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Planet of the Apes : A Lesson in Manners and Humanity - Essay Example

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Planet of the Apes : A Lesson in Manners and Humanity

Racial discrimination is still present and prevalent in the American society, and the movie Planet of the Apes is a depiction of racial segregation that is predominant in the American society through the representation of class differences, absence of rights for servant class, and fear of power domination. Racism or racial discrimination is a debatable subject in terms of what constitutes racist behavior, but the general idea is that racism is a concept of human beings. As such, human beings are divided into different biological groups, and that makes certain races inferior, superior, more intelligent or less intelligent than as compared others. That which comprises racism and that which accounts for discrimination remains as a vast topic for discussion. However, for the analysis of this paper, we shall stick to the most common understanding of racism; the discrimination based on the color of one’s skin, where usually the blacks are considered the lower race as compared to whites. Although ethnic discrimination and racial discrimination are terms often used interchangeably, the aspect of someone’s skin color is the focus for this paper, where white people have dominance over black people. The color of the skin should not be confused as being repulsive; giving the black people a bad name. The reason whites have (and in many cases still are) hated blacks is not complicated in any manner as this phrase explains, “statements in which comparisons are made between blacks and other groups, without a reason why being given, seem to be relatively simple; presumably the comparison is in terms of status, treatment or appearance (Pieterse, 1992, p. 212). The storyline adopted in movie The Planet of the Apes presents the shadow of some historic events going on in the sixties and seventies. These include Civil Rights Movement, racial and ethical unrest in the West, and the psychological effects of Cold and Vietnam wars. The class difference presented in the movie actually depicts the norms and culture of that era, in which there were racial riots, racially discriminating laws, inequitable distribution of wealth and income. The movie depicts what the US and the whole world did to ‘inferior’ races, such as comparing monkeys with ‘inferior’ people, which has a direct relation with Europeans calling the Africans apes and monkeys. When these lower races started intermingling with other people in the US, a threat arose that a ‘new breed’ will start forming that would destroy the dominance of the whites. To take care of this, a book was written in 1945 that suggested sterilization laws for lower races. “The threat from these misfits supposedly arose in part from their ‘reckless breeding’, which threatened to turn the United States into a ‘monkey house” (Greene, 2011, p. 6). In a very subtle style, the movie discusses the end of times and the Day of Judgment for the primitives and a complete supremacy of the superior class. There are also various myths involved and evolved as the plot moves forward, which represent American psychology; this research focuses to answer the questions raised by this American myth. 1) Class Difference Presented in the Movie: As discussed in the introductory paragraph, The planet of apes is divided into various sub-classes. ...Show more

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KarissaSjawaldy RELS1260 Professor Winborne February 19 2013 Midterm Research Paper Planet of the Apes–A Lesson in Manners and Humanity Planet of the Apes is a classic movie of 1968, based on the concept of a planet ruled by the Apes and humans serve as their servants…
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