Post #8: Media Centered Perspectives Analysis

The artifact that I have chosen for my Media Centered Perspectives Analysis is the final episode, Sozin’s Comet, of Avatar the Last Airbender. This episode is a four part episode due to the length of it. The show itself is about a 12 year old boy named Aang, who is the Avatar and destined to bring balance to the world by mastering the four elements of air, water, earth, and fire. Aang origionally run away from being the Avatar when the war with the Fire Nation began, and became suspended in ice for 100 years until Katara and Sokka found and freed him. Aang is helped in his journey to stop Fire Lord Ozai and the Fire Nation from conquering the world by Katara, Sokka, Toph, Zuko, and a multitude of other characters. Katara is the last water bender of the Souther Water Tribe and teaches Aang waterbending, Sokka is her brother. Toph is a blind girl who is a master Earth bender and teaches Aang earthbending. Zuko is the banished prince of the Fire Nation who initially hunts Aang to restore his honor, he teaches Aang firebending. In the final episode Aang grapples with the fact that he must kill Ozai, which goes against his pacifist ways of being an airbender. Desperate he looks for a solution to Ozai without killing him, as the final battle approaches. Everyone, including Aang’s past selves, tell Aang that he has no choice but to kill Ozai. Aang finds the answer by meeting a lion turtle, a being who teaches Aang how to bend one’s spirit. Using this knowledge, Aang defeats Ozai after grueling battle and takes away the latter’s bending so that he can never hurt anyone ever again.

This shows the Social Learning Theory in how both Aang and Ozai act during the battle. Aang is doing everything in his power to not kill Ozai. Even stopping the Avatar State, when Aang is at his most powerful in order not to kill his enemy. Even before the battle when it seemed as though Aang ran away from being the Avatar again, and met the lion turtle who taught him how to bend a person’s spirit. Aang found a non-lethal way to deal with Ozai while staying true to how he was raised as an airbender. Ozai on the other hand did not hesitate in trying to kill Aang at any given opportunity, since he sees Aang as his only obstacle in conquering the world. Ozai was willing to do anything to ensure the Fire Nation, and by extension himself, came out ontop. The viewers see this and in such would act more like Aang seeing the consequences to Ozai’s actions, losing his bending. Ozai becomes powerless, when at the beginning of the battle was one of the strongest firebenders in the world.

I believe that the implications of this artifact is that there is always a way to get difficult things done without going against your beliefs. This is shown in how Aang defeats Ozai by taking the latter’s bending away and not killing him like how everyone else said Aang had to. This artifact also shows that there is always a price to greed. Whether the person wants more money or more power, there is always a price. In this case it is Ozai losing his bending forever and losing what he deems to be “his natural right” of ruling the world.

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3 Responses to Post #8: Media Centered Perspectives Analysis

  1. John Ward says:

    Avatar the Last Airbender would be an excellent choice for a paper. It has a high following and has a large fanbase. I like your breakdown of the story and selected the final battle. The final battle is the final culmination of the story. It demonstrates the art style and the passion that went into the story. We see the characters doing their part in the final battle. What is also interesting is the philosophies that shown throughout the show such as Taoism and the yin and yang. It also teaches good morals that everyone should follow such as kindness and never comprise your own beliefs in times of stress.

  2. Amber Thomas says:

    Miranda, I really like your artifact choice and the connections you made to the Social Learning Theory. If you were to use this for Critical Essay #2, I think pairing a Neo-Marxist Perspective with this would be great to show who is the model (I’m assuming Aang is) and who is the anti-model to further analyze the show’s rhetoric. Great job 🙂

  3. James Conner says:

    Having watched Avatar and watching it again for the last two weeks. I agree with you on the Social Learning Theory with Aang and Ozai. Aang learn from the monks that killing is wrong and Ozai learns from his father and grandfather that the only way to rule is through sheer power and fear. It’s also nice that you compare the two because it shows the contrast between the two characters. If you used this for your second essay make sure to give the definition of social learning theory so the viewer understands it before you go into how it works for your artifact.

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