Symbolism in Jaws
The iconic Spielberg film Jaws possesses deeper elements that speak of human nature and the hidden beliefs we carry within. The film exposes important questions regarding our views on the purpose of war and resulting prejudice. In the movie, Quint describes how Japanese submarines attacked a US vessel with torpedoes after it had delivered the Hiroshima atomic bomb. In the same way that the Great White Shark is a machine-like creature of monstrous proportions, completely devoid of any humanity or sense of humaneness, there are allusions to the World War II American stereotype of the Japanese soldiers. Both the Japanese submarine and the shark attacking Amityville are unrelenting evil forces that conceal themselves in the water and attack the nation on its own land. The film thus challenges Americans to delve into their deep-seated beliefs and feelings about war-based, cultural stereotypes. The most profound scene of the film, when the shark explodes to its death at the end, explores an interesting parallel to the atomic bombs that were dropped onto innocent Japanese civilians.
The broadway production of Jaws could be a tragedy that is serious, earnest, and with a haunting message that speaks to the greater human psyche. The presentation would rely heavily on action rather than narrative. The emotions of pity and fear would be aroused in the audience, while their hearts are troubled with the questions that would arise in the presence of the play’s action. The audience will feel involved and full of tension and expectation, while even feeling sympathy for the shark. The masterful use of contrasting lightness and darkness would create the right atmosphere for the message of this play. Rather than use ornate decoration or design, the stage would be barren and bleak.