Princess Mononoke is a great way to describe our environmental problems
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I will be arguing that Princess Mononoke is a great way to describe our problems with the environment, and how it correlates to our current relationship with nature. Burden of Proof will be upon me to show that it is a great example. And I say great example because arguing if something is great or not is much less opinionated than asking if it is the best. First Round is for acceptance, 2nd for our opening statements, 3rd for rebuttals, and 4th for conclusion.
Background: For those of you who have never heard of Princess Mononoke, it is a 1997 Japanese animated epic historical fantasy film, which tells the story of Ashitaka, a young man who is cursed by a demon while trying to save his village. He searches for the source of the demon and finds a place where humans have destroyed a forest, and are planning on killing the forest spirit, who serves as the god for life and death.
Note: If you have seen the movie please accept, because I'm not sure how many people have seen the movie. It is a Japanese based film so it is not as popular in America.
1. Princess Mononoke shows the arrogance of humans toward the environment
In Princess Mononoke humans almost always mock the gods of the forest (Lady Eboshi especially), and constantly berate them as below humans. Before she kills the forest spirit Lady Eboshi says this,
" Now watch closely, everyone. I'm going to show you how to kill a god. A god of life and death. The trick is not to fear him."
Based on what she said we can presume that she obviously shows contempt for the forest god, and therefore the forest. She believes that in not fearing him she is somehow above him. This is a trait that many (not all, but many) humans possess. In another point of the story the men of Irontown are telling Ashitaka the tale of Nago, the boar. When they tell him of how they killed him they all burst into laughter at the thought. They show that humans take glee in the killing of life.
2. One event leads to another in nature
In the movie we are shown repeatedly that the evil deeds of one will lead to the evil deeds of another. Ashitaka was living in a peaceful village that lived in harmony with nature. Yet the demon Nago came to attack their village because of the evil done by Eboshi. Ashitaka spends the rest of the movie essentially trying to tell everyone to stop the killing.He himself has been warped by the demon Nago, and has to control himself to prevent him from killing people. However he cannot always help it.
With our world we have shown this through a now famous experiment. When they took the wolves out of Yellowstone national park. By taking the wolves out, one small event, we drastically altered the environment. Suddenly elk populations began to grow at an alarming rate, overgrazing occured afterward, and overgrazing led to less plants and roots which led to worse soil, and coyotes began to populate very fast, and which caused a decrease in pronghorn antelopes. One event changed an entire ecosystem for the worst.
Another example is a decreasing bee population. Without bees our flowers will not survive as well, since bees are our main pollinators. The death of one species, the bees, could lead to the death of many species of flowers.
3. The Forest Spirit represents all life, including humans
Because of our arrogance we seem to believe we have become detached from nature, as if we were a seperate entity. This is shown very much in the movie, the war between the forest and humans, how all the animals seem to believe the humans are a separate species from the rest of the forest. We are shown however that this is not the case. Humans are a part of nature as well. The Kodama, the little tree spirits, help Ashitaka get to Irontown, even though he is a human. The Forest Spirit brings Ashitaka back to life, even though he is a human. In our world we need to realize this too. Nature is not out to get us, and wants to live in peace with us.
4. We will not outlive nature very long
In the movie after Eboshi kills the Forest Spirit we see that the Forest Spirit has a vengeance. It goes on a rampage, and the entire forest dies. The forest dies naturally because the heart of the forest died. But with the forest dead it begins to try to kill humans as well. The black goo represents death, and it kills all that comes it touch with it. It begins to spread everywhere, leaving only the water and the rock Ashitaka and them are standing on. If they hadn't given the head back they would've presumably died. Because without nature we have nothing else. We see this in real life easily, as scientists are warning us that without nature we will not be able to obtain our food that we so desperately need.
5.We are responsible for what left of our destruction
At the end of the movie the Forest Spirit dies. Although Ashitaka and San make it through, and live on there is no longer a Forest Spirit. Which means that there is no one left to look after the forest except for one creature. Us. Eboshi even implies at the end that they will make a better Irontown, presumably one that is more friendly to nature. They are now left with the burden of cleaning up an environment they destroyed. However they are lucky as their Forest Spirit's death has resulted in an abundance of life. The abundance of life wouldn't happen in real life. But the fact that we are responsible for cleaning up our environment IS part of everyday life. We see that everyday we must take more and more responsibility for the problems we cause, and we are getting better slowly.
And as a side note this is my favorite part of the movie:
K"hroku: [testing his arm] My arm... It doesn't hurt anymore. It's *healed!*
K"hroku: OW! No, it's still broken.
ChesterChu forfeited this round.
ChesterChu forfeited this round.
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