Who or What Will Destroy Us.

Posted: November 27th, 2013





The Fear of Distinction: Who or What Will Destroy Us.


The film by Roberto Wise, The Day the Earth Stood Still (Wise, 1951), has a plot about aliens from outer space who came to warn the earth dwellers. The aliens’ reason for their warning was that the earth was becoming destructive through the creation of nuclear energy that was being used to destroy others in wars. The characters involved in the film as the aliens are Klaatu –Michael Rennie- and his robot Gort. The aliens warned the people of the earth if such activities would continue, then, the earth would be destroyed. The decision fully depended on the people of the earth to know how they wanted to live. In this film, the alien invasion on earth relays the problem the dwellers face but are not able to heed to because it has became a way of living. When the aliens deliver a message of destruction, the earth dwellers are left with a decision to make for themselves.

Apocalyptic representation in the film

In the film, The Day the Earth Stood Still (Wise, 1951), the apocalyptic aspect represented is relayed strongly. The earths’ prophesy of destruction message was being brought at peace. However, after the spacecraft lands near the White house, the public is sent to a panic frenzy. Right before the message is delivered, the carrier is wounded by a soldier in distress. His act of desperation to deliver the message leads him to scientists since the scientists had a greater influence in that society. The allegory in the film gives a cautionary perspective. The reason to this is that human beings do not know how to solve problems and have become too destructive. The repercussion of the human beings actions are halted through a thirty minutes stand still of everything except for the airlines medical facilities that had a need for electricity.

Interpretation and morality of the film

The moral theme of the film  is redemption (Wise, 1951). The allegory draws vividly from Christ’s redemption story and a cautionary tale for the defiant people of the earth regarding our weaponry and penchant for violence. In the film, the plot portrays that we human beings are prone to disagree in every aspect and our closest exits is the use of weapons against each other. In addition, our weapons have become a threat to our own planet’s survival.

The moral of the film is that as we discover outside our own ambiance (Alsford, 2006), we take our inclination in support of violence into the unknown with us. Conceivably, we are being watched and being alerted that it is time to put aside our juvenile way, thus enabling us to take a daily systematic ideology to help solve each problem we encounter.

Values represented in the film

There are values that convey the directors’ intentions. The most viable and intended to capture the viewer are the apocalyptic allusion, the essence of change, belief and living at peace. In the film, the aliens authoritatively are relaying a message to the earth inhabitants to live at peace with each other. The evidence is seen when Klaatu conveys the same message, giving consequences of not adhering to the same (Wise, 1951).

Belief comes in play as a value in the allegorical sense. Klaatu is portrayed just as the coming of Christ and the warning he gives is an essence of relaying the message of repentance and reconciliation to the earthly inhabitants. Still on the film, another value relayed by the director and the scriptwriter is the essence of change. The essence of change articulates consequences and the rigidness of the characters involved. The aspect represents consequences as an ultimatum of defying “the Deity” sought of breaking laws and choosing a lone own path. The aspect of rigidness portrays the complacency with the system and unwillingness to change to a better system. The system referred to here is a way of life that could improve the current impending deterrence.

Allusion  in the film is a representation of the apocalypse to the coming of Christ and saving the world (Alsford, 2006). However, this concept may not be understood at a glance. The concept depicted may be misinterpreted to a more menacing sense that is dependent on the viewer.

Humanity’s main concern(s) in the film

The facial concern of humanity is the change of rule. The back-end approach alarming the film (Wise, 1951) is alienation. Both these are visible concerns as to the approach of concerns. The change of rule (Alsford, 2006) is deterred as depicted and seen through the panicking solder that eventually hurts Klaatu using his loaded firearm. Gort, the guardian robot, retaliates by disarming all the soldiers with his laser eye beam. Klaatu offers the government a deal, either peace or destruction. The alienation comes in this sense (Alsford, 2006); if the human beings gave in to the change of rule, alienation would be the next expected tenure. This causes a stir and before they sure give into change, they prefer taking up war rather than noticing the benefits involved in the deal offered. By rejecting, it would show how superior they were but in real sense, their egotistic nature could not allow it.

Mixed messages communicated through the film

The facts articulated in the film (Wise, 1951) deal with the aspect of choice, change, confusion and truth. The mixed message portrayed in the film was the fear of nuclear weapons mingled in public consciousness. In the film, an alien visitor comes to Earth to warn people about the nuclear weapons development. Because of the Cold War and the tense political situation in the world, when two superpowers were on the brink of war, the fear of the outcome was mirrored. This eventually sited the confusion that loomed in the social culture.

Representation of the ideas of “good” and “evil”

In the film (Wise, 1951), the idea of good is presented as salvation. The aspect of constant war would have led to a totaled world that was inconstant jargon with self. Ideology of good in salvation (Dilman, 2005) is formally relayed as a threat with impulsive truth. The humans involved with their egotistic sense are in constant fear of deception so their retaliation is a holdback. This in essence deters the need to accept the offer of salvation. The result presented before they change their mind is a partial destruction, disconnection from varied power sources and the like. They eventually change their mind when immense destruction is kindled.

The ideology of evil is engulfed in the choice of destruction and death. In the film (Dilman, 2005), the humans were offered the salvation concept and destruction. They did not heed to the aspect of peaceful living among their kin. Their choice of salvation to them meant they would be in bondage (Edelman, 2009). Therefore, their egotistic realm could not allow that to happen. The evidence of truth was not in their vocabulary thus living in a constant shade of lies. They could not tell what was true other than being skeptical and ready to suit up for war. The eventuality of their decision suffices the evil that churns and almost strips life out of most of them as was predicted by Klaatu.


The aspects majored by the director and writer of the film (Wise, 1951), The Day the Earth Stood Still, is an articulation of fine art in science fiction. The projection of who, where, what and how’s are well detailed in the film. Nevertheless, the aspect of choice that is focused on is a powerful tool that simmers the world of both good and evil as portrayed in the film. It is therefore conclusive to note that the fear of distinction lies with the knowledge one has on how inevitably it will be upon us to decide what is pure and true with what is destructive and false.




















Works Cited

Alsford, Mike. Heroes and Villains: Villains, Monsters and Evil Masterminds. London: Oxford University Press, 2006. 95-121. Print.

Dilman, Ilham. The Self, the Soul and the Psychology of Evil: The Self in Goodness and Evil. London, UK: Taylor and Francis (Routledge), 2005. 37-43, 147-155. Print.

Edelman, John. Sense and reality: essays out of Swansea. Netherlands: Ontos Verlag, 2009. Print.

Wise, Robert, dir. The Day the Earth Stood Still. Twentieth Century Fox, 1951. Film.

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