By Michael Paschalis; Stavros Frangoulidis (ed.)

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Soon after, she leaves behind her black-and-white existence for good and turns into color herself. it gives rise to a whole new world of nuance and beauty that’s nonsexual…. Although Ross does not name Plato here, he might as well have done so, because his words are clearly in the tradition of Platonic philosophy. A later scene in the film, in which David takes Margaret, a Pleasantville girl who embodies a Chloe-like perfection of beauty and innocence, on a first date to Lovers’ Lane, equally harks back to the classical tradition, as Ross himself makes clear.

15 In its frame story, Pleasantville shows us a capitalist world whose social fabric is fraying. But we might update Bakhtin’s observations and take them a stage further by replacing the term “capitalist world” with “technological world” to describe the life and society of today. In regard to Pleasantville, supernatural power (the quasi-divine TV repairman) linked to technology makes it possible for David and Jennifer to return to the past – which, being on television, is itself a creation of modern technology.

Is it too bold to view Chariton’s Greek novel as engaging in the kinds of allegorical and playfully allusive responses to Rome’s imperium that have been traced here? Consider the long and vigorous tradition of writing about Roman history in Greek. In their various ways, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Plutarch, Appian and Dio make narratives of Rome available to two sorts of audiences: Greeks interested in Roman history and Romans interested in reading Greek versions of their history.

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