Avatar & Capitalism

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Avatar and Capitalism:
The Conflict of ‘By Any Means Necessary’

Civilization was born from the human need to evolve from savages. Throughout history humans have deemed our great civilizations as what separated us from savages, but as Mark Twain’s once said, “The only very marked difference between the average civilized man, and the average savage is that one is gilded and the other is painted” (Vowell, 2005). A relation can be drawn between Twain’s remarks and Director James Cameron’s film Avatar. Human’s evolution from savagery has been taught and argued throughout history, and even within the pages of history books. As a race, humans developed into superior beings because of two gifts, the human brain and opposable thumbs. Our brains give us the ability to think, and think leads to creative advancements leading us to be stronger, healthier, and smarter. When examining Avatar the same can be said about the native humanoid creatures of an alien moon called Pandora. So, what is the criticism I believe Cameron makes and its relation to the remark made by Twain? It’s simple; the civilized man is driven by capitalism. Avatar isn’t about itself; the experience of watching a film, rather Avatar is a critique of capitalism and morality.

I argue that Avatar is about capitalism, and James Cameron’s critique of human morality in relation to capitalism. In a critical synopsis of the film, I draw on evidence from the film’s plot, characters, and events making a case that the film isn’t simply about the movie watching experience. That behind the brilliant special effects and subpar back-story there’s a theme that can be taken away by viewers.

The Na’vi are a race of blue giant humanoid creatures that inhabit Pandora. Visually, Cameron and his team of developers do a remarkable job making the Na’vi as realistic as the human actors. Their race lives in harmony with their majestic natural surroundings. Culturally, their beliefs, values, and customs resemble that of...
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