Toto Snidvongs Senior Seminar Period 7 Mr. Clover March 8, 2012 Rashomon Essay Truth can be justified in many ways, but one of the most effective ways is throughperception, the awareness of things through our five senses. In the film Rashomon, thecharacters in the film were recalling events of how the samurai died. The effect of thesubjectivity of perception in recollection was seen in every character, each characters toldtheir own side of the story of what they believe was the truth. Rogers Ebert and ErrolMorris both have their own analysis of the film. Ebert believes that the truth is differentfor each individual, however, Morris believes there is only one absolute truth. Althoughthe stories that were told were very different from each other, I believe that thereobviously must be only one truth to what happened. I strongly agree with his view oftruth because there must be only one truth about things, but what actually happen is thatas people evolve or discovers more about something they are just learning more aboutthat truth; the truth was there since the beginning already. Morris’s idea about truth tothe film Rashomon is more viable. Morris’s idea of truth is very similar to Plato’s idea of truth in that truth isindependent of human beliefs; it is there and will always be present no matter what
people believe. The fact that people discovers or learn about something and think theyfound the truth is false according to both Morris and Plato because the truth was alreadythere. For example, for human evolution, some people do not believe in human evolution,the truth is that there is human evolution because there is evidence that humans areevolving therefore; there is only one truth. Morris believes “Rashomon is not a movie about the subjectivity of truth. Thatthere’s no objective truth, just subjective truth. A truth for you, a truth for me”. Hebasically believes that although people may claim different story or account of whathappens there is just one independent truth that is present. In Rashomon no matter whatthe characters are telling the viewers, there is and only is one person who killed thesamurai, which is the real truth. Ebert would believe that each character has their owntruth because he believes that truth depends on what people think and it is different forindividuals. However, this is not possible because multiple people cannot kill thesamurai, therefore at the end it would be somewhat like what Morris believes, that afterall there will be only one killer. Perception is a great way of knowing. As stated earlier perception is theawareness of things through our five sense, whether by sensation (provided by our ownenvironment) or from interpretation (perception done by our mind). The theory of seeingis believing supports what Morris thinks about Rashomon. Sometimes it could also beinferred to believing is seeing because sometimes the things you imagine to happen orthings you believe you would picture it that way. Just as Morris stated “it’s a movie abouthow everybody sees the world differently. But the claim that everybody sees the world
differently is not a claim that there’s no reality.” His view of reality or knowledge issomewhat similar to that of Plato’s, Plato believes that K=JTB. He believes that withbelieves and justification there will be truth therefore there will be knowledge. Which iswhat Ebert would believe that whatever people believe it could be truth and it would leadto knowledge. Morris believes the exact opposite, he believes that no matter what therewill be only one absolute truth, and if you deviate from that truth then you would nothave knowledge of something, he believes that K=T, if you have truth you also haveknowledge. The reason that the characters told different story could be because of thebelieving is seeing theory or the eye-witness testimony. The eye-witness testimony statesthat everything that someone sees or remember can be constructed in their mind,memories can altered if somebody convinced you otherwise. This means that the storiesthat were told were just stories altered by the characters mind of what actually happened,the absolute truth. Both Ebert and Morris had very convincing ways to support their views.Ebert believes that truth is subjective, where as Morris believes that truth isindependent of people’s belief and perception. However, I believe that Morris’s idealof truth is more relatable. He believes that there is just one truth a truth for me anda truth for you, no matter what people think or see there will just be one truth to it.In the film Rashamon it was only logical to have one killer, some of the stories mustbe a lie because all the characters cannot be the killer. Which again supportsMorris’s point of view. The reason the stories were told differently by eachcharacters could be explained by the believing is seeing theory and the eye-witness
testimony. After all there will only be one true killer between all the stories, thecharacters were just deviating from the real truth.
Works Cited“Errol Morris.” Interview by Believer. Believermag.com. The Believer, Apr. 2004.Web. 23 Feb. 2012.Ebert, Roger. “Rashomon (1950). “Rogerebert.com. 26 May 2002. Web. 7 March 2012.