When we look at American pop culture today, we can literally see tons of symbolism. Almost everything in the movies has some sort of message, or underlying meaning behind it. Some of these symbolic views can be seen in a movie or listened through music. More often than not, the type of symbolism found in movies can be overlooked. Many people do not read between the lines and analyze a movie, they just generally watch it once and give their opinion. Taking a closer look into the move Fight Club, we can determine that there are many different types of symbolism. The old house that is located on Paper Street, Bob one of the narrator’s first friends in the movie, but more importantly soap (Yazılarım). Other movies might blend their symbolism into the film and no one could even know it’s there, or what it means. Lord of the Rings has a few different types of symbolism also, “The Cross and the Tree may be inter-changeable symbols, which creates quite a striking parallel between the imagery used by Tolkien and the ancient esoteric symbols that I associate with the Dark Star” (Andy). There is also the obvious symbolism that no one could miss and that could be whatever you make of it, which is the ring. The ring itself could stand for some type of power, the freedom from evil, or the courage to change and entire world. All of these are possibilities for symbolism of the ring. The movie Fight Club has been discussed, analyzed, and theorized upon, since the debut of the film. One of the most important symbolizations in the film is soap. The soap could represent a form of cleaning, after all, that is what you use soap for. The narrator who has generated his alter ego, has also put the making of soap into a different form of clean, but is still referred to as cleaning, in his mind. This is a cleansing process that destroys people. The symbolism for the soap is quite often overlooked, even though, the narrator clearly states that it is used to make homemade bombs. When we take a look at all the other symbolisms in the movie we can see, that the narrator idolizes famous people, and wants his perfect life. A common journalist writes, “We idolize pop stars and the rich and famous, wishing we could be them, knowing it is impossible. However, this movie is not propaganda for revolution, because the movie does not want us to change the whole system, it simply wants us to realize how we are living our lives and see if we can to change it if we want to” (Yazılarım). In the beginning of the movie the narrator views are just like this quote, however his alter ego changes his views and puts forth destruction onto the world, in the form of soap.
If we take a look at the popular movie trilogy The Matrix, we can see several different forms of symbolism. For starters the name Neo is a Greek name for “one.” In the movie Neo is actually the “one” who is supposed to save everyone else. When the word matrix is analyzed, it has a mathematical, biological, and a Latin meaning. The mathematical term for matrix can be described as a rectangular scheme of numbers. This would closely resemble the actual look of the matrix, or the green code on one of the computer screens. When breaking down the word matrix in biology, it is a basic substance without inner structure, which could in fact be similar to the virtual world of The Matrix movie. There are many other symbolisms in this movie; one of the other characters names is Morpheus, which is the Greek god of dreams. In the movie Morpheus says, “The Matrix is a computer generated dream world…I have dreamed a dream, and now that dream has gone from me,” (Matrix-Explained) now both of these resemble something that a god of dreams would say. There is also another main symbol in the movie and his name is Cypher, and he resembles the bad guy in the movie. The name broken down is “The classic betrayer, the Judas Iscariot. The word refers to a mathematical symbol denoting an absence of quantity, a zero. Also, someone with no value, a nonentity and is also potentially related to Satan (the name could be a shortened version of ‘Lucifer’)” (Bros.).
The symbolisms in movies can often be overlooked. When digging a little bit deeper than what meets the eye, there are many possible symbolisms in movies. Analyzing names, words, and the main characters, we can see just how easily to interpret these symbols. American pop culture is full of symbolisms, and movies are just the beginning. These symbols can be found elsewhere also. The music industry is thriving with symbolisms. If we look at the new and up-coming artist, Lady Ga Ga, we can see the symbolism in her song, “Alejandro.” This is a religious symbol and music critic, Klien writes, “The religious symbolism is not meant to denote anything negative, but represents the character’s battle between the dark forces of this world and the spiritual salvation of the Soul,” (Montgomery). Now this is one of the many symbolisms in the music industry and the list can go on.
As more movies debuts, songs hit the charts, and everyday American pop culture rises, there will always be symbolisms. They can be interesting, easy to spot, difficult to understand, or require research to interpret. Being able to see these symbolisms opens the door for the true understanding of the director, which in return makes us very happy consumers.