dehumanization in children of men

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Kayleah Trecoske
Professor Tartaglia
ENG 101
20 November, 2014
Dehumanization’s Role in Humans Devolving
Dehumanization is a process where basic human qualities are replaced with the qualities that resemble an animal’s behavior; violent and having the desire to survive. Inmates that are beginning a new life in prison are stripped of everything that free human beings possess. Prisoners become only a number that is trying to survive in the community of the prison system. Soldiers joining the military are also stripped of everything, with a goal in battle to be the last man standing. Killing comes easily, because soldiers are forced to forget about the rules of murder to survive. The rules that say murder is wrong are no longer prevalent to the soldiers who are dehumanized by the government to become killing machines. Dehumanization makes it possible to dehumanize other individuals. In Genocide, groups of people are known as inferior race in the majorities’ eyes. Those individuals are often slaves for the ultimate race. The inferior races are killed so that the world will be a stronger, more intelligent place to live. What separates humans from animals is the ability to recollect the past to change the present and future for the better. The history of warfare has changed so much because it wasn’t effective enough for success. The process of dehumanizing individuals has “side effects”, leading to an increase in violence, violations of human rights, war crimes and genocide, which further impact humans by devolving them back into an animalistic state that puts blinders on to cover up the fixable errors people are making if the errors were thought about in a more civilized fashion. Violence, in any setting, increases when one needs to fight for resources to survive. This can be seen in the dehumanization of inmates in prisons. Prisons strip inmates of everything they were as humans and automatically give them an inferior roll. That inferior roll gives the inmates an anonymous status within the community by taking names the inmates identified with, and replacing them with prison numbers and taking their identity by putting them in identical, degrading outfits as a status symbol. This loss of power to the fugees in Children of Men, which are shown locked together in refugee camps having no real knowledge of a true identity. Being called a “gorilla” is a label given by inmates to fellow inmates who use their brute strength and violence as a means to attain resources. This, in a literal sense represents how both gorillas in the wild and prison inmates will go after the weak to achieve what they need to maintain a role of dominance. There is no reasoning in the animal kingdom, it is survival of the fittest which is also seen in the practices these prison “gorillas” perform. There is no concept of reasoning or talking to come to a mutual agreement when it comes to attaining these goals. This is causing part of the devolving that is happening to humans. Reasoning involves communication, a key element in civilization. By avoiding reasoning, humans are essentially avoiding proper verbal communication. Without the ability to clearly communicate one’s thoughts and concepts, ideas cannot be shared. One of the key components to civilized life will be lost. Verbal communication is one way in which people set rules. In the movie, Children of Men, people have clearly lost a degree of this verbal communication to establish and enforce universal rules. Britain is the only country that does not have a written constitution. People depended on word of mouth to keep order. The lack of ability to clearly communicate sets the year fictional year 2027 into an anarchical state. Groups such as the dominant Fishes make the rules and no one challenges the authority. This is similar to the animal kingdom in which there are no set rules, yet there is hierarchy through dominance, as seen in the alpha in wolf packs, or the king in a pride of...
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