The Simpsons’ use of postmodernist techniques, such as fragmentation, serve to highlight the diversity of our culture and the impossibility of establishing moral authority in the pluralism of postmodern society.
It is a sentiment closely related to Jean-Francois Lyotard’s theory of metanarratives, which involves a distrust of totalizing explanations of the world.
In effect, The Simpsons’ stance is the same as Lyotard’s; to reject systems that aim to exert their authority in order to proclaim absolute truths. Lyotard’s view is that these metanarratives, which purport to explain and re-assure, are really illusions,fostered in order to smother difference, opposition and plurality.Through various implicit and explicit methods, The Simpsons essentially takes the same stance, criticizing any and all who perpetuate such metanarratives. One of the ways The Simpsons does this is by making anti-authoritarianism one of its most prominent recurring themes.
Consider the metanarrative (dominant opinion) that is commonly held about one of the following groups in society:
- The Police
- Lawyers / The Law
- Educators / Teacher
- Families / Parents
- Christians/ Muslims
- Celebrities / The Media
- Business People
You will then be allocated a character from The Simpsons. You need to research their characters, narratives and how they represent someone that may or may not, help bring about the destruction of the grand narrative. Create a slide in the shared presentation on google drive that compares the dominant opinion with the one that is actually constructed, conveyed, portrayed in The Simpsons by the various characters.
Mrs Cobb’s classes slideshare is in classroom.
The Simpsons – A Postmodern Text
Some reading for anyone interested enough in how The Simpson’s can be described as a postmodern text.