ESSAY COVER SHEET ANIOOI Anthropology Cultural Diversity in Global Perspective ASSESSMENT TASK: Analysts of Avatar QUESTION: How is ethnocentrism depicted in the film Avatar? Discuss with reference to the notions of exoticism, primitivism and romanticism. TITLE: Ethnocentrism in “Avatar” WORD COUNT: 589 words Tutorial Class: Thursday 1000-1150 James Cameron’s Avatar This essay aims to identify scenes where ethnocentrism and three related concepts exoticism, primitivism and romanticism.
The film Avatar depicts the life of Jake sully, he main protagonist who was brought into the world of Pandora, an alien civilisation, He was disguised as a Navi (tall scrawny looking blue humanoids) to infiltrate into their clan to learn the ways and lifestyle of the Navi before betraying them. During his integration in their unique culture, he was exposed to Ethnocentrism, exoticism, primitivism, romanticism. That made him realise the cruelty of humans and their obsession with the precious rock which would shake the balance of Pandora and its people.Order now
Ethnocentrism is the thinking that one’s own culture is the proper way of life nd that other ways of life are inferior (Lundberg, 2012) . The colonial powers, especially Colonel Miles Quaritch had no dis regard to the life on the planet, considering them as hostile and uncivilized. They still continued their quest for the mineral despite acknowledging the fact that the entire planet would be in Jeopardy once the sacred trees were destroyed. According to Parker Selfridge, the NAVI people were portrayed as inferior to humans labelling them as “blue monkeys” (Cameron & Landau, 2009), an insult to the Navi race.
Exoticism “involves the creation of nother who is strange but at least as important beautiful” (Lutz & Colins, 1993). It was also vividly expressed in the world of Pandora, with plants and certain species of creature glowing in the night of the forest. A sight to behold as you could see nature radiating from the darkness of the forest floor. Landscapes also considered being strange in comparison with Earth as mountains seem to be floating on mid-air. This Hallelujah Mountains also known as Ayrum alusing are levitating islands that rely on the magnetic field circulating around Pandora.
Analytic description of the film vatar The elements of primitivism are also shown within the society of the Navi clan. Primitivism views other culture as lower on a developmental or evolutionary scale making them look stupid and irrational (Lundberg, 2012). The ingenious tribes are seen as hostile savages relying on bows and arrows as weapons that are considered to be very laid back and ancient compared to humans modern technology of using machineguns. A scene depicting a huge bulldozer with arrows stuck to the wheel also clearly shows the contrast of technology between the humans and the Navi tribes hich are primitive.
Romanticism which defines as noble savage being one with nature (Lundberg, 2012) is clearly evident in their planet. They are able to relate with nature using their long ponytail like hair as a means to communicate with them. You can clearly see several incidents of romanticism when the tribes connects their ponytail like hair to the creatures . Taming them and finally controlling their movements with their minds. Especially in the scene when Jake was trying to choose his Ikran, a large flying carnivorous creature in the film avatar. There is also another cene with Jake communicating with the spirit tree.
Seeking help from Eyw???a, their goddess whom they believe could stop the war between the humans and ultimately restore balance in the world of Pandora. As you can see the concepts of Ethnocentrism, exoticism, primitivism, romanticism which made Jake Sully realizes the human’s cruel intentions to lay waste in the world of Pandora. During his stay, what he initially thought of them as barbaric and uncivilized has changed during his exposure with the Navi clan. He realized that the Navi are actually civilized and cultured in their unique way. Cameron,J. Landau, J. (Producer), Cameron, J. (Director). (2009). Avatar . United States: 20th Century Fox, Lightstorm Entertainment. Lundberg, A. (2012). ANIOOI Anthropology: Cultural Diversity in Global Perspective, Lecture 2 , Retrieved from https://learn]cu. ]cu. edu. au/bbcswebdav/pid-1269635-dt-content- ril 1 12533 %20LearnJCU. pdf Lutz, C. A. & Collins, J. L. (1993). A World Brightly Different: Photographic Conventions,1950-1960. Reading National Geographic. (pp. 87-118). Chicago, USA: The University of Chicago Press.