“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob Square Pants! Absorbent and yellow and porous is he! SpongeBob Square pants!” Virginia Heffernan argues that these are the lyrics to a cartoon morally inappropriate for children. According to the author of the SpongeBob article on Slate.com this yellow sponge isn’t helping the upcoming society of children with moral lessons, but rather hindering them.
SpongeBob SquarePants is Nickelodeon’s, which is a cartoon network for kids, most watched animation. This show is in competition with Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Penguins of Madagascar. As the leading cartoon, what makes people watch the show? There are a number of things that attract viewers to this yellow sponge, besides his outrageous obnoxious laugh. When you first look at the show you see an addicting funny and cute sponge, but Virginia Heffernan quickly changes your thoughts of “what will this sponge do next?” to “who ever knew a sponge could be so misleading?” In the article written on Slate.com titled “Mark Twain Under the Sea: The moral Vision of Sponge Bob Square Pants”, the audience is directed to parents, and those who watch the show but are oblivious to its real meaning. Virginia Heffernan, the author, intended to reach out to the parents who have never paid attention to the show, but allow their kids to watch it and inform them of what their offspring are really viewing in this seemingly harmless animation. This article is meant to enlighten and spark opinions and discontinue the oblivious parenting.
Parenting style is one of many factors that strongly influence child development. One’s choice of parenting style is most often molded by their cultural background. American parents use a myriad of parenting styles, all of which have their roots in various cultural beliefs about which method is best to raise a child. In 1971, clinical and developmental psychologist, Diana Baumrind, recognized ...
Virginia Heffernan focuses on the fact that SpongeBob doesn’t contribute to the learning process of children. For instance individuals that a person would normally look up to in SpongeBob are bad influences on him. These so called wrong doers consisted of SpongeBob’s greedy boss Mr. Krabs; his blowzy, neurotic teacher Mrs. Puff; and his snobbish co-worker Squid ward Tentacles who happens to be the most accused of the cartoons that take away from the show. Virginia Heffernan, looks into the fact that the lifestyles frowned upon in society are portrayed and acted out in this television series complimented by a happy go-lucky vibe that suggests nothing is wrong.
Virginia Heffernan the author of “Mark Twain Under the Sea: The Moral Vision of Spongebob” uses the three appeals of pathos, logos, and ethos. The credibility the Heffernan refers to this in the article first is Mark Twain. She compares the widely viewed cartoon to works of the great author Mark Twain. In the way of Mark Twain, SpongeBob SquarePants despises sanctimony and hypocrisy far more than bad behavior. Next she refers to the actor John Lurie and the director Jim Jarmusch who had various cameos during the course of the show. She was not surprised and in fact expected someone like those gentlemen to take to the show and be attracted by the two sided sponge act of good and bad. The pathos of this article is directed to parents and people who are oblivious and is ignorant about the show. Heffernan is blunt about her views regarding SpongeBob SquarePants. She flat out claims that the show is anti-educational and shouldn’t be for tweens, which is an effective yet blunt way and depicting your views. Giving her strong views in such a frank fashion will formulate opinions and thoughts in the reader’s minds that may not have already been discovered. The logic consisted of everything that was wrong with the cartoon. Heffernan brought up the fact that SpongeBob’s boss, co-worker and driving teacher were not people he could look up to, implying they don’t belong in a kids cartoon. She says the cartoon has nothing to offer our aging youth. “SpongeBob SquarePants is no help; it has nothing to teach.” Virginia Heffernan stated.
The Mahavira and the Buddha share the same fundamental beliefs in Karma and dharma, however, their philosophies on how to achieve Nirvana differ greatly. Self denial, meditation, and enlightenment are the three major ways these two individuals believed helped to reach Nirvana. The Mahavira believed that self denial and meditation were the ways to achieving Nirvana, when the Buddha believed that ...
It’s easy to see what Virginia Heffernan is trying to say but I do not agree. She is reading too much into the cartoon and not focusing on the positive aspects of the cartoon. When children watch TV, they obviously don’t stop think and interpret what they are watching, they just watch it which is what most frequent tube-watchers do. Also in her article, she is blind to the good things that the loveable cartoon has to offer. It seems that SpongeBob SquarePants appeals to viewers who prefer adventure, fun and goodness which happens to be majority of the viewing population, which lies in our youth. The characters make the show enjoyable outside of the ironic setting under the deep sea. SpongeBob is funny and caring, Patrick is humorous and ditzy, and Sqwidward is conceited and selfish. The adventures the characters embark upon are fun, classic, and educational. Adventures have taught viewers the art of entrepreneurship, honesty, friendship, loyalty and so on. It is simple to see from any episode that a positive message is portrayed.
Virginia Heffernan makes a valid point but her arguments are not strong enough to make the assumption that SpongeBob is bad for kids. Here views can be easily counter exampled because what she forgets to address are the positives of the show. Although her views are obvious they could have been presented in a better way.