The Day The Earth Stood Essay

The Day The Earth Stood Essay

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Where do we draw the line between freedom and safety? The film The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Robert Wise, broaches this question from a unique perspective and displays many of the pros and cons that must be taken into consideration in order to answer this question. Earth is faced with the question: should humanity give up violence, or maintain its freedom to bear arms? While the decision was ultimately left up to the audience in this movie, the movie intended to convey that it is in the better interest of humankind to give up a portion of freedom to bear arms in favor of the safety of billions.
Often, the decision between preserving freedom or safety comes down to two opposite courses of action. The ultimate question must then be answered: which is the lesser of two evils? In the film, the alien being Klaatu visits Earth to propose two options: abandon the pursuit of atomic weaponry, or refuse and force Klaatu and his robotic policeman Gort to destroy the planet. This ultimatum left little room for an alternative, and I believe that is what the creators of the movie intended. The only difference between the film and reality is that the planetary doom would come not from aliens, but from within the human species itself. It was a thinly veiled warning to humanity: curb the excessive violence, or face certain self-destruction.
This homicidal behavior characteristic of human beings has been around since Homo sapiens first differentiated from our most recent evolutionary ancestor. After going on for so long, most would say this violence was just a part of life, unchangeable. However, I believe that the creators of this movie saw a glimpse into what could have become a very real apocalypse in the near future of Earth: the ...


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...ow to act accordingly.
Overall, this film is a warning from its creators to humanity: choose peace and public safety over the illusion of freedom that comes with owning and operating devastating weapons irresponsibly. This was most likely realized due to the unnecessary death tolls after the contemporary dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As with Australian gun control policies, the abandonment of certain types of weaponry has been shown to be certainly possible, as well as effective. While weapons in some capacity may be necessary, it is also important to utilize reason and logic before approaching an unfamiliar situation with violence. Both of these lessons must be learned and employed by humankind, and soon. If this fails to happen, then the creators of The Day the Earth Stood Still caution that humanity will ultimately destroy itself.

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