The Simpsons As The Model American Family

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The Simpsons As The Model American Family Of The 1990′S Essay, Research Paper The Simpsons as the model american family of the 1990’s Meet the Simpsons Over time, the definition of what exactly family means has changed with time. Usually, what constitutes making up a family is relative to a specific culture, but as always, there are exceptions to the rule. Ever since the golden age of television had sprung upon American culture, television has tried to mimic the ideal American family through it s programming. Even as early as the 1950 s, television producers made programming that would represent what exactly the ideal American family was. Take for example the show Leave It to Beaver . While I am not going to go in detail about each character, I am going to summarize the

family structure and the role of the member. There was a father figure, his job, or responsibility rather, was to financially support the family, while being an exemplary father to his children. The mother on the other hand, was solely responsible for being a typical housewife, while not neglecting the rearing of her children. The children did not have any real responsibility, but they respected their parents and attempted to stay out of trouble. Television shows for the most part in this early era of programming followed among these lines. There has always been at least one show each decade that followed the evolution of American life. In the 1960 s, there was the Andy Griffith Show . In the 1970 s, there was a different spin on family life with the show All in the Family ,

which did not have the typical white collar father, and its emphasis was not on raising the children, rather it was after the children had grown up. While in the 1980 s there was a split in the television programming representation of American families. There were still shows that represented the ideal American family, such as Different Strokes and Family Ties as well as The Cosby Show , but there was also a more realistic representation of American life in Married With Children . However, it is not in a drama that American family life is best represented in the 1990 s. Instead, it is in the animated series, The Simpsons . The Simpsons follows suit with the other dramas that reflected the decade in which they aired. According to the U.S. consensus for March 1998, the majority of

households in America are married couples (U.S. Consensus pp. 1, 3,4,6). The Simpson s meet this. Also according to the consensus, the average married couple has approximately 2.6 children per household (U.S. Consensus, Household Characteristics p.1). Since there cannot be six-tenths of a child, I will round up to three children, in which the Simpson family has: Bart, Lisa and Maggie. Also, the average American is a blue-collar worker. The father figure, Homer, meets this factor with his job at the nuclear power plant within his hometown of Springfield. So according to the statistics, the Simpson family could be considered an average American family. In the next part of the essay, I will look at each individual character of the Simpson family, and try to relate how that

individual could be considered a typical American. I attempt to avoid using stereotypes, but nothing is full proof. I will look at some of the character s traits and try to relate how that is a parody of an American. First, I will begin with discussing the character of Homer Simpson. As you might know, Homer is the father figure of the household, whose responsibilities include financially supporting the household, since he is the household s primary source of income. He has his flaws like any person would, but somehow he and his family tend to work it out. Some of his mishaps are very similar to those that most of us have had to face. For example, he leaves the keys in his door to the house quite often (Hall, The Homer File p. 2). Another example, would be the time when he