universe of illusions. From their high-tech control centers, they increasingly script and stage-manage events, creating the danger that we will find ourselves living inside seamless works of theater that we mistake for the world.

Like dozens of characters before him in other works of fiction, the hero in The Truman Show goes on a journey to escape this realm of smoke and mirrors. And then he discovers something unexpected -- what he believed was an open horizon and a way out, is really a wall.

You can examine the movie on these pages, beginning with The Meaning of The Truman Show and discover what it says about our media landscape. Or you can go to one of the other links below, including a page with details on the story.

The Meaning of The Truman Show
Are We Being Watched?
Environments of Illusion
Other Domains of Meaning
in The Truman Show
Product Placement
And What About This Site?
Letter To Salon Magazine 
(A Good Summary)
Links to Essays About Similar Stories
The Truman Show: The Story
Letters (Truman letters linked on left side)

Transparency: Copyright 1996-2001 Ken Sanes.
All rights reserved.
Transparency is on file with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Ken Sanes