How do you deal with others who aren’t the same as you?
Attack on Titan is not perfect but it’s excellent at times. One area in which Attack on Titan excels is working on the emotionally difficult subject of dealing with the other. What happens when your race, religion, or class experiences systematic disenfranchisement? While it’s easy to look at things from a western perspective that everyone is equal and should be treated equally, examining that across a wider spectrum reveals that such statements are flawed logic. While pretty rhetoric, anyone who is born quickly realizes things are not equal. Relationships aren’t equal and people are treated inherently differently based on factors more numerous than I care to count.
While it’s easy to say that if you are in a bad situation you should leave it, there are situations you can’t escape.
Eldians in Marley find themselves in an inescapable position. The situation is a government holds your race solely responsible for all the evil in the world and emotionally exploits an entire race. This causes the incorrect thinking among the Eldians in Marley that they are inherently evil and that they must prove themselves good. This manifests itself in one form of using the Eldian race as a vessel for military exploits.
While Marley isn’t in the wrong and Eldians had historically killed their ancestors in the past, the current state of Eldians is deplorable. It’s a common logical misconception that because of the mistakes of one’s past ancestors the current generation and future generations must suffer for it. But it’s an emotionally appealing argument to the one wielding it for their own political purposes. Who wouldn’t want to lord their own suffering over others? Especially when it can be used for evil purposes? Using the military might of the Eldians for their own gain is despicable.
But that is the exact situation that we find ourselves in Marley. While Marleyans consider all Eldians evil, the Eldians can make it up to Marley by being used as a powerful military wing to expand and colonize the world. The power of the Titans is something that still must be taken into consideration in this world. But the power of the Titans is waning. We see the world on the precipice of eclipsing Titan power through technology. The old ways are dying.
This puts both Marley and the Eldians in Marley in a precarious position. While the situation of Eldians in Marley are currently not great, they can always be worse. The fact that they are military and politically useful means that they are allowed to survive as a race. Genocide could easily be around the corner for them if the power of Titans becomes meaningless.
After all, if your entire nation had been blaming Eldians eternally for all problems, when they became useless to your ends, why keep them around? Of course they might not be completely wiped out through genocide, they might be used for slave labor or some other purpose. Either way the Eldians in Marley would have no say in the matter.
While completely fiction the story of Eldians in Marley reflects real situations that have happened historically and continue to happen in today’s modern world. Attack on Titan brings up points that must be considered and practices that must be eradicated if humanity is to take a step forward. Will humanity truly ever be able to break the wheel of grudge holding, enslavement and genocide of races? I hope the answer is yes, but that future is uncertain. After all to continue the practice requires ignorance and the unwillingness to do anything about it. Those factors are inherently easier to maintain as a status quo.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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