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Tim Burton Essay

838 words - 4 pages

English Essay on Tim Burton
Tim Burton uses an extensive range of thematic and aesthetic features that express the individuality and differences that frame his protagonists as outsiders in society. These distinctive features are most commonly demonstrated in both of his films of ‘Edward Scissor Hands’ (1990) and ‘Beetle Juice’ (1988). This is shown through the various uses of the gothic trope of the haunted house, black humour, distinctive characterization and the theme of individuality verses conformity.
Burton uses the gothic trope of the typical haunted house to separate his protagonists from the rest of society. He does this by setting the protagonist’s house high up on a hill excluded ...view middle of the document...

Burton had used dull lighting and some blue tints with scenes that include Edward. He had done this to represent Edward as being alone and an outcast. Edward is further seen of being disconnected from society due to the fact that he has very little to say. Another example would be Lydia in ‘Beetle Juice’. She is shown as an outsider who desperately wants to be understood. This is demonstrated through the use of her wearing black clothing and tends to cover her face with veils. Lydia is seen as a dark character by her saying “my life is one big dark room”.
Burton has combined black humour and slap-stick comedy in a number of his films. He does this to explore themes of individual feelings of social outcasts in a lighter way. For example, in ‘Edward Scissor Hands’, when Edward was caught at attempted robbery, the police ordered him to ‘put your weapons down’, when in fact it was Edward’s scissor hands raised up in the air. This reflects on the attitude, misunderstanding and fear towards the abnormal. Another example was at the end of ‘Beetle Juice’, where the Maitlands use their ghost powers and lift Lydia up while she is dancing. This scene symbolizes the idea of the outsider (Lydia) accepting the supernatural in this case ghosts as part of her family. The concept of these techniques allows Burton to explore daring and depressing topics such as being an outsider that otherwise would make the film too bleak.
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