Big FIsh Essay - Could i please get some advice on this essay :)

  1. Analyse how one or more moments highlighted an important idea.

Sometimes reality can only be expressed in fiction as reality often lies. Life isn’t straight-forward and simple , it’s complex, personal and hard to understand at the best of times. Tim Burton’s ‘Big Fish’ explores the paradoxical nature of fact and fiction and how something is impossible to express properly without a little bit of embellishment. This explores the idea of fact vs fiction and is shown in the very important moment where Edward Bloom dies and his son William Bloom makes up a fantastic story of how he goes. This scene pulls together many motifs and symbols to represent how Ed’s life truly is. We see this in the many people that attend Ed’s fictional passing rather than his real one, in the way he built a home out of people and the way he reached immortality. This explores the idea of fact vs fiction and tries to explain how they often overlap.

Ed was loved by so many and this isn’t easily seen in the ‘real’ moment but is very clearly shown in the fantastic version as the truth is shown in fiction. Often we feel something thats not true, but like Edward through reminding us and memories we can understand that reality isn’t always what we experience. In this sad moment Will tells his father the story of how he passes to help him understand that he truly doesn’t die nearly alone but rather in the love of all the people he’s helped. In the real version Will is the only one who sees Ed go but in the story Ed is sent off by the 100s of people who he helped and influenced. What Will wants to show Ed is how much of a difference he made and how much he was loved. We can see this in the lighting. In the real world everything’s blue, sad and sombre but in the fantasy version its technicolor bright and yellow hued. This is because we associate yellow with happiness and blue with sadness and by choosing this colour Burton can show how much love Ed really shared, which isn’t clear in the sad blue lonely reality. As reality lies. This is further reinforced by dialogue where Will says “there isn’t a sad face there, everyone’s happy to see you” what this shows is the happiness and love people have for Ed. This love is not shown in the reality of the scene but the truth can be shown through the story. This is how reality is expressed in fiction when it’s not shown in reality. This is an important idea as sometimes its very easy to feel like we aren’t loved and in and age where phones create a constant stream of worthless texts and conversations that can feel like hollow and vain attempts to get a higher snap score or feel popular it becomes very easy to forget the effect we really have on people. It’s easy to fall into this vain trap but what Burton shows us is that sometimes that isn’t the reality and that we need to remind ourselves of the truth which might not always be what we experience. And so like Ed we need to try and see beyond our experiences to the truth and remind ourselves of the truthful fiction we should believe. Sometimes it’s hard to understand reality but fiction can help us understand our true worth as is shown in the moment where Ed passes and Will tells his first story.

Ed found a home in the people around him. What this shows is that sometimes the literal does not make sense but rather fiction is more truthful. Saying someone found a home with people is a metaphor as it plays on the idea of a home being where the heart is and not where we live. This is a type of fiction and shows how the reality of Edward, where his home, can only be seen in fiction. Edward finding a home in the people he loved can be seen in the way that during the fictitious ending that Will creates, at his death bed, his shoes are thrown onto a wire. This is a continuation of the motif that putting your shoes up means finding a permanent home, this was shown in Spectre when Ed did not want to put his shoes up and settle and also a continuation of the use of props, shoes, to show this. As he puts up in his shoes when he reaches his friends and family what he is showing is that his home is in people. This obviously isn’t literal as he doesn’t live with them but it’s where his heart is and so it’s his home and where he puts his shoes. This couldn’t as easily be expressed without the story and so can only be expressed in the fiction of the metaphor because society would have the audience believe that Ed’s home is his house but clearly through looking at the embellished fiction end we can see it means so much more. This relates very well to the real world as it’s hard to understand who we are, where we belong when we are not thinking about our loyalties and love. What ‘Big Fish’ shows is that home is where the heart is, whether that be with people, in a place or in a lifestyle, this is a very popular phrase which helps the audience understand the idea better and relate it to our own lives. Reality often lies to us but by following our heart and reaching out for the meaning not only what we experience we can better understand our reality.

In this moment Ed dies, but this is only in the literal reality in the fiction of the world he created he has become the immortal big fish. This is very closely tied to reality as he reaches immortality in reality in the real world as Will explains in his metaphor of the big fish. Ed lives on in the legacy he has left behind and the effect he has had on others. We see this in the moment where Ed turns into a big fish and as Will explains “he told his story so many times he became them and in that way he became immortal”. What this dialogue shows us is how the reality of him dying was only in the most literal sense and that through his legacy he truly reached immortality. This feeds into the idea that truth can sometimes only be seen in fiction. This idea is made important as it’s very relevant for our own lives, what it tells us is that through the impact we make on others we create a legacy and through that will never truly die. This message is created by Burton as he wants us to think about the impact we have and the legacy we leave behind. He wants us to think about the stories from our lives that will be remembered and the ways in which we choose to interact with people as well as think about ourselves. He wants us to go beyond the lies and look at the ways in which reality exists within us and the ways we feel it.

We live in a world of black and whites but reality is often impossible to be seen without exaggeration and fiction. We express ourselves through stories and they are a way to tell the truth in a way that’s true to how we felt and not what happened. This is a key idea in ‘Big Fish’ which is highlighted by the moment where Will tells his father’s final story, it is made important by its relevance to our own lives as shown by the character and their lives. Reality often lies but the truth can be told through fiction as shown when Edward dies almost along and in a sad way when really his death is more truthfully told in the love he spread, when it is shown how Edward built a home not of bricks and mortar but of people and love and when Ed rather became the big fish than died.

Kiā ora Fergus and welcome.
You set up the question well in the introduction. You could be clearly specific about which moments you are going to be looking at to give the marker a really clear idea of where it is all going. It is a good idea to use the words of the statement in your answer, to keep the marker on track. :grinning:
You incorporate techniques well and simply put ,this is a wonderful essay, insightful, thoughtful and well put together. I enjoyed reading it. Well done!