Class Inequality in 'Avatar' - Essay Example

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Running Head: CLASS INEQUALITY Class Inequality in “Avatar” Name School Class Inequality in “Avatar” Love stories usually contain the subject of inequality. Differences in culture, class and ideologies are usually present in love stories to create the conflict, over which characters must triumph at the end to profess true love…
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Class Inequality in Avatar
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Download file to see previous pages This paper discusses the depiction of class inequality in “Avatar” and illustrates the application of conflict theory based on the ideas of Marx and Engels. Released in 2009, the film “Avatar” directed by James Cameron holds the best-selling film of all time after “Titanic,” another film by Cameron. “Avatar” is a futuristic film set in the year 2154 in a habitable moon called Pandora. Human explorers come to Pandora to obtain the precious mineral called unobtainium. Inhabited by sapient humanoids called the Na’vi, Pandora could not be easily explored and mined, and humans need to gather information from the small creatures who protect the land. Thus, the exploration team needs to make use of Navi-human hybrid bodies called avatars in order to communicate with the Na’vi and obtain information on how to best obtain the mineral sought, which rests below Hometree, the habitat of the Navi. Jake Sully, a crippled former marine officer is commissioned to gather data from the Na’vi. In fulfilling his mission, Jake relates closely with the Na’vi and is converted to the tribe’s values. He falls in love with Neytiri, a female Na’vi, the daughter of the tribe’s leader. Jake sides with the Na’vi in protecting their land, which is opposed to the human mission. At the height of the conflict between the humans and the Na’vi the lovers are separated because Neytiri thought Jake betrays the tribe. To win the Na’vi’s trust again, Jake communes with a Toruk, an untamable predator. He also destroys the machine bomber aimed at the Tree of Souls, which serves as the refuge to the Na’vi. In the end, as the humans fail in their mission, Jake’s human qualities are transferred permanently into his avatar by the Na’vi gods and he lives happily with Neytiri. Basically, “Avatar” is a love story that employs the conflict theory. The conflict being focused upon is class inequality. The physical, habitational and cultural differences between the humans and the Na’vi are the primary causes of conflict in the story. According to Bartos and Wehr (2002), there are several reasons behind the rise of conflict. Specifically, in the film, having incompatible goals, being able to mobilize conflict resources, feeling hostile, and having the ability material resources for conflict are illustrated as the reasons for the conflict. Having incompatible goals is the main reason for the conflict between the humans and the Na’vi. Both groups are concerned with their own benefits. The human explorers aim to obtain the wealth in the Na’vi’s land, whereas the Na’vi protect their land from any form of destruction. Clearly, As Marx and Engels (2009) suggest, there is the struggle between the social classes to maximize their benefits. However, the humans are the first ones to struggle to reach their goal. Thus, the conflict starts from them. The ability to mobilize resources for conflict is another reason for the conflict. Based on the literature on conflict theory, conflict usually results in violence (Jacoby, 2008; Siegel, 2008). Parties in conflict are expected to exhibit violence or war against each other as the conflict reaches its height. Nevertheless, they will not reach violence if they do not have the ability to mobilize conflict resources and they do not have the material resources for war. In the film, the humans who start the conflict also initiate the violence ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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