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How does the power of the media affect Chance, and how does his consumption of media affect itself - Essay Example

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How does the power of the media affect Chance, and how does his consumption of media affect itself

Chance is a total product of this broadcasting style, and as such is the darling of the televised world as it feeds on the incestual nature of the meaningless clich.
The constant and total exposure to television had left Chance existing in a world that in fact did not exist. Chance can turn the world on and off as he wishes. We see in his thoughts the ethereal quality of his world when he muses, "As long as one didn't look at people, they did not exist. They began to exist, as on TV, when one turned ones eyes on them." (14). The world, like television, did not exist if it wasn't being watched. Chance did not exist, except when viewed by the few servants of the house and then only in brief encounters. The death of the Old Man would change all that. He would now go out into the public and be viewed and in doing so would be brought into existence. His persona would be the barren mind of inane comments and meaningless chatter. Television, like the people it has molded, would be anxious to attach deep meaning to the most baseless comments.
The self-promoting arrogance of television purports to know what should be important and feeds the public a steady diet of sound bites. Viewers, wishing to not be seen as uninformed and uneducated are quick to attach meaning to almost anything. Chance's repetition of other people's words is enough to make him seem interested and interesting. Chance is the ambiguity that television needs to satisfy a diverse audience fed on hyperbole. As EE thought of Chance, she noted, "From the beginning, she noticed the meticulous care he took to insure that nothing he said to her or to anyone else was definite enough to reveal what he thought of her or of anyone or, indeed, of anything" (75). Chance, like television could be nothing at all and in doing so would seem to be all things to all people. This is where television excels and this is what Chance brings to the world and the notoriety that it brings with it.
The mystery that lies behind the elusive and vacant mind of Chance has made him all the more interesting. Like the television he knows, his remarks, or lack of them, are viewed with an air of inquisitiveness. The sense that he was an important man makes his comments seem worthy, and tycoons, politicians, and viewers are eager to attach meaning in an attempt to elevate their own self worth. The mystery of this elusiveness is shown by EE's interest in Chance as she remarks, "Do you know that you're very brainy, very cerebral, really Chauncey, that you want to conquer the woman from within her own self,[...]" (79). Chance, like television, is all things to all people by being absolutely nothing at all. It is this sense of mystery that lulls the crowd into a seductive state of desire as viewers are treated to experts and pundits. We are told that the information is credible, yet we make of it what we will, each for our own purpose.
Television feeds on this phenomena just as it celebrates Chance's meaningless musings as deep-seated wisdom of a financial guru. Speaking about the only subject he knows, gardening, television is able to attach a misplaced meaning to his words. Chance tells the host, "It's a good garden and a healthy one; its trees are healthy and so are its shrubs and flowers, as long as they are ...Show more

Summary

In Jerzy Kosinski's book Being There, the lead character is a vacant man devoid of substance and character. Raised from childhood in isolation, his only knowledge of the world has come from his relationship with television. His entire mentality is a one-dimensional clich of meaningless drivel and is often no more than the repeated words of the people he converses with…
Author : mattiemuller
How does the power of the media affect Chance, and how does his consumption of media affect itself essay example
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