Metaphorical criticism of American beauty

 Metaphorical Criticism of “American Beauty”

A metaphor is generally an outward symbol that is used to depict something else. It is an outward decoration or ornamentation, a symbolic representation of one group of things which are in fact related to something else entirely. The film “American beauty” makes abundant use of metaphors in order to illustrate an inner message that is represented by the metaphorical allusions. The characters in the film are an average middle class American family and their neighbors, yet  their portrayal in the film has been done in such a way that they do not appear quite real, rather the audience’s understanding of these characters is conditioned by metaphors that they represent, as revealed in the film through outward symbols such as a red rose and a floating garbage bag. The underlying message in the film is every human being’s quest for happiness and beauty, but this message is communicated through metaphors rather than stated directly in the dialogues. One of the most significant metaphors in the film is the use of the color red, as represented in the rose and rose petals that occur periodically in the film. The red symbolizes love and lust, yet it also symbolizes violence and death. Similarly, the metaphor of a garbage bag is used to present a message that is quite the opposite – that of beauty and transience.
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