This event scars Truman, leaving him with a fear of water that prevents him from being able to leave. In part, this controls Truman. Yet again, there is a part of him that retains that desire to leave. It is Lauren's mention of Fiji that has him wanting to go, but it is also his desire to go as far from where he is as possible. In the end, it seems this desire cannot be contained and Truman's drive to explore eventually has him questioning his surroundings and finding his way you. In the end then, the film seems to suggest that human nature cannot be controlled. The environment and circumstances can be controlled so that a person's desires will not be great enough to overcome their fears.

The film also suggests that another aspect of people cannot be controlled, which is their ability to love. Truman does marry Meryl, but there is little suggestion that he is in love with her. Instead, it is a marriage of convenience, with Meryl practically pushed on Truman. Certainly, he could have had some control and chosen not to marry Meryl if he was determined enough and he probably would not have actively pursued Meryl. But given that she was there and that the environment was controlled, he seemed to stumble into marriage, not really loving her, but not having a good enough reason to bother fighting it. In the opposite way, it is shown that no matter how much Christof controls the environment, he cannot stop Truman from loving Lauren. Even in his controlled life he manages to recreate a picture of her and even with everything that happens and his marriage to Meryl, he never stops loving Lauren. Clearly there is some part of a human being that simply cannot be controlled.

The next question raised is what happens when Truman gains knowledge. This happens gradually as Truman suspects that something is happening and then slowly gains more and more evidence. The more he begins to suspect, the more he challenges the boundaries and strives to break free. This suggests that it only takes a brief glimpse at the truth for a person to find the motivation to break free. Truman was completely in the dark. Even without knowing the truth of what was happening, just knowing that something was not right was enough for Truman to take action to find out the truth and escape from his fictional life. This includes overcoming his fear and sailing across the ocean. It seems that a desire to be free may be enough to overcome the greatest of fears. This shows both how great free will can be and how much the environment needs to be controlled for a person to be manipulated.

Finally, considering Christof's views raises some interesting issues. In an interview with Lauren, Christof says that he is doing Truman a favor. He has taken him out of the real world and the struggles and problems associated with it. He has created a perfect world for Truman and argues that this is better for him than living in the real world. Lauren's point is that it's not fair for Christof to decide what's right for Truman and make his decisions for him. Even when Truman sails, reaches the door, and is about to leave, Christof tells Truman he should stay. Just as he argued with Lauren, he believes he can give Truman a better life in the created world than he will have in the real world. Truman does not agree and leaves the created world behind. Is it human curiosity or a need for freedom that drives Truman? Whichever it is, it seems that once Truman knows the possibilities, he cannot choose anything but to live in the real world. In regards to free will, he can have it taken away from him, but cannot choose not to exercise it. Freewill is either there or it is not there and it is only missing when a person does not have information to know that they have a choice.


The Truman Show. Dir. Peter Weir. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2001.