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Bailey Touchette

Mr. Thompson
English 1301-31
November 7, 2016
Imperialism in Avatar
Imperialism is a theme that is portrayed often throughout the movie
Avatar. Imperialism is the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the
power and dominion of a nation, especially by direct territorial. The entire
movie represents imperialism. In the first twenty minutes of the movie, you
can see a money hungry company threatening the lives and spirituality of
the Navi for Unobtanium. When I think of imperialism, I think of one country
taking another countrys resources by military force, which is exactly what
we see in Avatar. The company shows imperialistic qualities by arriving on
their planet with a strong military force, by threatening war because of their
desire for the Navis resources, and by not only attacking the people but a
sacred tree that allows them to stay connected to their ancestors.
When the humans arrive on the planet, they spend millions on research
and making weapons to ensure that if the Navi dont move, they will be able
to take the resources by force. Colonel ask Jake Sully to find out what these
blue monkeys want. We try to give them medicine and education. Roads! But
no, they like mud. I wouldnt care except their damn is sitting right over the

richest unobtanium deposit for a hundred klicks in any direction. Which

sucks, for them, because they need to relocate.. The way the colonel speaks
about the Navi implies that he refuses to acknowledge them as equal to
humans. His tone oozes imperialism when he says that they need to relocate
instead of them finding unobtanium deposits elsewhere.
When Jake Sully cannot convince the Navi to move, Colonel takes
matters into his own hands and attacks them with robots, guns, and poison.
They sky people have no regard for the spiritual belief tied to the tree of
souls. They attempt to bomb the scared tree. Parker Selfridge shows his
indifference and lack of sympathy for the Navi by saying You throw a stick
in the air around here and its gonna land on some sacred fern. He speaks in
a very insensitive manner that shows his disregard for their beliefs of the
sacredness of the trees.
To the humans, Unobtanium is more important than the Navis
ancestral home and some even think it is more important than the lives of
the natives. Due to the humans greed, Blood is shed to acquire more
Unobtanium. They are not only willing to sacrifice the lives on those who are
living there but also their own people in the quest for money and power. Out
of complete disregard for the Navi religion, the sky people bulldozed the
Tree of Whispers only to be able to retrieve the Unobtanium from under it.
Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last
four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing
indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. We hear that Third

World peoples are culturally retarded in their attitudes, customs, and

technical abilities. It is a convenient notion embraced by those who want to
depict Western investments as a rescue operation designed to help backward
peoples help themselves. This myth of "cultural backwardness" goes back to
ancient times, when conquerors used it to justify enslaving indigenous
peoples. When we say a country is "underdeveloped," we are implying that it
is backward and retarded in some way, that its people have shown little
capacity to achieve and evolve. The negative connotations of
"underdeveloped" has caused the United Nations, the Wall Street Journal,
and parties of various political persuasion to refer to Third World countries as
"developing" nations, a term somewhat less insulting than "underdeveloped"
but equally misleading. I prefer to use "Third World" because "developing"
seems to be just a euphemistic way of saying "underdeveloped but belatedly
starting to do something about it." It still implies that poverty was an original
historic condition and not something imposed by the imperialists. It also
falsely suggests that these countries are developing when their economic
conditions are usually worsening.