Themes Of Avatar

841 WordsSep 1, 20174 Pages
In the 21st century, movies present a platform for ideas and themes to be conveyed through a screen. Themes of change, environmental crisis, love, and death are all only a few of the most common themes that circulate through the Hollywood film industry. According to Annalee Newitz in her essay “When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like Avatar?”, a recurring theme she’s noticed is the theme of white guilt. In her essay, Newitz depicts the movie Avatar as nothing more than a colorful rehash of this (apparently) common white guilt scenario. This is where the main white protagonist leaves the oppressive (white) side to join the oppressed native side upon seeing the error of his ways. Some Americans, including Newitz, believe that movies…show more content…
Furthermore, when Jake Sully became their “leader” so to speak, he had already submitted himself to the Na’vi life and made sure to prove his strength as a Na’vi, not as a white man. His intention at that point of the movie was not even to take over as the tribe leader, but rather just to lead his new family to fight for their land. Another “white fantasy” observation Newitz makes in her essay is that the white protagonist always becomes the savior. This is hardly the truth in the Avatar’s case. Throughout the film, Jake is rescued by Neytiri and the Na’vi numerous times. Even after the final battle is over, it is Neytiri who saves his life when he begins to suffocate in his human form. Also, rather than Jake “saving the day” during the final battle, the film focuses on the fact that Jake is unable to combat the opposing side single-handedly, and can only succeed with the aid of his Na’vi brethren. In other words, rather than the white man saving the day, it was the teamwork of his native friends that made the win possible. Admittedly, the start of the movie illustrates the concept of one species (the humans) infiltrating another’s (The Navi’s) homeland. This was purposeful, as the producer-James Cameron-wanted to represent the way Europeans invaded Native American lands many years ago. However, this historical correlation was not created based on racial matters, but rather to show the negative effects of imperialism. James Cameron told The

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