Just Like Me

I watched Michael Bay’s The Island the other day and while the backdrop was typical Michael Bay, with gratuitous explosions and dramatic acting, I enjoyed the movie immensely. I was struck by the interactions between the overseers and the clones. Most overseers seem to distance themselves from the human aspects of the clones to appease their guilty consciences about the work at the lab, but some have personal relationships instead. These relationships have to be awkward for the overseers, as they realize that he clones are really not that different or inferior.

The operators who were removing the liver of Lincoln’s friend could not have been less sensitive to the clones’ humanity. They laughed at his flailing last attempts to escape, and seemed like middle school boys dropping salt on snails.  This reaction completely dehumanized the clones, and that makes me nervous for the future of cloning.

On the other hand, James McCord (the mechanic)’s relationship with Lincoln Six Echo is particularly startling to me. He idly sits by and watches his clone friends be deceived and raised for slaughter, but still manages to compartmentalize his emotions. When Lincoln and Jordan find him at the bar after their departure, I appreciated his response. Not only was he willing to help, but he sacrificed himself. Perhaps he never entirely accepted the cloning situation in the first place, and finally got his revenge on the system.

The Island gives examples of both sides of the argument: that people will be insensitive to clones, or that people will accept them and not be degrading. While the movie is unrealistic in a lot of ways, I think this is an accurate depiction. If medical cloning becomes an option, everyone’s heartstrings will be played in different ways. While I’m not bothered by the idea and think the concept is great, I hope we do not become inhumane in our self-improvement.

-K. Adams

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~ by kristindadams on February 10, 2012.

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