Ok, I'm going to give you the bad news first. I know our history books painted George in a very pretty light, but the artists' code uses George quite differently.
Whenever you see George on the set of a film or in a music video, he ALWAYS means power and political games. There is a proverbial game of chess commonly used in politics that the artists have picked up on, and George is their poster child!
Let's say you see George in the setting of a film. He was represented in some form like, a picture on the wall, a dollar bill, or a bust on a desk/table what now?
This icon can speak on a couple of fronts:
First: he can symbolically work with the film and the script. In this case you will see the characters of the film in an act of manipulation for the purpose of gain, power, control, and/or rule. The use of George confirms the roles that are being played on the set.
Secondly: if the setting is running it's own series of clues that run parallel with the film, then you wouldn't look at George in his literal form instead, you would view him symbolically with the above interpretation (control - power - rule - political games).
In this parallel use, George will work with the other clues/symbols in the setting. Now, if you were to string these clues on the set together, a symbolic sentence would appear. This should enable you to come to the interpretation the artists intended.
See George symbolically below.
Good ole Abe - Poor, dear old Abe...
This one is easy! ANY representation of Abraham Lincoln suggests - do I need to tell you this? HONESTLY - HONESTY - TRUTH :)
Abe was the real deal. Sadly, if you were to view Abe's story on film, George would probably be used on the set if the villians were
on the scene
. ; )
How is this symbol used? Just flip the George side and you've got the Lincoln side!
Abe could be represented in ANY of the following ways: in picture, in sculpture, in the form of pennies, or even a $5 bill.
How is he used?
You are watching a film that is re-enacting some part of history - this history might NOT be what is commonly known - Abe on the set indicates - this is the real story.
He is also used as confirmation working with the cast who are likely dealing righteously. Good leadership confirmed by both the actors in the photoplay and the representation of Honest Abe.
The same interpretation would be used in its parallel instance when stringing symbols to make sentences. (honesty-truth)
See Abe in action below.
Here is a shot from the scene where George "lost" 8000 dollars. He has just returned to his home and is overwhelmed with frustration. We know that Potter is the one who stole the money, but George the HONEST businessman is completely unaware of this fact.
Notice!! Who do we see on the wall?? Abraham Lincoln - this confirms the complete interpretation above.
George Bailey: Honesty, Honorable, Trustworthy! Throughout the film we see George always putting others before himself, and many examples of an all men are created equal mentality.
Lincoln is now confirmed symbolically!
George has just left his home and is now paying a visit to Henry Potter with his hat in hand.
Notice, the bust on the table head to head with Potter - it's George Washington!
Now lets review Potters character traits.
- His philosophy is business/money before mankind.
- His dealing are dishonest as he was the one who stole from George.
Notice the "game" he played: Potter knew an $8000.00 loss would be the ultimate destruction of George and the Bailey Building and Loan - a shifty game of business.
And lastly: Potter throughout the film is gobbling up portions of the town an obvious desire for a monopoly. We come to learn that without the existence of George, Bedford Falls would ultimately become Pottersville.
This confirms George Washington's interpretation above!
These presidents have been used like this symbolically ever since, and if that wasn't enough to convince you here is one more example of George in action.
In the following commercial we see both a democrat and a republican disputing - each thinking the other is absolutely right! As americans we know that both of these groups are called powers - and we work under the balance of powers system. Notice as they visit the museum who is pictured on the wall? George Washington, the symbol of power and control, dividing/separating both sides.
The use of this symbol defines the PROBLEM with american politics. :)
Power is confirmed later in this commercial with the use of the Washington monument. It is an obelisk; ANOTHER symbol of power to add to your vocabulary!
View the commercial in it's entirety below!