Game Show Survivor Character Analysis

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Doctors, astronauts, farmers, students, teachers, athletes, police officers, and people from all walks of life, come together, to compete against each other, on the Game Show Survivor. They live off of bugs, coconuts, and anything else they can scavenge with a machete and axe, and sometimes, they are lucky enough to win a fishing spear and gain the ability to catch fish. Each person comes in knowing who they are, their morals, values and limits, but they can easily come out a ‘rat’, ‘cancer’, ‘snake’, or thief. Surviving, starving, competing, conniving, and strategizing to win a million dollars, warps their sense of self, and many castaways struggle to balance their morals with the demands of the game. The self, how people present themselves, appear to others, and perform themselves to themselves, may have some consistent elements, but differs depending on the context and changes when the person takes on different roles. Goffman’s theory of self and his description of how total institutions reshape and mortify this self, helps elucidate the complex and peculiar presentations of self, displayed on the show Survivor.
To begin examining the different selves presented within Survivor, and how the game show as a total institution creates these selves, it becomes essential to understand how Survivor works. To start, there are 16-20 castaways, brought
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They have a precise schedule they have to abide by, and when Jeff Probst gives an order or introduces a plot twist, they have to follow his orders. For example, Sylvia Kwan from season 14 would have been the first person eliminated from her tribe, however Jeff Probst sent her to Exile Island for volunteering to organize the tribes, saving her from that night’s vote (Probst, Fiji). Thus, the tribe had to adjust their decision based on the institution’s

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