Avatar: a Narrative Analysis

Topics: Culture, Native Americans in the United States, Narrative Pages: 4 (1330 words) Published: April 10, 2011
Avatar: A Narrative Analysis

Throughout history people have often encountered others with very different cultures, belief systems, and lifestyles. In order to work and live together peacefully, a common understanding and engagement of other cultures needs to occur. However, other choices to respond to differences exist; the option to ignore differences, or to reject the others culture and beliefs are just two counter-productive responses to difference. An example historically is how America’s early settlers encountered Native Americans when the settlers first arrived to the new world. In this essay I will analyze the film “Avatar”. This film is drawn from popular culture as it was one of the highest grossing films recently made, however even though the film is set in a futuristic time period, the plot closely resembles the tension felt between Native Americans and early settlers of America. Furthermore, this artifact is significant because it relates our history of encountering vastly different cultures, to a future time period where we are presented with different cultures and how we as humans and Americans make the same mistakes. By applying Fisher’s narrative paradigm and identifying the features of the narrative using the method outlined by Foss, I seek to identify narrative strategies in terms of events and characters that the rhetor used to encourage the Navi to stand up for themselves. I will also examine “Avatar” to expose the Pocahontas narrative presented in the film. I will define the term “Pocahontas narrative” as a narrative depicting technologically superior settlers who intrude and wage battle with inferior natives. Body

In the film, the main conflict is between the American military and the natives called Navi. The story takes place on another planet, named Pandora. The military wants to mine under a sacred tree; because they believe precious minerals are under it. Avatars are used by the military to learn what it will...

Cited: Avatar. Dir. James Cameron. Perf. Sam Worthington. 20th Century Fox, 2009. DVD.
Foss, Sonja K. Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice. 4th ed. Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 2009. Print.
Fournier, Stephen M. "Fisher 's Narrative Paradigm." A Taste of Rhetoric. Web. 03 Apr. 2011. .
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