Indiana University Bloomington

Comparing WALL-E and Genesis

James Tyler, history and religious studies


The creator, or G-d, created the heaven and earth in the book of Genesis. In the movie, Wall-E, the mega corporation, Buy N Large, creates the Axiom for humans because earth had become uninhabitable. Both seemed to be a paradise for people to live out their days, but the Axiom ends up being a dystopia filled with idleness. As I watched Wall-E, it seems that the creators of the movie had possibly drawn ideas from the creation story in Genesis. Was the Axiom created to resemble the Garden of Eden? If the creators of the movie intended on making those connections, then the Garden of Eden might not be the utopia G-d had made it to be.

The first major similarity is the robot EVA that has a similar name as Eve in Genesis. Both Eve and EVA are created by G-dlike figures and are also responsible for bringing knowledge to humanity through an apple or plant. The serpent in Genesis is the creature that tricks Eve into eating the forbidden fruit which gave her the ability to decide right from wrong, and also the ability to obtain knowledge. The plant in the movie resembles the apple in the creation story because the plant enables EVA to break away from her programming and to explore ideas and examine items around her. The character that most resembles the serpent in the movie is the robot, Wall-E. Wall-E lives on earth and finds the plant which he eventually hands to EVA. A difference here is that Wall-E did not trick EVA into taking the plant. The mission EVA was on initially was to find the plant, and Wall-E had no problem handing it over. After this, just like in Genesis, EVA returns to Captain McCrea to show him the discovery. Captain McCrea is in charge of the Axiom and the leader of the people. EVA brings Captain McCrea the plant and he becomes curious about earth. Then eventually, the Captain wants to return to earth. The Captain resembles Adam in this aspect. The people on the Axiom could also represent Adam as a collective unit because the plant is brought to all of them and effects them into becoming more curious about their surroundings and eventually stops their idleness. Unfortunately, the Captain receives resistance.

In the Genesis story, G-d is reluctant to give humans the ability to think for themselves. The movie has a similar notion. Buy N Large created the Axiom, and does not want humans to return to earth and keeps them idle with constant interaction with technology. The main robot, Auto (the wheel), was given a mission to keep the people of Axiom from returning to earth. Auto then tries to get rid of the plant, and also tries to get rid of Wall-E and EVA who has corrupted the Captain and a few other citizens of the ship. In the end, Wall-E and EVA are successful in placing the plant in the correct compartment and sends the Axiom back to earth. Escaping the Axiom, just like how Adam and Eve would not go back to the Garden of Eden after being punished.

In Genesis, after Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, G-d starts to punish everyone involved. The first punishment is that the serpent is cursed to have to crawl on its belly for the rest of time. If Wall-E is the serpent, is he punished? Auto sends Wall-E into the garbage shoot where Wall-E is seriously injured. Wall-E is then crushed while trying to put the plant in the right compartment in the Axiom. There seems to be similarities as Wall-E struggles to move around as G-d had punished the serpent with a curse that made it difficult for it to move as well, and both are physical ailments. The next punishment is that G-d punished Eve and women by making childbirth painful and women were to be subservient to men. One example in the movie of a painful childbirth is when EVA is rebuilding Wall-E. EVA and Wall-E have steered away from their original programming and are becoming more humanistic. Wall-E is put back into his original programming and does not snap out of it until EVA touches him. This reminded me of a newborn child and has it’s original programming, or primitive instincts. After awhile though, the child grows into an individual through many interactions that the baby goes through in their life. The idea is that EVA is creating life again, and is obviously scared and in pain until Wall-E comes back to normal. Next, if the Captain and the people represent Adam, then I think EVA and possibly the other robots could represent Eve as a whole. In the movie credits it shows robots serving men to rebuild civilization on earth. This could represent the other punishment G-d had for women that was to be subservient to men. During the movie robots served people, but they were extensions of Buy N Large and the robot Auto. This is essentially the same circumstance as in the creation story in Genesis since G-d was initially there to serve humans. The last punishment G-d delivers is to Adam, and he must now labor over the land and humans are banished from the Garden of Eden.  In the movie Wall-E, the humans have to now work the land and rebuild society because they no longer want to live on the Axiom.

Overall, both stories are about a utopia created by a powerful entity. There is some sort of vegetation that a G-dlike entity does not want to be found and/or consumed because it will lead to humans possessing the ability to obtain knowledge. However, this piece of vegetation is introduced by some foreign creature via Wall-E or the serpent. Wall-E being the serpent in this comparison is significant because the serpent in Genesis was evil. In the movie, Wall-E is the hero for giving humans a chance to become actual human beings and escape idleness. Eve and EVA are responsible in both stories for bringing the vegetation to Adam (or humans on the Axiom) and the G-dlike entity gets angry about the arrival of the vegetation and the willingness to disobey to eat or use it. The stories have similar consequences in that a G-dlike entity punishes the serpent, Adam and Eve, and that aligns with the end results of Wall-E, EVA, and humans. There is a difference though. The creation story in Genesis emphasizes that the Garden of Eden was a wonderful place to live where Adam and Eve could live in blissful ignorance and be happy. On the other hand, the Axiom is a dystopia where everyone is idle and do not fully enjoy life. Could the movie Wall-E be arguing that the serpent did humanity a service into tricking Adam and Eve to consume the forbidden fruit and to be banned from the Garden of Eden?


 

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