Edward Scissorhands: Tim Burton’s Rhetoric on Suburban Ideologies

TimBurton copy

Professor Sze’s brief mentioning about the idealized suburban lifestyle reflected in American pop culture in lecture today made me think of the neighborhoods in Tim Burton’s movie Edward Scissorhands and the work he put into making them appear so pristine and almost unreal. Burton wanted to reflect the suburbs he grew up in as a kid in Burbank, CA and the generic and unified feeling they had that was so familiar in shows like Leave it to Beaver or The Wonder Years. The setting of the movie was meant to remind us of the brainwashing media that portrays these idealized lifestyles and makes us believe that they are the key location to a wonderful and happy life. However, anyone that has seen Edward Scissorhands knows there was a lot of darkness hidden behind those pinks walls and perfectly manicured hedges. Burton likely wanted to exploit those ideals and reveal to the world that under that immaculate facade, the world is still imperfect and holds lies, hatred, and hegemonic ideals that are continued to be covered up by institutions like our suburbs.

How else do you feel suburban living has influenced (or brainwashed) us as a society, and has the image of a perfect suburban life influenced your family in any way?

*I could not find an original interview from Burton about the set; all of the facts I found were on the films’ Wikipedia page


One thought on “Edward Scissorhands: Tim Burton’s Rhetoric on Suburban Ideologies

  1. Suburban living has brainwashed for i would say that everyone should be the same and look the same. Just like the text of lawn people, how one had to care for their lawn to be apart of the american culture, one has to make their house look the same as the others or better to signify that the world is a controlling place and the american culture is what we make of it. By looking the same everyone has something in common and there are no judgement, but if someone does not do what everyone else does than this causes uproars among a culture. For my family in general i do not believe this has influenced my family but i can say that it has influenced us to achieve a better life style of living so that our home may look the same as everyone else around us, beautiful and clean.


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