Planet Of The Apes Essay

1321 words - 6 pages

√Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes takes the world as we know it and turns it upside down and in so doing questions almost every belief and value system of mankind. Written and produced at a time when America and much of the world was in the midst of a cultural change and people were questioning and protesting everything the screenwriters take make this film a satirical and thought provoking commentary on the big questions of the era. The Vietnam War, the struggle for equal treatment of African Americans and a general mindset of questioning religion and traditional values were the things that made up the American culture of the nineteen sixties. The film grapples with and makes ant ...view middle of the document...

Man on the other hand is a mute creature. Man has become monkey and monkey has become man. When Taylor and the two remaining members of his crew arrive in this world of the future they initially find a desert environment where nothing lives, what they knew as normal on the earth of their time three thousand years in the pasts no longer exist. Eventually they find life but are unprepared for what they find. Man has devolved psychologically and socially. The characters do not fully understand what they are witnessing because they think they are in an alien world on another planet. Taylor and his comrades are caught up in the hunt and are captured. Only Taylor survives with most of his humanity in tact. The one exception is his speech. Due to being shot in the throat he can not speak. This is an important aspect of the movie because when he arrives at the City of the Apes what he discovers is not what one would expect. Apes rule the world. Man is caged like a monkey, studied for scientific experiments and there is a reference to man being the entertainment in zoos and the circus. A major thought of ape scientific theory is that man is incapable of rational thought because man has no speech. Man is nothing more than an animal. Ape scientists perform medical experiments including brain surgeries in order to discover whether or not man is part of the evolutionary process that culminated with rational, thinking apes. The Ape researchers studying man are an animal psychologist and a veterinarian. They hypothesize that Taylor could be the missing link. Her research is supported by Cornelius, her love interest and the reluctant archaeological scientist.
Dr. Zira, the animal psychologist who is studying Taylor and the other men believes that Taylor is proof that man can be domesticated. She states in a trial that, “Man can be domesticated.” She has been conducting research to prove her theory of evolution that apes come from man. Once she discovers that Taylor can communicate, first through writing and then through speech she, in a twist of the plot, becomes an advocate for Taylor as does Cornelius. This leads to the trial that pits religion against science. It is quite reminiscent of the Scopes Monkey Trials that took place in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. Evolution in the reverse is put on trial. Dr. Zaius, the Minister of Science and Defender of the Faith, attempts to squash the scientific research. This leads to the escape of Taylor with Nova, the female human that had been placed with him in an attempt of the scientists to observe the mating practices of man. It is when the Gorilla army led by Dr. Zaius catches up with the fugitives that the viewer is enlightened to the fact that Dr. Zaius has known all along what man once was and that he has...

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