Dexter is a series of the fictional television program which is aired on premium cable at Showtime and each episode usually takes about 54 minutes. The TV show is popular among Americans and have severally been rated as the people’s choice (Goldstein, 83). Episode eight of the season I in Dexter series is entitled Shrink Wrap. It was aired on November 19, 2006 and has Dexter Morgan as the main character. He works for the Miami Police in the Department of Homicide Unit as a blood spatter analyst during the day, but when Dexter is off his normal routine, he embarks on serial killing. This essay provides semiotic analysis of how the author of Dexter television, Shrink Wrap show has enriched the play with different styles help depicts the dominance of oppression, vulnerability, and passiveness of women in the society.
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The show uses various signs to tell the audience much about how men commit the worst forms of sin and still walk free being branded as the societal heroes while women are suffering. The title “Dexter” itself is very telling as it is written in red with blood stains spewed across the writing. This tells about Dexter’s job as a blood spatter analyst and also tells of his addiction to murdering others. The heading sets the tone of violence right from the beginning. This is the main theme of the show. Dexter, a male, usually devote himself to look for individuals who he believes have done wrong, more so those who have killed others. Once he identifies a killer, he sets out to accomplish the justice he believes the police could not offer. This has gone to an extent that Dexter enjoys killing the serial killers to an extent he keeps files full of blood for every individual he has murdered (Monika, 1).
In literal terms, “Shrink Wrap”, which is the title of the episode, is an air tight plastic wrap in which most commodities are wrapped in before they are dispatched from manufacturing companies. On the other hand, Dexter has also been used as a voice for justice, including that for women, in the society. During the episode, Dexter visits a psychiatrist, Emmet Meridian, whom he strongly feels could have the connection to the deaths of some three women. In his judgment, it was suspicious to have three women with the same psychiatrist die in a similar manner. Dexter posed as a client and after some few appointments with Emmet, he realized that the psychiatrist was recording the sessions. Dexter later breaks into Emmet’s office and reviews the video sessions of the women who had committed suicide. Dexter realizes that the psychiatrist had manipulated the women to commit suicide through drugs and psychology and kills him.
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It is notable that the three victims of the Emmet are all women. The show depicts women as objects that can be manipulated by men at will even if they are influential as in the case of those who died as a result of Emmet’s manipulation (Monika, 1). On the other hand, Dexter pretends to be leading the normal life by having Rita Bennett, as a girlfriend. Rita is a battered and afflicted woman whose ex-husband is currently serving his sentence in prison. Paul Bennett, Rita’s ex-husband was emotionally, physically as well as sexually abusive. This shows the sufferings that women have had to go through in this society. Having faced these challenges, Rita was emotionally vulnerable as well as sexually disinterested. Dexter, a man who had little emotions takes advantage of Rita’s vulnerability and sexually exploits her. After the emotional hypnosis experience with the psychiatrist, Dexter visits Rita and decides to spend a night with her. The show thus depicts women as having been reduced to objects available to men at the point of their needs. Brutal nature of the ex-husband is a clear indication that women battering are highly embraced in this culture (Goldstein, 66).
Seemingly, it is the loose laws of this society that works to the detrimental of women. This has enabled people like the psychiatrist to take advantage of the position of women in the society to have them kill themselves or directly murder them. Even though Dexter claims that he only kills those who deserve it, he commits a serious crime with no signs remorse. It is however ironical that with such acts as committing murder and the fact that he is emotionless and empty, the show still displays Dexter as a hero and makes every person like him. This shows a code of confusion in which the public is persuaded to sympathize with killers a practice that has worked against women who are being taken advantage of and killed in large numbers. The perception that Dexter is as heartless killer is shifted when the author employs flashback and allows the audience to see Dexter as a young boy witnessing the brutal murder of his mother. This reveals the reason why such members of the society like Dexters would finally end up being murderers. The author uses such scenarios to communicate violence against women in his show (Goldstein, 81).
Women have also been used in the show to depict binary opposition. This is represented in the battle between good and evil within this episode. Debra, Dexter’s sister is a detective in the same institution that his brother works in but she is basically the opposite of Dexter in every manner. Debra is full of emotion and constantly get excited or upset about an issue; a good person of heart who regularly searches for love. Since Debra has the passion to find and ensure that murderers are convicted, it is expected that she be viewed as a better person. On the contrary, she is portrayed in a manner that does not make her audience’s favorite. The good values she has are downplayed. She is only made to look inferior and always seen to be ever on the losing end at her work place. Just as other women she is depicted as vulnerable as she falls in love with the Ice Truck killer who she should have had convicted (Goldstein, 81).
Debra is posed as ignorant and naive; she does not even know that her brother is a serial killer. Sergeant Doakes, a colleague of Dexter and Debra at Miami Police Department, is the one the author gives credit for suspecting that Dexter could be a murderer. The code of confusion is pronounced more in the scenario in which Debra, who is a devoted detective, is portrayed as moronic while Dexter, a murder is shown to be a hero. Dexter is shown to always be right about the possible causes of death than the sister who is a detective (Monika, 1).
During therapy sessions, the author gives the audience opportunity to understand Dexter’s background by use of flashback rather than narration. The flashback enables the audience to understand how Dexter was brought up. Both Dexter and Debra had been adopted by Harry Morgan, their foster father who was a detective. It is however revealed that the Harry Mogan often gave more attention to Dexter as compared to the daughter, Debra; an attitude that Debra resented. This further indicates the position that the author have assigned women; a low state right from childhood to adulthood (Monika, 1).
Semiotics involves the study of meaning, and many aspects are involved in developing the semiotic analysis. Aspects such as signs, code of confusion, and opposition among other are important in developing the analysis. The author of Dexter series has enriched his play with styles that gives men dominion over women.
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