We resist change, but yearn for it at the same time. In Pleasantville, writer and director Gary Ross introduces us to his outspoken point-of-view about the direction in which North American culture is heading. This dramatic-comedy purveys the message that the world we live in is in progress and it is not deteriorating.
Pleasantville is a journey of overcoming fear. "Let the real you out," said David, the main character, to the mayor of Pleasantville. The real you, can seldom come out because we are all bound so tightly by our fears. The road to freedom can only be found by breaking through our fears. We will never know about all this world has to offer to us if we cling to what is safe and acceptable. In Pleasantville, the world literally ends at the city limits. Space twists back upon itself in Pleasantville, and "the end of Main Street is just the beginning again." This is a metaphor of the imaginations of the citizens, their imaginations lies on a narrow street in which the end is the beginning again.
As some citizen's of Pleasantville begin to discriminate against the coloured citizens, a backlash begins and connections to southern persecution of blacks in the "50's and "60's and to Nazi book burning are made. The desire some Americans have for "kinder and gentler times" masks a desire for a period of racial and sexual oppression, intolerance of difference, and fear of change and modernized ideas. The conformity existing in Pleasantville may lead to clean streets and a wholesome and polished surface image, but it kills the human soul, spirit and confines imagination. .
After everyone overcame their fears and found their "color" the roads in Pleasantville actually went from being circular to going somewhere. Jennifer found her road and took it. She went from being an object of anyone and everyone's affection to finding her purpose in life. .
The circular roads of our lives bind us to our fears.