A lot of people think that dehumanization does not exist in the modern world. But that is wrong. It happens every day, every hour, and every minute and right now in exactly this second. Dehumanization is when one group of people domineers over another smaller group of people and makes them less human than themselves.
This essay will examine two different methods, which are used in the film "The Island" by Michael Bay -published in 2005- to dehumanize the clones and how it affects the abuser.
During the Holocaust in the 2nd world war the Nazis treated the Jews less than humans, by e.g. forcing them to wear the yellow-Jewish star.
The clones in this film have had their identity and humanity taken away from them by the use of the costume and label them with bad names like “products”. It also influences the abusers and changes their behavior. They get more and more ruthless.
Overall, this essay will argue that the using of clothes and names are very good examples of showing dehumanizing other people. And that this procedure has a big effect on the abuser.
You are what you wear. Our clothes describe our personality. They define us, because everyone has his own style and everyone can show that with his clothes. Conscious or unconscious, it happens. Maybe it sounds a little bit superficial, but it is true, the first impression counts and it is the most important one, because people decide after it whether they would like to get to know the person or not. So if you are forced to wear every day the same uniform like thousands of other people, you lose a part of your identity. A person cannot see your individuality.
"[...] and tell me --let's talk about the white. Why is everyone wearing the white all the time? [...]" (Lincoln Six-Echo to Merrick). In the film "The Island" all the clones have to wear the same white, vacuous uniforms. They cannot choose neither the color nor at any rate different types of the uniform (e.g. shorts or trousers). So any decisions are taken away -the clothes are not the only example- and the clones cannot gain experiences. But experiences shape humans and their personality.
There are also parallels to the holocaust. The Nazis constrained the Jews to wear the yellow-Jewish star all the time. So everyone knew that the people with the star were Jews and many people created distance to them or humiliated them. Because of that the Jews were more and more isolated and repressed. Also they had to wear the convict uniform in the work/concentration camps. So their individuality was taken away, too.
Bay used the costume to show us how it influences the people and he also creates a bit an atmosphere like in a prison and the clones are the prisoners. Furthermore the white uniform is like a wrapping of a "product" and that also dehumanize the clones and the other people in the film (like the guards) create distance to them and it should signal them that the clones are not as worthy as “humans”.
So, you are what you wear, but what is, if you do not choose your clothes? The fact is, that it would be very difficult for the clones to have contact to "normal" people and that they see them as humans and not as products or sub humans. Because it is the nature of the humans to keep people, which are look different, of bay and maybe also try to stand above them. Because a lot of people are scared that this process happens to them and they also want to sustain their self-esteem. So they dehumanize them first and start the thinking of “us” and “them”.
"My name is Lincoln". That is what Lincoln Six-Echo said to Merrick, as he called him "Six-Echo".
In "The Island" people like Merrick and the guides label the clones with names, which leads that they make the clones less than human by calling them "product" and give them names like a product. For example Lincoln Six-Echo: Lincoln is the last name of the client and Six- Echo is the generation in which he is "raised". When the people label them…