Wednesday, April 30, 2014

American Mentality

In relation to the story we read for class, “The City of Robots,” I tried to pay attention to the hyperreality aspects of Umberto Eco’s writing. I got the feeling that Eco’s views on hyperreality were very authentic in American culture. I liked the way he incorporated Disneyland into his work. All of his examples were related to monuments or attractions in the United States. It is almost as if Americans as a whole have been enveloped by the idea of hyperreality. Just look at Civil War reenactments, or historical landmarks which have been altered so much the only “real” piece of history in them is a scrap of wood. People still get extremely enthusiastic about visiting these places, and most of the time they know these locations are not “real.”

What about the recreation of nature? When I think of this, I think of animals in a zoo. The habitats they are in are clearly not where they came from; well maybe if they were born in a zoo. Still, these animals are not supposed to be enclosed in these areas. They should be out in the wild where they belong, but people still travel to the zoo everyday to look at these creatures.

In the “City of Robots,” Eco states that Disneyland is proud of its fake attributes. The people in Disneyland need to act like robots as well in order to obtain the full effect of this place. Eco states that once we venture into this place, we need to leave our identities behind and are expected to have the time of our lives.

When I traveled to Disney World in Florida, I was with my family for a week. I have to say in the middle of July that it was a bit uncomfortable. I remember getting into a fight with my younger sister and my mother saying, “No fighting, we’re in Disney.” It made sense to me then, but looking at it now we all had that mentality that Disney was this magical place where it was bad for siblings to have an argument. 

2 comments:

  1. "No fighting, we're in Disney!" I would buy that t-shirt.

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  2. I found the city of robots to relate so perfectly with Disney Land/World because it is so true the way people act when they are there, myself included. When I went to Disney with my family we walked with the others and kept going straight through the park, there was no turning around. It was like we were robots marching to our next discovery (ride). It could be this way because of the way the park is designed (mainly for children) it is a basic design so people go straight and get to see everything in the park (probably so kids know what direction to go in). I wonder if you could walk the entire park in a whole day?

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