Tag Archives: paper proposal

The Importance of Symbolism in Princess Mononoke

For my paper, I am going to delve a bit deeper into the symbolism of Princess Mononoke. I believe that Miyazaki uses specific characters, scenes, dialogue, and symbols that express the relationship between humans and nature that aren’t explicitly noted in the film. 

            I will introduce my paper with a brief definition and explanation on the relationship with humans and nature. This will introduce the film into the paper as being a symbolic example of humans and nature. My thesis will be “Although Princess Mononoke is an animated film, through its use of symbolic references and images one can see the relation of humans and the natural world in the realistic world outside the realm of the film”.

            In the first part of the paper I will summarize the film, focusing on the aspects of the relationship of humans and nature from the symbols. For example, I will skip some of the unimportant dialogue and focus on discussing the scenes that include the “evil muck” that infects the creatures and eventually the land and San.

            I will then discuss the kind of relationship that we humans must have with nature in order to live fulfilled lives. I will use sources such as articles from Taking Sides (an environmental ethics compilation) and various other articles that I have accumulated to discuss these relationships.

            The next part of my paper, I will describe each symbol that I identify from the film, and how each character, creature, scene, or object relates the philosophy of nature and human relationships.

            Finally, the last part of my paper will be a wrap-up of my paper, along with my thesis. I will conclude with describing the importance of maintaining a relationship with nature, even if it means the destruction of industry and other commodities that we have relied on for survival.



Goldman, Rebecca L. “Ecosystem Services: How People Benefit from Nature”. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Environmental Issues. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2007. 44-53. Print.

            I will use this article to describe the many ecosystems of the natural world. This article shows how specific ecosystems are important to human development and growth, and I can describe the citizen of Irontown wanting to create a sustainable environment within the ecosystem.

Attenborough, David. “This Heaving Planet”. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Environmental Issues. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2007. 246-251. Print.

            This article explains the problems of the growing population, which includes the destruction of the environment because of human influence. I will use this article to show how the humans in Princess Mononoke are affecting the natural environemt.

Berry, Wendell. What Matters. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2010. Print.

            Berry explains the importance of work and culture for a community to survive. I will not only explain the community of Irontown, but also the community of the spirits of the forest and how they must too work for their species’ survival.

Berghoefer, Uta, Ricardo Rozziand Kurt Jax. Many Eyes on Nature: Diverse Perspectives in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve and Their Relevance for Conservation”. Ecology and Society. Vol. 15, No. 1. Leipzig: The Resilience Alliance, 2010. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss1/art18/. 28, July 2013. Web.

            This online article explains the importance of the relationship between humans and nature. I will use this article to focus on how nature is something that humans should tend and care for.

Brown, Peter G. & Geoffrey Garver. “Humans & Nature: The Right Relationship”. Minding Nature. April 2009, Vol. 2, No. 1. Center for Humans and Nature, 2009. http://www.humansandnature.org/humans—nature–the-right-relationship-article-38.php?issue=5. 28, July 2013. Web.

            This article will help me to explain why humans should have a relationship with nature. Brown and Garver give specific examples of the relationships with the land that we already promote. This article, along with the film’s symbols, will help me explain the importance of the human/nature relationship maintenance.

Facing the consequences of our lifestyles

In my paper I will talk about and include in my introduction that it seems that we have come to a point where society does not even include “environment” or “nature” in its vocabulary anymore. I will follow this by presenting the problem that people think that a world that uses the ground resources, such as oil, which moves lots and lots of money, does not need green energy. That is the indeed the main problem. Oil has become the main natural resource used in this world. It does not matter if it hurts the environment or not, because it moves money.

However, green energies do not move enough money and companies are not willing to make the investment on those, because it is not worth the cost. Money is a thing of the present; it does not see a future. This capitalism world only cares about material and money, not nature. I will also present a discussion of how we have gotten comfortable with this lifestyle with the use of vehicles, factories, massive production and other oil uses and we have not seen or experience any big changes on Earth yet, but future generations will. People do not see the advantage of using green energy, they only see the sacrifice that we would have to do, such as short showers, public transportation, reduction of the use of electricity…etc. Finally, I will finish conclude my paper with the proposal of using green energies and what it would mean to society, which would be used to satisfy human needs and stop hurting the environment. However, big companies use and control oil and they move enormous amounts of money, and money governs the world. Money does not care about future.

Thesis: facing the consequences of our lifestyles by not taking measures such as stop using oil and the concept of using green energies.


First source

Copland, S. (January 19, 2012). The Drum Home ABC. retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3776760.html. This source from ABC titled “the war against renewable energies” from Simon Copland talks about the consequences of the rise of new companies that are using green energy against oil companies.

Second source:

Geographic, N. (July 26, 2011). National Geographic Daily News. Retrieved from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/07/110726-nsf-oil-impact-lipid-video/ Here “National Geographic Daily news” mentions and explains the impact of oil spills on the environment.

Third source:

Heinberg, R. (2006). The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism and Economic Collapse. Clairview books. A book from Heinberg in which he discusses a plan to prevent oil wars and economic consequences of the massive use of oil.

Fourth source:

Walker, C. (October 28, 2008). National Geographic. Retrieved from National Geographic News: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1028_041028_alternative_energy.html From National Geographic’s website, Cameron Walker discusses and analyses the different renewable energies.

Fifth source:

C2es. (2011). C2es.org. Retrieved from http://www.c2es.org/energy/source/oil This article from the website “C2es” explains everything about oil: price, impact on the environment, spills, availability…etc.


Interconnected with Nature

My paper will include interpretations of some of the films about the relationship between humans and nature.

My thesis: Humans have a responsibility to conserve nature because we are interconnected.

In my paper I will discuss how the movie Avatar demonstrated a connection with nature. It represented deep ecology, a dark green religion, and animism. I will discuss a little bit of what deep ecology, dark green religion and animism is. I will discuss the connections with human and nature in Princess Monoke. I will discuss biophilia and how nature has healing properties. I will discuss people’s attitudes and actions are determinant in changes in the world. I will discuss some of the problems that were addressed in The Day After Tomorrow. I will talk about the effects humans have on the ecosystem. I will discuss how we have fragmented natures where there is mining and development in other countries by large corporations destroying the natural habitat. I will also talk about depleting nature by extracting natural resources. I will discuss polluting nature with fossil fuels, CO2, and garbage. I will also discuss the growing population and urbanization. I will talk a little bit about Into the Wild and I will discuss how man must be a steward towards nature. In conclusion, I will discuss how we can live together with nature through conservation.

Some of my resources are in APA format:

Kahn, P. H., Severson, R. L., & Ruckert, J. H. (2009). The Human Relation With Nature and Technological Nature. Current Directions In Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 18(1), 37-42. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01602.x

In this source it discusses how nature helps in the healing process and it discusses biophilia.

Gallis, M., Moll, G., & Millar, H. (2007, September). Assessing Humans & Nature: 5 Impacts. American Forests. pp. 34-40.

This source discusses the relationship between humans and nature and the impact we are having on the environment.

KAREIVA, P., & MARVIER, M. (2012). What Is Conservation Science?. Bioscience, 62(11), 962-969. doi:10.1525/bio.2012.62.11.5

This talks about conservation being an expression of human values and how the fate of people and nature are connected.

CHAPTER 2: Conservation Efforts. (2008). Rural Teens & Nature: Conservation & Wildlife Rehabilitation, 20-45.

This article discusses how things in our environment are affected by us.

Klassen, C. (2012). Avatar, Dark Green Religion, and the Technological Construction of Nature. Cultural Studies Review, 18(2), 74-88.

This talks about Bron Taylor’s Dark Green Religion: a value system that there is a kinship with the rest of life.