1B, 9 O’clock
16, November 2018
When you look at the giant towering dinosaur-like creature, Godzilla, you may think his goal is simple. To eat, kill and destroy everything in his path just because he is a monster. But it is more than that. Godzilla is a monster that it quite different from the rest of the slew of monsters. It is the perfect example of how the monster body is the cultural body through his birth and creation as a monster during the times of World War II. His origin was that of a peacefully sleeping creature underneath the ocean who was rudely awoken by nuclear bomb testing in the same era as the time that he is created, World War II. He bears no bad intention and is not necessarily evil like the other monsters, instead, he is the epitome that brings out the human trait of their own destruction of nature and how they are swallowed up by their own pride. Godzilla can be the representation of nature’s vengeance on humans for their careless destruction of the earth and their pride which has brought them to do these things to the world without a care in the world. This is why he can be considered an anti-hero rather than an evil, bloodthirsty monster. He brings out the horrible traits of humans into light, involuntarily teaching that there must be balance in the world and since the humans are beginning to take advantage over nature, nature has awoken this monster to act as its vengeance and bringer of balance on to the world and unto the humans.
Godzilla is a very well developed monster as he is neither good or evil, he is like any other creature on this planet. The reason why he is called a monster is because of the fact that he himself is an almost God-like being that can bring about destruction of not only cities and towns but of countries because of his sheer size and power, just as if dinosaurs lived on earth in this day and age. Godzilla like any animal is just responding to his anger of being woken up, he does not hate humans, he is just confused by the world around him and see the humans who woke him up as hostile beings that are attacking him. He as a monster is both simple and complex because of this. No one really knows his intention or why he is doing the things that he is doing, but people are afraid of him, and that type of fear, one that is inhibited even knowing that the intention is not to truly kill or harm on purpose, is what makes Godzilla as a monster a terrifying and well made monster. Better yet, the fact of the matter is that there is a chance that Godzilla himself may be scared and fearful for what he has woken up to years and years later, to a time of alien creatures that he has never seen in his time attacking and destroying his home, earth.
The monster theses of the body representing the cultural body is a primary theses in the analysis and understanding of Godzilla. Godzilla was formed as a monster by Ishiro Honda in his movie in 1954, shortly after the times of World War II as if it was created to be against the war and the humans who choose to fight the war. “But the the runaway metaphor of Honda’s Godzilla isn’t nearly so easy to pin down. It’s more ambiguous, more generalized and perhaps more potent than that. And its significance can be glimpsed only in the Japanese version of the movie, because what Honda’s “Godzilla” is most fundamentally about, I think, is a society’s desire to claim its deepest tragedies for itself, to assimilate them as elements of its historical identity. The world of the uncut, un-Americanized original “Godzilla” is literally insular. There’s no occupying army, no heavy-set Caucasian reporters, no United Nations representatives, nothing but Japanese people, screaming at, worrying about and ultimately vanquishing their Japanese monster. By the end of the picture, Godzilla himself seems already on his way to becoming a beloved figure. Dying, the beast sinks into the sea with one last plaintive roar, and Honda gives him the sort of send-off our westerns used to reserve for those stubborn old gunfighters that history kept leaving behind. All that’s missing is “Shall We Gather at the River.” (DRAGONFLIESANDBUTTERFLIES) He was created out of the idea that the humans are destroying nature through their advanced weapons, especially with the creation of the nuclear bomb which is the source that awoken Godzilla in almost all of his adaptations, clearly placing the idea that the advanced technologies are causing a problem in the world and Godzilla, the representation of nature, arises out of its sleep to wreak havoc and the wrath of nature upon the humans who have so rudely awakened it, or as it is represented, the humans who have been harming nature. Being a monster based in Japan, Godzilla was made based off of the immense destruction of the nuclear bomb that was sent to Japan and Japan. “Fusion of Japan’s latent imperialism with its own misfortune at the hands of the Americans during World War II;” (Brophy) This is where Honda first attained his vision of Godzilla as the Japanese have never seen such a weapon before, and experiencing the destruction caused by this bomb for the first time, first hand, caused a certain fear in people of how detrimental these weapons can be not only in societies but also on the world. Godzilla was created as an inspiration of that destruction of nature, as if it was a statement saying that if such destruction continues, nature will surely bite back.
The monster represents and brings out many human traits, and while many monsters bring out human traits and characteristics through the use of fear, Godzilla does so a little differently. Godzilla brings out the human characteristics through punishment. Punishment of the actions of humans. The human characteristic of destruction upon themselves and nature is shown in the story of Godzilla. It begins when humans are in a war with each other, showing the destruction of themselves, of their own people, and then the nuclear bombs are sent and begins to show that characteristic of human destruction against nature. In this case he is does not only represent nature and the vengeance nature is taking upon humans, but he also represents the bringer of balance. Godzilla in his later films is more of a good guy. Sure, there’s often a communication barrier between him and the Japanese but he’s often the one to bail them out, and fight off any pesky foreign invaders. The people of Japan may not be on the best of terms with their destructive protector, but he’s a necessity when all these other monsters keep popping up. As shows in Granet Edwards 2014 Godzilla movie. When the humans push against nature, nature will push back equally to cancel out the humans destructive nature, in this case, through Godzilla. Even if Godzilla himself does not know this, his actions are what speaks, and in fact, Godzilla itself not knowing may be the further representation of how he represents nature because nature is a collective being with no singular mind, the geography, plants and creatures that inhabit the world is what makes nature nature and nature has no thoughts and no concept of revenge, showing how nature’s “vengeance” is a concept of a self defence mechanism as well as a justice to human actions. Godzilla just so happens to be natures self defense in this case and the balancer of humans actions and pride.
Godzilla is a monster that is not necessarily characterized of having the traits of being a monster besides the body it harbors. He is not evil, yet he is not good, he exists only to live just as any animal and creature in the world. Godzilla is no different, he is a tremendously large creature who is only following his instincts that sends him into a frenzy after being rudely awakened by humans, who did not exist at a time before he went into slumbering. He is the representation of nature’s wrath upon the world, bringing about balance and sending the pride of humans falling such as the name that he harbors, he humbles humans even without intentionally doing so. Godzilla brings out the self realization of the humans destruction of their own world as well as the destruction of their own kind during wars. Godzilla is a truly spectacular and terrifying monster that can be called the protagonist in a world where the humans are the antagonist against the world.
- Bolt, Barbara, and Robert Vincs. “Straw Godzilla: Engaging the Academy and Research Ethics in Artistic Research Projects.” Educational Philosophy & Theory, vol. 47, no. 12, Nov. 2015, pp. 1304–1318. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/00131857.2015.1044929.
This article is about focusing specifically on the emergent discipline of artistic research, this article addresses the question of how the supervisory process may take on the ‘spirit’ of the National Statement to engender genuine ethical debate, rather than merely focus on the instrumental obstacles that seem to get in the way of the research. The article helped me understand the several initiatives undertaken with the intent of more fully engaging supervisors and students with research ethics. This is a reliable sources founded on the Chaffey College database.
- Brophy, Philip. “Monster Island: Godzilla and Japanese Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy.” Postcolonial Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, Apr. 2000, pp. 39–42. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/13688790050001336.
This article gave me an understanding on the portrayal of Japan’s island status in Japanese motion pictures such as ‘Godzilla. This helped me see how fusion of Japan’s latent imperialism with its own misfortune at the hands of the Americans during World War II. This is an academic journal from Chaffey.
- Honda, Ishiro. Movie 2004. https://youtu.be/UNXslybb54w
- Edwards, Gareth. Movie 2014. https://youtu.be/e5LTeYkoBGg