CHAPTER 8 SIMULATIONAL
CULTURE IN GROUNDHOG DAY
By: Brittany Quirk
Meaning: Industrialized cultures with
capitalist economies that have a heavy
dependence on electronic media for
Simulation: an experience that is selfcontained. Examples: video
games, movies/television, spectator
sports, shopping malls, theme parks, etc.
* The self referential nature of an
experience is key to simulations.
Rhetorically critiques the simulational
nature of culture today.
Simulational cultures are built
upon, and builds the simulational self.
If we can not break out of a self
referential loop, we are fated to be
caught up in the same day to day
2 RHETORICAL CRITIQUES
1. Culture centered- what our
simulational culture says about the
way we live in the world.
2. Feminist- How the film suggests
female empowerment as an
antidote to an obsession with
A man finds himself as the only person in the world who is living the same day
over and over again. After living what seems to be a decade of groundhog days
in despair, he inevitably begins learning how to be a decent person and have
genuine relationships with those around him.
Film focuses its attention on the type of person of who is stuck in a habitual
loop of self absorption and simulation. The main character undergoes a
transformation after what seems like a unsettling amount of time of being
Cruel, especially toward women.
Detached from others.
Frequently exploits women.
Incapable of true companionship
Once Phil realizes that tomorrow
doesn't’t exist, he understands that there
is no consequence for his behavior.
He starts eating poorly, stealing
money, seducing women for self
gratification, driving recklessly, etc.
Life appears to have no meaning any
more so Phil resorts killing himself
several times. Of course, he wakes up in
the same bed on Groundhog Day after
Phil learns compassion after spending the night with Rita after many attempts
at seducing her and failing. Reason for Rita staying? He respected her and did
not try to have sex with her. The next morning he awakes with purpose and
starts living selflessly.
Starts helping people of the town, saving lives, leaning languages, arts, and
musical instruments, and starts treating people genuinely.
WOMEN IN THE FILM
Phi’ls is dependent on women for wisdom and understanding , however he
will never obtain wisdom and understanding as long as he exploits women.
Rita: female empowered role who teaches Phil of equality. Phil makes several
attempts to seduce Rita, and miserably fails because of his lack of
understanding of equality/meaningful relationships with others.
The film positions authentic relationships with women as an antidote to a
Film not only questions cultures simulational obsession, but offers reexamination of attitudes toward women as a way to overcome that obsession.
Advises recovery from simulation attachment.
Phil’s life mirrors many of us.
Peoples lives are too focused on themselves.
We are obsessed with technology and entertainment.
People are unable to make human connection.
Dysfunctional relationships between men and women based on inequality.
The real harm of patriarchy and simulation is of real human connection through inauthenticity
of being, refusal of love, and ironic detachment.
What does an increasingly simulational culture say about children in future
generations? In what ways do you think kids perception of the world is
different now/in future generations?
Do you think the nature of our relationships have improved or worsened since
the popularity of social networks, texting, and other forms of non face to face
How do you feel about simulation’s ability to distract a large group of people
from becoming involved with social/political issues?