Final Multimodal Profile Essay

The movie Avatar is known and very popular for its vast creativity and imagery. However, most are not able to pick up on the subtle messages. The film Avatar by director James Cameron is a very powerful movie with a message for mankind to treat each other with kindness and unity.

To recap on the movie, Avatar takes place on a planet called Pandora. This planet holds unique and different tribes and types of people that the Western world is not familiar with. One of the native tribes that inhabit Pandora are the Na’vi people. A large governmental research group wants to invade Pandora for its valuable resource called Unobtainium. The head of this research group that wants to go through with this mission is named Parker Selfridge. The head of the military is Colonel Quaritch, who is responsible for executing the mission of getting the valuable resource by any means possible. Jake Sully is a paraplegic who joins this research mission. His initial goal was to join the Na’vi people, blend in, and find ways and soft spots to conquer and gain their resources. In return, he was promised to be given the ability to walk. After becoming one of the Na’vi people, he realizes that what the research group is doing, and their purpose, is wrong and unfair to the tribe. Throughout the movie, there is a continuous war between the large army and the Na’vi people over the valuable resource.

The main theme that can be seen within this movie is that a smaller country, corporation or third world country is in conflict with a large country, corporation or superpower. The superpower countries use their power, technology, and modern tools to oppress, suppress, divide and conquer the smaller country, or mostly known as the third world country.

First, the world of Pandora and the Na’vi people within it can be compared to the third world countries we can see today. One thing that can distinguish a third world country is their culture and tradition, native tongue, religion and wanted resources that a superpower would want to have access to.

The culture and tradition of the Na’vi people can be shown through their attire and behavior and mannerisms. This photo shows the clan leader of the Na’vi people with his extravagant attire. Director James Cameron purposefully created the avatar to appear this way to represent the third world culture traditions. In realistic society, a third world tribal leader can usually be seen with extravagant attire and headdress, like the clan leader of the Na’vi.

Also, throughout the movie of Avatar,  the native tongue of the Na’vi is used, to differentiate them from the Western,  world, culture and language.  In today’s society, there are a variety of languages that are not common in the the superpower countries (English,etc). Some languages are Creole, Ewe, Yoruba, etc. Amongst the Na’vi people, the statement “Oel Ngati Kameie” means “I See You”. In the Western World, we know the statement as a physical statement, such as, “I see you over there”, “I see you standing”, I see you eating”, etc. However, with the Na’vi people, the statement “I see you” goes beyond the visual.  It is an emotional connection between two people or between a person and nature, etc. They are saying that they understand you or feel what you are saying. It can also be used as a spiritual connection as well. This leads to the religious aspect of the movie, compared to religions found in mostly the third world countries, rather than the Western world.

Within the movie, the main goddess that the Na’vi people worshipped was named Eywa. Eywa’s spirit was mostly found around their home tree. The Na’vi people surrounded the tree, holding hands, and chanting to pray to their goddess. There can be many different religions found within the smaller countries.

Lastly, and mostly importantly, within the movie Avatar, as well as the third world countries is the wanted resources. In the movie, a resource that was wanted by the large research corporation was a metal called Unobtainium. Within the word, “Unobtainium”, is the word “obtain” and “un”, meaning that the superpower is not able to obtain a precious resource that is wanted for gain and profit. The resource is found under the Eywa home tree of the Na’vi people. The metal costs about $20 million dollars for about 2 pounds of it. In comparison to our society, there is much war and conflict from a superpower country for a resource (such as oil and land) from the smaller, third world country.

James Cameron is known for being an environmental activist and having political views regarding interactions between people, countries, and nations. His views and beliefs are thoroughly shown throughout his film, Avatar.

Social Media Round-Up

After weeks of writing blogs, I feel that my writing, thinking, and analyzing of text has improved greatly. Looking back at my first blogs, I realize that my blogs become longer over time, and more dense with information. Writing blogs helped me to learn how to elaborate on my topic, so that the reader can further understand your thoughts and ideas. Also, compared to the most recent blogs, blogs such as “Us and Them”, “When I Was a Child”, “Grief”, and “Powder”, I only used two quotes/references from the passages. More recent blogs contain about more than three quotes/references from the passages. Also, one salient theme that I seem to most often use in my blog, is to highlight very significant quotes. In my first blogs, I would introduce a quote by saying, “one significant theme was…”. For example, in my blog Grief by Joan Didion Analysis, I said, “One very important quote in her text was, “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, which I interpreted as a literal description of the constant changing of the earth, the unending erosion of the shores and mountains, the inexorable shifting of the geological structures that could throw up mountains and islands and could just as reliably take them  away” (930).” In more recent blogs, I stated the important quote without obviously introducing it. For example, in my blog Johnny Depp: Unlikely Star by John Smith Analysis I stated, ” The profile starts out introducing what is most important in his life, fatherhood. In an interview with Johnny Depp, Depp states that after his daughter was born “The real [him] was revealed” (Smith 860). With that quote, Smith expounded on his profile. He analyzes Depp’s different personalities that were displayed on television and how it has progressed over the years.” This comment seems to show improvement in writing and analyzing, compared to my initial quote.

This entry was posted on April 19, 2013. 4 Comments

AVATAR (Multimodal Essay Draft)

For more information about the movie Avatar, click here.

The movie  AVATAR has been such a popular film that topped the box charts for months. 

With its vivid images, sci-fi creatures and creativity, it almost makes people wonder, if the place where the movie was, was real. Even though, the characters and events were not real, the meaning and storyline is like history repeating itself.

The movie AVATAR is about a war veteran, Jake Sulley, who was (paralyzed from the waist down) and decides to work for the government’s project to investigate Pandora. Pandora is another plant that holds a different group of people called Na’vi. Their ways, culture, language and environment are entirely different from what the Americans know. Their planet holds a very expensive, and useful resource called Unobtainium, which they want.

Unobtainium


In order to gain this resource, they plan to dwell in, gain trust, and later take over the planet, obliterating anything that may get in their way.

Jake Sulley becomes an Avatar in order to blend in wit the Na’vi people, but after being apart of them, he realizes how important their land is, and how important the people are.

The main theme behind this film is one country take over another, only to gain their resources out of greed. This seems to be the purpose and meaning behind of Cameron’s movie. He is trying to send out a message to the major corporations, companies, countries that are notorious for deprivation of others.

Throughout the move, Cameron uses different references to historical situations to prove his point. For example, the culture of the Na’vi people can relate to the tribal cultures of different countries, especially third world. Also, the mineral called, “Unobtainium”, seems to source from the world, un-obtained, or not able to have. That statement refers to resources that major countries may want, but can not have. Lastly, the movie specifically incorporated an entirely different language, that makes it believable, to explain the differences between the unique culture and Western civilization.

The Na’vi people heavily rely on their resources, because it is connected to their mother ancestral spirit. Without it, their world would collapse; that is why they are connected together as one with each other and with their land.


Many people question whether that even though this was the second top-grossing movie, after Titanic, has this really opened people eyes to take action on approaching this topic of issue.

This entry was posted on April 18, 2013. 4 Comments

“Georgia O’Keeffe” by Joan Didion Analysis

“Style is character” (Didion 853). This quote states the most prevalent theme of this profile. Based on Georgia O’Keeffe’s style in her personality, past and paintings, Didion is able to translate who Georgia O’Keeffe is as a person. Her paintings, statements towards people’s opinions and her past is the focus and angle that Didion uses to profile O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe was described as a “hard” person. Didion states, “She is simply hard, a straight shooter, a woman clean of received wisdom and open to what she sees. This is a woman who could early on dismiss most of her contemporaries as “dreamy,” and would later single out on she liked as “a very poor painter” (Didion 855). This quote states how Didion views O’Keeffe as an artist. O’Keeffe seems to be very blunt and free to speak her mind, which was very powerful for a woman in the early 1900s. Her strength also showed through her response to what men considered her to do and not do. Didion writes what “the men” say is impossible and what O’Keefe des to prove herself. Didion repeats O’Keeffe’s words, “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see — and I don’t” (Didion 857). O’Keeffe words shows the defiance and boldness she has despite whatever people think. Didion also explains O’Keeffe’s past starting out as an artist. She continually experienced rejection and criticism of her work at didn’t places she went. She continually experienced people “paint[ing] over her work” (Didion 858). This is probably what contributed to her “hard shell”. Didion finally states explain her quality, “Georgia O’Keeffe seems to have been equipped early with an immutable sense of who she was and a fairly clear understanding that she would be required to prove it” (Didion 857).

This entry was posted on April 12, 2013. 5 Comments

Formal Outline for Research Paper

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Lead in: The media has transformed over generations. The various movies, TV shows[ and video games that people view display different perspectives, actions and lifestyles that some may find educational, or disturbing. Most viewers believe that the majority of the media has negative effects on the public, especially the youth.

B. However the media can not be the full blame for the aggressive behaviors found within people. There are other factors that aggression and violent behavior stem from.

C. Thesis: The media is not always the source of violent behaviors, as there are other factors such as poverty, famililial and societal issues and that the media is influenced by other real-life experiences.

II. BODY

A. There are many people that believe that the media is the first and direct cause of violence. If one views violence on television, they will become violent. One expert states that, “Virtually all of the research concerned with media violence has attempted to determine whether the viewing of violence is associated with or causes aggression. Just as the viewing of violence may increase aggression, so, too, aggressive behavior may increase the preference for viewing violence” (Fenigstein 1)

C. Subtopic/Point/Reason #1:  Before children are exposed to television,familial influences and behaviors take place. Many researchers have concluded that the media is not what a child completely models after, but rather after the people directly around them.  If a child has exposed to violent behavior in their society and family, they will most likely behave in the same manner. “Factors that might predispose an individual to behave violently include being abused by a parent, living in a violent home or neighborhood, poverty, inconsistent discipline, etc” (Coyne 206). There is no doubt that there are extremely violent shows and films out there that should not be available. However, when a person shows aggression, it is most likely what is inside that comes out, and what they have emotionally experienced. The choice of media is just outward show of what negative behaviors they have already absorbed. “When an individual high in violence proneness decides to act violently, he or she may then model violence that he or she has seen in the media” (Negy 401). [4]

 

D.Subtopic/Point/Reason #2: One should also consider that people who created these violent shows are not always created from other media, but from environmental factors they themselves have experienced, or others have experienced. For example, the series Law and Order SVU shows many violent and gruesome actions that have been committed by criminals. These actions displayed are modeled after real life events of rape, abuse and murder.  Violence is determined by one’s background rather than one’s crime committed. Factors such as abuse, poverty, surroundings of violence can cause one to turn to delinquency. Because of this, people of violence turn to violent films because they can relate with what is going on. This was proven by a study by Brown and Pennell in 1995 with violent and non-violent criminals (Coyne 207). Also, the criminals in the show confess that they have committed the crime and explain that the reason for their actions is that they had bad experiences with their family, friends and society.

E. Subtopic/Point/Reason #3: Economic issues are lastly another cause that can affect one’s behavior. If one comes from a poor economic background, where they struggle to make ends meet, they ususally turn to fast money. The positive opportunities around them are mostly slim to none and they struggle to survive. “Factors that might predispose an individual to behave violently include being abused by a parent, living in a violent home or neighborhood, poverty, inconsistent discipline, etc” (Coyne 206).Most turn to drugs, alcohol, gangs, etc. These usually cause stern, hard personalities so that they would no break. In these experiences, they see all kinds of violent attributes, which they eventually become used to

III. CONCLUSION

A. There is usually a saying that it all starts at home. The media may trigger something that is already ingrained in one’s personality. The factors stated highlight experiences that people faced when they were younger. They are those “who are highly aggressive in toddlerhood and then stay that way” (Coyne 209). The only way a person can veer away from violent tendencies is if they are raise in the right way as a child and have nourishing experiences that will help them flourish positively.

MLA Practice

QUOTE:

Browne (1995) states that about 3–10% of the population are predisposed to behave violently when frustrated. Factors that might predispose an individual to behave violently include being abused by a parent, living in a violent home or neighborhood, poverty, inconsistent discipline, etc. (Coyne 206)

This section would be quoted as: TV media can not be the fully blamed for the violence that appears in people. There are always other factors that would affect one’s behavior such as, “being abused by a parent, living in a violent home or neighborhood, poverty, inconsistent discipline, etc” (Coyne 206). This quote was chosen because it discusses what my thesis is about. I specifically used the signal phrase because it directly identifies other proven factors, and this seems more credible since it comes from an expert and not my own opinion.

PARAPHRASE:

This concept has been assessed in a variety of cultures; however, varying results are found dependent on the culture studied. (Coyne 206)

This section would be paraphrased as: There are different factors that affect one’s behavior and cause violence. One’s behavior depends on the culture or community that one is apart of.(Coyne 206). This section is summarized because the details of the statistics are very important to mention, without saying everything word for word.

SUMMARIZE:

Browne and Pennell (1998) also examined the effects of media violence on young offenders. Three groups (violent offenders, non-violent offenders, and non-offenders) were shown a violent video and then asked about the film immediately and after several months had passed. They were also asked to report on their media violence viewing in general. Interestingly, the biggest differences were found when the non-offender group was compared to the offender group as a whole. In particular, offenders preferred more violent films, identified more with violent characters, and were more excited by the portrayed violence than non-offenders. Violent and non-violent offenders showed little differences in how they reacted to filmed violence, although violent offenders were more likely to prefer violent films. Not surprisingly, the offenders as a whole also came from more violent backgrounds, including having abusive parents, witnessing family violence, etc., although violent offenders came from the most violent background of any group. The link between such a family environment and delinquency is well established; therefore, this study only shows that having such an environment might make an individual particularly susceptible to violent films. Further highlighting this view, when the experience of abuse was controlled for, the difference between violent and non-violent offenders in preference for violent films disappeared. (Coyne 207)

Since this is a very long paragraph, it is important to summarize because it contains the main point of the expert and highlights the reason for my thesis. This paragraph would be too long to quote directly into a research paper, because it would be overwhelming for the reader, which will eventually cause them to miss the main point of this section. This section would not be right for paraphrasing, because it is too long for just rearrangement. Summarizing encases the entire idea while being short and to the point. This sentence would be summarized as: Violence is determined by one’s background rather than one’s crime committed. Factors such as abuse, poverty, surroundings of violence can cause one to turn to delinquency. Because of this, people of violence turn to violent films because they can relate with what is going on. This was proven by a study by Brown and Pennell in 1995 with violent and non-violent criminals (Coyne 207).

“Johnny Depp: Unlikely Superstar” by Sean Smith Analysis

In this profile, Sean Smith interestingly analyzes Johnny Depp’s life in a certain angle and with a certain method. The profile starts out introducing what is most important in his life, fatherhood. In an interview with Johnny Depp, Depp states that after his daughter was born “The real [him] was revealed” (Smith 860). With that quote, Smith expounded on his profile. He analyzes Depp’s different personalities that were displayed on television and how it has progressed over the years. Smith uses not only statements of his opinion, or Depp’s word in their interview, he also uses facts about him, and experts comments based on their experience with him. Depp was considered “almost pathologically unpredictable” (Smith 861). Therefore, throughout the entire passage, the focus was on “Who is the real Johnny Depp, and how does he come to that discovery?” Smith’s essay displays the function of what a profile should entail. It reveals something about the subject that we may have not known. Smith goes into detail about his background on how he grew up and became an actor. What is significant about this profile is that, as great and as popular as he was (which was shown through Smith’s statistics of him), one did not know how unhappy and unfulfilled he felt. He was displaying so many characters successfully, but known of the characters displayed him. He was not swayed by the money or fame. Tim Burton states that, “He’s always been true to who he is” (Smith 863).  Smith uses many quotes from people who have worked with him to further explain how angry he felt as an actor. He only felt satisfied after he met his wife and had his two children. Smith uses Depp’s quote to emphasize this change in perspective, “Now I know where home is” (Smith 865). Lastly, Smith not only uses words, but also actions to enhance the purpose of his profile. Since Depp felt his true identity was shown through the Pirates of Caribbean” movie, Smith pointed out that, “He smiles, a flash of gold” (Smith 867). This wrapped back to the beginning of the profile, where it answers the previous question of, “Who is truly Johnny Depp?” Johnny Depp truly feels like himself when entertaining children as a pirate, ever since he married the true love of his life and had his son and daughter.

This entry was posted on April 5, 2013. 4 Comments