Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bart Simpson: An allegory for humanity.

I got into a discussion with some people online about The Simpsons and I told them about my belief that they generally teach good moral values on the show. They completely scoffed at my thought and ridiculed me soundly. But I stand behind what I said.

You can really see what I mean if you study the bad seed, Bart. Bart is not intended to be a positive role model. Bart is an allegory of the nature of all mankind. He is an exploration of the duality of good and evil and a lesson that good triumphs. He is constantly struggling with temptation and having to deal with the consequences of his sinful tendencies. It's actually quite Christian in its nature. He always (and by extension we) learn(s) a valuable life lesson, although it's rarely spelled out "I learned something today" South Park style.

If you are a fan of the show, you no doubt remember when he killed a bird with a BB gun. Or when he was caught shoplifting. Or when he got Principle Skinner fired. Or in this latest episode, when he got Miss Krabappel fired. In this episode she tells him something particularly ground shaking, "You are bad on the inside." That completely shattered him, and the fact that he was so shaken by her accusation shows just how good he really is. If he was truly evil, it wouldn't matter that someone said that he was bad on the inside. (This is where the definition of evil became clear to me.)

Whatever you feel about Bart's nature, the one thing you must conclude is that he is not rotten to the core. He is in fact good inside. When his pranks go overboard he always feels bad for it and attempts to make things right. In fact, the majority of the shows involving him are almost always largely composed of his attempts to right his wrongdoings. The show is really about good.

So we can really study Bart and learn something about ourselves. Although we do tend to make mistakes, we should always try to do good and to make our evil deeds right. And in general, that's exactly what we do, because we are good.

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