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Roger and Me Analysis

             In this film, Michael Moore is satirizing corporate America, specifically the General Motors scenario in Flint, Michigan, during the late 1980's. The film exposes how large corporations are always trying to maximize profit, even if it means laying off thousands of their employees. In Flint, the automotive industry was the backbone of the economy. GM decided to lay off 30,000 workers in the area, in an effort to downsize their American factories in order to open new factories in Mexico (because of cheaper wages). Moore brings the conflict between the profit of a corporation and the well-being of its employees into the spotlight. On one hand, the company must attempt to be as successful as possible, whether it means laying off people or hiring more. Conversely, the company should look at the societal consequences of destroying so many jobs in one area. Flint witnessed extreme unemployment rates, which eventually led to a high crime rate as people stole and fought for basic needs, such as clothing and food. The failures and hardships caused by the GM corporate decision are shown with vivid detail. Moore makes excellent use of juxtaposition and irony to emphasize his perspective on the subject. .
             One scene that utilized juxtaposition and irony was when Miss Michigan participated in a parade in Flint. She was very jovial and pretty as she sat atop her float and waved to the citizens. Her apparent beauty and wealth contrasted greatly with the unemployed workers who were poverty-stricken and dismal looking. Their ragged clothing seemed to match perfectly with the closed down and boarded up stores behind them. This scene was one of many that showcased the great economic disparity that can exist in a free enterprise system. In her interview after the parade, Miss Michigan was asked about the unemployment situation. Her reply was filled with uncertainty and confusion, as she tried not to offend anyone.

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