In Grizzly Man，among the controversy stirred by the behavior of Treadwell, the central idea expressed in the film is that the nature is indeed indifferent and man should not cross the borderline between man and nature.
Wild animals are not friends of human. Treadwell put all his heart to the cause of protecting the bears. He repeated in his films for many times that he loved them and he was willing to die for them. He tended to anthropomorphize them like many people do to the dogs and cats, but he forgot they were not those tame pets. He touched bears in a way that seemed to irritate them. He maybe had a belief and confidence that the bears also saw him as their friend and treated him differently. But in fact they didn’t. In the narrator’s opinion, “the common denominator of the universe is not harmony, hostility and murder.” Treadwell spent 13 years with the bears and he thought it was a wonderful and simpler world, he even wanted to become a bear, but in reality it is a hash world. In those big and ferocious bears’ eyes, they see only food and they never regard him as a friend. The narrator tells this observation at the end:”from all the faces, all the bears that Treadwell ever filmed, I discovered no kinship, no understanding, no mercy. I see only the overwhelming indifference of nature.”
There is an ultimate invisible line between bear and human. The line has been respected by native people and the majority of the public. They know it is a very different world from the one where human lives. “when you cross the line, you pay the price.” the curator of the Kodiaks Alutiiq Museum mentioned this principle that has been strictly observed for 7000 years. He doesn’t agree with Treadwell’s behavior of staying too intimately with bears. He believes that “he has crossed the invisible boundary”, that is, the line which has been mentioned above. So even if Treadwell was repeatedly declaring that his main purpose was to protect bears from poachers, he didn’t realize that his behavior was another kind of invasion of their habitat and he was doing a lot of damage to them. He got close to those bears crazily and in un undue way.
He violated the reasonable rule of the park that one should maintain at least 100 yards of distance from the bears. He lived with them and tried to make the bears get used to the existence of human, which was very dangerous for bears, and so on. As the narrator says in the movie, the best protection for the animals is that of their habitat. Any action of protecting animals by invading their habitat is not persuasive and of course can’t do any good to them. Like Treadwell, during his 13 years, he didn’t give bears any practical protection except serving them a delicious dinner with his and his girlfriend’s bodies.
Life of Pi
The view presented in this movie is that human and ferocious animals can co-exist peacefully if human can meet the survival needs of the animals and nature can give human hope and direction to survive.
Darwin’s theory—the survival of the fittest, emphasizes the fierce and somewhat ruthless struggle of survival among the species and the individuals. It is indeed true in most cases. But in Life of Pi, it describes a picture of human and animal’s co-existence in a more harmonious way and proves that their struggle and contradiction are not so irreconcilable. In this movie, Pi was taught at his childhood by his father, that the animals, esp, the tiger, etc are not his friends. So at the first of the drift, Pi didn’t intend to co-exist with the tiger. He had had the chance to kill it. But his virtuous nature didn’t allow himself to do so. So he made the final decision to co-exist with this ferocious animal. He supplied the tiger with food and fresh water to survive so that he himself would not become the dinner of it. The threat to each other and the certain kind of peaceful co-existence helped them persevere to be saved at last. Even Pi himself admitted that “the fear of Richard Parker kept me alert. I wouldn’t survive without Richard Parker.”
Human actually should be grateful to nature. Nature provides them with the animals living in it and therefore sustains human’s life. In the movie, nature is indifferent by the storm which caused the disaster of the ship’s sink and took away so many people’s lives. But on the other side, during the hopeless drift on the sea, nature also gave them food in the sea. It led him to the island when Pi had already lost his hope for survival, which made him regain the hope for life. Nature gave these seemingly coincidences to make for Pi’s survival from this disaster.
Which kind of view do you agree with? Comparing two different views presented in these two movies, the former is more persuasive and reasonable. Handling the relations between human and nature, people should always remember that nature is indeed indifferent and keep a proper distance away from nature, especially the animals. Any human action which interferes with their natural life in an undue way will surely provoke the revenge of nature and pay a price for what they do.
Guess of teacher’s view Teacher may agree that nature is indifferent but to some extent human and can get along well with each other unless both of them don’t cross the borderline and do harm to the other. Because America is a country which pays much attention to environment protection. They don’t encourage too much intimacy with nature for they know the ruthless and indifferent nature, so they do a good job in establishing the wildlife reserves. But on the other hand, they love to be close to nature.
Courtney from Study Moose
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