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Savagery And Civilization In King Kong

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Savagery and Civilization: Not A Love Story Within society, we see a constant struggle between savagery and civilization, whether that battle is fought within oneself or among others, it exists nonetheless. This very struggle is a consistent underlying theme throughout the 1933 film, King Kong. In the film, this battle between two forces will be seen in Carl Denham’s struggle with his persistent need to make art and money versus the consequences his obsession might bring, in Kong’s attempt to resist the malignant “temptations” of beauty and finally, in the portrayal of African-Americans as savages and white people as educated civilians. In this essay, we will further delve into the struggle between savagery and civilization, the characters…show more content…
In this interpretation, the role of the “beauty” is played by the young and beautiful, not to mention white, Ann Darrow, and the role of the savage “beast” is unsurprisingly represented by the legendary god, Kong. One way in which King Kong displays his own struggle between savagery and civilization, is in his lust for Ann. Although, Kong is surely well aware of the barriers he will encounter by pursuing his desire for Ann, he is unable to resist the temptations of her beauty. Thus, in spite of his raw animal instincts, he continues to pursue an unrealistic relationship with Ann, proving that even a beast like himself can recognize and appreciate genuine beauty. We can again see Kong’s battle between savagery and civilization when he is forcibly taken to New York as the “eighth wonder of the world” but promptly escapes to find Ann, the beautiful woman whom he loves dearly. However, instead of simply finding Ann, his innate savagery gets the better of him and he ends up destroying an entire city and harming innocent civilians. The final instance in which we see the struggle between savagery and civilization in Kong himself, is in the final scene of the film, where Kong attempts to save his beloved Ann from the top of the Empire State Building. Despite his best efforts to stay atop the building and rescue the damsel in distress, he can only be seen as a threat through the eyes of those piloting the planes, thus, he is shot, causing him to fall to his death. In this final scene we hear Carl Denham say, “Oh no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.”, which in my opinion, implies that it was in fact civilization that triumphed over savagery. Though, King Kong unfortunately met his end, it wasn’t beauty that killed him, it was his own struggle between choosing civilization over his inherent
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