Stereotype-directing

The religious component of The Island definitely irked me.  While all along The Island treaded upon the notion of Dr. Merrick resembling a God-like figure, the overt, repeated, religious references at the end of the movie restricts the viewer to address this controversial aspect of cloning in a one-sided manor rather than focus on both the scientific progress that cloning may render and its moral implications.

From the onset of the film, early disturbing scenes play on the emotions of the viewer.  For example, after the clone gives birth, although the viewer holds no prior attachment to the clone, her drawn out death conjures distraught sympathy within the viewer.  Additional play on this humanistic angle appears seconds later with Michael Duncan’s disturbing surgery.  His simplistic phrase, “You lied to me,” develops the troubling tone of the movie into a principle of morality; which ultimately sets the stage for religious integration.

Even though the doctor harvests Duncan’s liver to save the life of another, the film favors the argument against human cloning based on the conception of the clone as a human being.  Although the movie addresses the notion of scientific progress towards curing future diseases through Dr. Merrick’s remark, “I will be the first to cure leukemia in a child,” the film immediately suggests the cost of such advancement – murder.   The following outright, reference to Dr. Merrick as a Godly figure adds to the moral argument while feeding off of stereotypical hostility towards cloning.

As if this were not enough, the movie again associates Dr. Merrick to God when Sean Bean says to Ewan McGregor “I brought you into this world and I can just as easily take you out.”  This repetitive religious imagery almost forces an atheist to view and sympathize with the immorality of cloning on a spiritual level.  By incorporating such overt religious overtones and downplaying or portraying in a negative manner the advancement of science, the movie follows suit with other Hollywood productions: stereotype-direction.

Nicole Shen

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~ by shennt on February 1, 2008.

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