Essay on The Film Avatar, By James Cameron

Essay on The Film Avatar, By James Cameron

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The film Avatar, directed by James Cameron is a twenty-first century example of the portrayal of the prevalence of alienation in culturally significant media. One may assume that Avatar, is just a film and the story should be taken for nothing more than entertainment value but the thematic implications in the film hold a greater importance . The narrative framework, presents a telling reflection of the collective cultural views of society, revealing anxieties and fears about economic relations replacing social relations, the growth and dependence on the industrial-corporate complex, the alienation we feel from work, and the loss of one 's identity and formal cultural traditions ( Peterson and Weis 2013,115). The main protagonist of Avatar, Jake Sully, is a crippled former soldier who was discharged from service due to his injury in the line of duty. He lives in a world where the power of corporations and business have become so powerful that they form the government, dictating the economy, politics, culture and society. Jake 's injury leaves him feeling displaced, unimportant and unattached in this new societal structure due to his lack of usefulness in it. Jake decides to take up work at the RDA Corporation where he is taken to a mining colony on a moon planet called Pandora. His assigned task is to observe the culture of the indigenous population, the Na 'vi. The catch is that he has to connect his consciousness to a robotic Na 'vi body called an 'avatar ' to travel around due to the planet 's atmosphere being fatally toxic to humans. Once plugged into his avatar he is sent off into Pandora and almost dies in the forest, he is rescued by the chieftain of the Na 'vi 's daughter, Neytiri. He learns about the culture and peop...


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...rk, but is also provides a short lived escape for the audience, sating their need to find satisfaction within emotional, social and cultural contexts within their lives but never really attempts to do anything farther to solve institutionalized problems thus upholding the status quo of capitalist exploitation and dehumanization reinforcing alienation on a social-psychological level . Alienation has become a fixture in all aspects of society in the twenty-first century, it is necessary for capitalism as it reinforces oppression of the working class by the employers but it leads towards a state of dysphoria and immiseration within the working class and for Marx, the solution to this problem is to form an economy based on non-alienated work, allowing individuals to fully express their creativity and skills to meet their needs, leading to a happier fulfilling existence.

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