Godzilla Essay

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Resilience, the ability to overcome or recover quickly from a difficult situation, has been shown many times throughout Ishirō Honda’s 1954 film Godzilla. Taking place in Japan, the movie starts out with a series of mysterious ship disappearances off the coast of Odo Island. After a massive storm destroys most of Odo Island, the Japanese government sends Dr. Kyohei Yamane, a paleontologist, and his team of researchers to investigate the phenomenon that plagued the area. While examining the island, Yamane stumbles upon a giant dinosaur, Godzilla, who emits radiation, similar to that of the hydrogen bombs tested by the United States. After further investigation, Yamane concluded that Godzilla was created because of its exposure to the radiation from the hydrogen bombs. Fascinated by Godzilla’s resistance to radiation, Yamane wanted to study this specimen to understand further its ability to be tolerant of radiation. In the end, Godzilla was killed in order to protect the people of Japan from its destructive nature. When deconstructing the movie at its core, Honda was able to incorporate subliminal messages that linked Godzilla with the country of Japan. Being a physical representation of Japan, the two share a similar origin story, as well as, utilizing Godzilla to embody the struggles that Japan endured during World War II. By drawing on these similarities, Honda was able to show the parallelisms between the nation and the monster. Born from the depths of a radiated sea, Godzilla was the product of many hydrogen bombs tested within Japanese waters. When first seeing Godzilla, the idea of a dinosaur comes to mind, yet the idea of a prehistoric dinosaur living during this time seems implausible. After some speculation by Dr. Yamane... ... middle of paper ... ...an say that the connection can still be drawn to Japan, whereas in the end, Japan played the antagonistic role to its own demise. After observing the film Godzilla, the connections showing how Godzilla is a symbol of Japan are quite evident. Through its resilience to radiation as well as its tragic end, Godzilla was the monster embodiment of what Japan had to undergo during World War II. By using Godzilla as a symbol of Japan, Honda was able to portray the struggles experienced by Japan during World War II by portrayed by the trials and tribulations Godzilla underwent. While the country ended up playing the role of the antagonist, in the end, the connection of their struggles were indisputable. Even though Japan came out victorious against Godzilla, the idea that another Godzilla could resurface at any moment will always linger like the memories of World War II.
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