Wall-e: Return Humanity To Earth

The questing hero’s journey is an archetypal plotline that storytellers from all ages have used to represent some fundamental truths about the meaning of life itself. In WALL-E, director Andrew Stanton depicts WALL-E the robot's quest to return humanity to earth. On the surface, WALL-E might seem to offer nothing more than a simple tale of adventure. However, an archetypal analysis of Andrew Stanton's main plot reveals a more symbolic depiction of mankind’s quest to rid the world of rampant consumerism and environmental neglect.

According to Chris Vogler’s adaption of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, all heroes embark on a journey of self-discovery that takes place almost formulaically. The first phase of the journey, known as the Separation, includes the hero in his Ordinary World. In WALL-E's, he portrays a struggling robot who needs to save an ever—so—dwindling humanity. In the ordinary world, a conflict arises internally and externally within the hero. In WALL-E, the beginning external conflict transpires as WALL-E evolving into humanity. Having deserted a shell of a world behind, the humans travel through space abandoning WALL-E, leaving him to assume all the responsibilities they deserted. WALL-E compacts trash for a living and slowly cleans earth so mankind can return home, if it is even still their home, to brand-new earth without all the scorch marks they left behind. WALL-E's internal conflict would be the desire for companionship and love. His emotions demonstrate him evolving from an emotionless trash compacter into a robot who can feel sympathy and affection towards another individual. In this dull and dismal world, WALL-E thrives because of his sense of purpose that motivates him to compact trash for over seven-hundred years. When arriving, Eve disturbs WALL-E's ordinary world enough for him to venture off from his normal routine. She serves as a source of companionship that WALL-E so desperately seeks. Diverting from his objective, WALL-E follows her and simply observes her foreign ways of life. WALL-E depicts the childlike innocent archetype because he is oblivious to any danger that surrounds him. He initiates the quest unknowingly by displaying a plant, the first to grow in eons, to Eve who captures it and shutdowns. He simply follows whatever his heart tells him and does not look back.

Having departed from his known realm, WALL-E now enters the second stage of Vogler's adaptation of Campbell’s monomyth, the descent and initiation. Externally, WALL-E faces the complication of losing Eve somewhere in the Axiom, one of the countless spacecraft built by the Buy n Large Corporation. Being tested, WALL-E determines if he can overcome the challenge of navigating an unknown and foreign world. To succeed, he must conquer his fears by diving into the belly of the beast, the bridge of the ship. Unknowingly, WALL-E advances through the test and trials by accidentally accomplishing every task thrown before him. Internally, WALL-E is stereotyped as an average robot and sent down to the room where they repair broken robots, but WALL-E quickly demonstrates that he does not fit in with these robots by staging a revolt against the robots holding them captive, in which illustrating his ability to be independent and free-minded. The two humans showed throughout the ship, transition from a stage of brainwash to a stage of free mindedness through swimming in one of the many pools in the ship. Water represents the transition from one stage to another; Author Andrew Stanton intends to show how WALL-E has impacted those around him by of WALL-E's most crucial tests will be brought to him by his own ally Eve, she plans to send him back to earth so that he can be safe. WALL-E finds the best course of action not proceed to earth, but to overcome this feat by displaying an emotional side of himself to Eve.

WALL-E's emotional side surprises those around him due to him being merely a robot, a robot that displays more emotion than anyone else on the ship. The captain of the Axiom experiences an epiphany due to the number of years that they lived on the Axiom. He realizes that they endured 700 hundred years of space travel, which archetypally speaking means that the earth has once again reached a complete cycle of unity. This represents the hero's quest receiving recognition by others. When WALL-E finally conveys to Eve the true meaning of his quest, the mood of the scene changes completely, and to illustrate this change they pass several crossroads to represent the change between tests, allies, and enemies to the approach. When WALL-E “short-circuits', EVE’s quest becomes much harder, forcing her to attempt to aid him in finding the replacement part that he so desperately needs to survive when he passes out and leaves it up to her to save him (Shoomp, par 8). After revitalizing, WALL-E assists in keeping the plant collector open by wedging himself under it. In doing so, he pushes himself to the limit and passes out yet again which lets the scene transition into the road back.

Heroes who achieve the ultimate boon, or the reward, now have a number of options for completing their journey. WALL-E suffers a painful death by helping mankind achieve the goal of reconnecting with the earth and the world around them. With this grand accomplishment, arrives the resurrection proportion of the quest. Eve revives WALL-E when she replaced his parts, but the real resurrection happens when Eve provides WALL-E with the true love kiss. WALL-E reconnects to society by Eve who holds his hand to remind him of what he accomplished. The reward occurs in the credits by the means of pictures that depict what happened after they rebuilt the earth. They present a lush and full of growth earth that did not exist for many years until WALL-E's quest. The credits provide us with evidence supporting the opinion that mankind has found itself once again on earth.

The world disintegrates as humans lose any sense of integrity, but WALL-E sets on a path to correct those mistakes. Mistakes that caused over consumption and complete disregard for the planet they once loved. For WALL-E to be categorized among the likes of Nelson Mandela, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King is to honor those who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place.  

07 July 2022
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