How does Edward's downfall in Edward Scissorhands enlighten the audience?Arthur Miller says that the role of tragedy, including the common man's downfall in tragedy, is to enlighten the audience....

How does Edward's downfall in Edward Scissorhands enlighten the audience?

Arthur Miller says that the role of tragedy, including the common man's downfall in tragedy, is to enlighten the audience. How does Edward from Edward Scissorhands enlighten the audience?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The inclusion of Miller is an interesting subtext to the question.  There are few writers better than Miller in articulating the condition of the individual terrorized by the community.  Similar passionate displays of individual identity is present in Burton's work.  Edward's downfall comes from the fact that the social order does not understand him.  He does not bring this upon himself, but rather finds himself fundamentally misunderstood by the social order, which seeks to either appropriate him in accordance to their own subjectivity or outright eliminate him.  In this setting, there is little understanding of difference and those who break the social mode.  When Edward is hunted down by this community, the audience understands what it is like to be different and how painful it is to be the victim of the "tyranny of the majority."  It is in this condition that the audience is enlightened to either assume the condition of Kim, who defends that which is despised, or at the very least, to not be a member of the community that is manipulated or controlled by others in pursuit of an individualistic agenda.

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