The Perfect Human
September 11, 2017
Problems can be handled in multiple ways. Depending on the situation, how the situation is addressed directly affects the outcome. This is for most of all problems; with very few exceptions. Perspective, mindset, and background are typically strong indicators of how an individual may approach their dilemma. On top of those, the person who is facing the trouble usually has an ideal outcome. The direction in which they go to face the problem changes varying on the intended result.
The multiple approaches of dealing with a common issue are easily seen in X2: X-Men United. Characters in the movie deal with the obstacle at hand with different perspectives, mindsets, backgrounds, and goals. The main characters are trying to manage segregation within the country. The segregation is between mutants and “non-evolved” humans.
From my viewpoint, segregation between the two groups stems from the humans fearing the unknown. The discovery of mutants is still a rather fresh topic. Although there is a basic understanding that the mutants are different, humans do not know mutants to the degree of accepting them. The mutants have developed powers (which differ between individuals) through mutation. These powers come off as scary upon first associations with the mutants. Without an extensive amount of research on the mutants, the humans stay extremely cautious. This cautiousness leads to persecution of mutants upon their first hiccup.
A mutant who can teleport, Nightcrawler, is forced by a human (who happens to hate mutants) to make an assassination attempt on the president of the United States. This triggers a chain of events that works against all mutants. Instead of searching for Nightcrawler, an order to persecute all mutants is placed. The president chooses General William Stryker to lead this mutant assault. All along, General Stryker was the person who set up Nightcrawler. He did this in order to have a reason to detain all mutants. His previous background with mutants led to a hatred of the mutants; his son is a mutant who killed his mother. His ultimate goal being to execute all mutants in the world. The mutant-hating general places an assault on a mutant high school, Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. The assault of the school immediately sparked a retribution effort by the mutants. This is where the problem-solving actions differed.
Magneto, a mutant who can control all metal near him, wished to retaliate immediately. Magneto assembled a team of mutants, some who escaped the assault of the school. He then leads the team to Stryker’s base of operations. After infiltration and some cheesy fight scenes, the mutants find Stryker. They chase General Stryker to a helicopter pad where he intended on escaping. Instead of killing him, Wolverine, a mutant with claws between his knuckles and a regeneration factor, ties him to the wheel of the helicopter. This leaves Stryker abandoned with an impending doom.
They then search for Professor Xavier within the complex. Professor Xavier is a mutant with the power of telepathy. General Stryker planned on having the professor use his power to kill all mutants. Stryker was using his son, capable of manipulating thoughts to control people, to force the professor. One of Magneto’s shapeshifting peers changed into Stryker in order to control the brainwasher. Magneto wanted to turn the tables and kill all humans.
Some of the other mutants in the group find Xavier as well and break him from the Stryker’s son’s reigns. The mutants who saved Professor Xavier, along with the professor himself, immediately go to the president’s office. They reveal General Stryker’s plot to eliminate mutants to the president. Professor Xavier then exclaims to the president that mutants and humans need to work together to obtain peace. Afterwards the school is quickly reestablished.
Magneto, out of spite, responded with aggressive actions. From his perspective, all humans were out to harm mutants. His thoughts consisted of eliminating all humans to avoid having the same problem in the future. If there are no humans, then there are no unjustified persecutions of mutants. On the other hand, Professor Xavier wished to work alongside humans to combat the issue. Compromise and negotiations could solve the problem. Two very different ways of approaching the same issue. All due to differing perspectives, mindsets, and backgrounds.
With advances in technology and genetic modification, a similar situation could arise. Genetic engineering could be used to make intentional mutations within the genome. These alterations could very well alter the phenotype of the people involved. A noticeable difference in looks, physical ability, or intelligence has the opportunity to split the nation. Multiple groups with different stances on the situation. There would be groups for the genetically altered, groups against, and groups for equality between the normal and the modified.
Similar to the movie, the different groups could take action in different ways. Some could take a Magneto-like approach and lash out in downward spiral of rage and aggression. On the alternative, a Professor Xavier approach could also happen. A hope exists for a coexisting and harmonized society between the genetically modified and humans.
Even though it was not with genetically modified people, a comparable situation has occurred in U.S. history. Segregation was a massive issue within the United States, especially in the southern states. Between the 1940s and 1960s, people of race began to revolt against segregation from white people. Just like the movie, there were differing viewpoints on the subject matter. Some took to violence while others took to peaceful methods. There are even comparable movie characters to historical figures. Magneto reminds me of Malcolm X. The two both led an angry group that based their actions with the eye for eye philosophy. They combatted the social injustice with brutality. The more peaceful and Professor Xavier-like approach came from a group led by Martin Luther King Jr.. They wished to unify and love everyone. Peaceful protests and negotiations took place.
Even though the two groups, in both situations, had different responses to their injustices and segregation, a common goal was in sight. Ultimately, the peaceful side rose to become the best way to achieve the desegregation. Yet, the actions were all based on perspective, mindset, and background on the situation.