Hobbesian Jungle or Ape City?

Ape City is a city that resulted from an apocalyptic event. In the beginning of the film, many dystopian characteristics are evident through the apes’ treatment of the humans. As we are first introduced to the human population, we learn that they live peacefully amongst each other in a primitive way. However, that peace is eliminated as soon as the gorillas enter the scene, and chaos emerges. For instance, the humans are being hunted and chased by the gorillas, running away in fear. Once the humans are captured, we learn that the chimpanzees are using them as experiments. The humans of Ape City experience exploitation as they are used for research; human powerlessness is evident as they are mute and cannot stand up for themselves; marginalization appears due to the fact that the apes view the humans as the inferior species and treat them like animals; and the apes instill fear through violence to control the humans into doing whatever they like.

The oppression of the apes are conveyed towards the middle of the film. For instance, the organization of Ape City’s government system plays a role in its dystopia. As leaders of the government and of religion, orangutans use theocracy to instill fear into the gorillas and chimpanzees. The orangutans’ strict enforcement of theocracy forbids the chimpanzees from researching concepts that do not agree with their faith. Therefore, through fear, the chimpanzees face powerlessness as they are restricted of their speech and of the truth.

At the end of the film, we learn that the orangutan Dr. Zaius instilled fear through the use of theocracy to protect the apes from acquiring the truth. Because human civilization caused the destruction of the world, Dr. Zaius’s fear of humans was his motive for enforcing theocracy. The human civilization that destroyed the world represented a Hobbesian Jungle. Dr. Zaius viewed the Hobbesian Jungle as chaos and tried to protect Ape City from reaching to that point where nature is most lethal. However, little did he know, that by oppressing the apes, Ape City would already contain dystopian elements that could potentially contribute to the occurrence of another apocalyptic event.

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