Colonialism in Avatar
Colonialism is a major theme in Avatar. The humans come to another distant planet to mine a very valuable ore called “unobtanium”. In order to do that they must relocate the natives that live there either forcefully or by convincing them to move. They attempt to persuade them to move but with out success, so they do so forcefully with weapons. The natives fight back and beat the humans, however, not with out major loss and damage. In colonialism, greed, selfishness, and naiveness are the main components. In Stephanie Zacharek’s short essay Avatar: Dances with Aliens, she writes “The big drag is that to get the magic rocks , they need to relocate, either by force or reason, the relatively peaceful Pandora natives…”. The humans had no regard for the natives of planet, Pandora, called the Na’vi. They simply considered them savages who don’t matter. This sounds like a reenactment of history with the europeans and Native Americans in the 1500’s. In Mikhail Lyubanksky’s The Racial Politics of Avatar he writes “It’s purpose is to hold a mirror up to humanity and show us the folly of our own greed and disregard for human life, while at the same time showing us what our own planet could have been like if its indigenous peoples were allowed to retain their cultures rather than being overrun by European colonization.” For those who have not watched Dances With Wolves, Avatar is a good movie that focuses on destruction and domination for power and wealth.
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