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Reaction Paper:

“Apocalypto”

Submitted by :

Maria Angela H. Mariano


2010-33374
BS Business Administration and Accountancy

Submitted to:

Ms. Lou Angeli Austria Ocampo


Geography 1 Professor
1. Compare the forest and city dwellers by filling in the matrix below.

FOREST CITY
Slaves- builders of temples
Hunting, depend largely on (men); sold to middle or upper
LIVELIHOOD forest resources class Mayas (women)
Less populated- one of the Densely populated- natives from
practices for couples is to make different tribes are being sent to
babies so their tribe will grow in city to either be sacrifices or
POPULATION number slaves
In the city, food was scarce-
Since tribes people live in bountiful meals are only served
forests, there is abundance in for the upper class Maya as
GEOGRAPHY resources; as such, excessive contrasted with the sickly, the
AND consumption that leads to extremely poor, and the
AVAILABILITY environmental degradation is enslaved; no trees are seen
OF RESOURCES realized. anywhere around the city.
Natives are able to devise tools City dwellers know complex
to hunt and kill animals for food. strategies and techniques in
They are knowledgeable when it technology- they are able to
comes to producing fire, building build high and structurally sound
KNOWLEDGE houses, and making tools for temples, made sharpened more
AND hunting and protecting their tribe effective weapons and tools
TECHNOLOGY from foreign invaders. when engaging in battles.

They believe in the concepts of They develop concrete beliefs


heaven and hell. They also based on natural phenomena.
recognize one superior being E.g. The eclipse somehow warns
watching over their tribe (when them about their sun god’s need
they were caught and made for human sacrifices; they
captive prisoners by the city recognize a sun god- Kukulkan.
dwellers, adults were sending High priests are also appointed
RELIGION/ GODS messages to some god to protect for consultations and
AND BELIEFS them). interpretations.
A leader (Flint Sky) was
appointed to manage the whole
tribe. The leader’s family (Jaguar There are leaders that
Paw- son) inherits power. Men manipulate the activities of the
were usually the hunters and city dwellers. High priests play a
gatherers of food for their major role in their offerings and
families, while women are tasked other religious ceremonies.
to take care of their children and Soldiers/ raiders invade tribes,
do household work. Slavery and slaves are left with either
SOCIAL among their people is not building temples (men) or selling
STRATIFICATION practiced. themselves to others (women).
2. Were good and evil clearly defined in the film? Would you consider the practice
of the city dwellers evil? Explain. If your answer is yes, what could have been done
to prevent such “evil” act?

No. No. At present, we are already dictated by society by what its perceptions of good
and evil are. But during the Mayan civilization depicted in the Apocalypto film, there
were several practices done by the natives then that are not already exercised these days-
one such explanation is our notions of what is moral or humane in nature or not. These
contradicting notions now lead to the vagueness in judgment- whether we can clearly
differentiate good from evil. For instance, the film emphasized one aspect of the Mayan
culture- the rampant and massive killings of foreign dwellers as they are offered
sacrifices for the city dwellers’ recognized sun god. In their minds’ thinking, these
offerings are just a natural event that they are somewhat required to do for their religious
beliefs. But for us living in the modern generation, these customs and practices show
immorality and are considered mortal sins (murder). Obviously, there is the ‘leader
manipulation’ by upper class Maya who dictates what to do with captives or prisoners,
and basically take full control of all his people. Now, we know the word ‘democracy’
which allows citizens to voice out their insights and opinions to the administration, as it
implies a government ‘by the people, for the people.’ Another point of comparison is the
tribesmen’s excessive consumption of natural resources. During their time, resources
were readily available and they seem to find no harm if they overuse them. But now, food
is regarded precious as gold and only people in middle or upper classes can afford to have
it. Lastly, the treatment of women during the Mayan civilization were viewed as fair and
just, but now, we consider this ‘selling of women’ as unethical and merciless.

3. Explain this: Nature is powerful on shaping cultures, cultural practices, and


beliefs.

Nature, defined in its broadest sense as either the physical world (which includes
humans) or a social creation (essential qualities or characteristics by which something is
recognized), encompasses almost all aspects pertaining to shaping our culture, cultural
practices, and beliefs both in the past and present. Nature, specifically natural
phenomena, is what early peoples interpret and give significance in their lives. This is
because nature is what they earlier observe in their habitats, and thus got accustomed to
it. Example of this would be the predator-prey relationship, wherein the saying ‘the
strong shall live, and the weak must die’ implies. It is this natural event done among
organisms, where we humans are also part of, and this may be one explanation to citizens
appointing people in high positions and why there are slaves who suffer- to have
representations of both extremes in the society. We can also add here the importance of
women in society. Women were judged as norms that could not function, thus only
selling them for men’s pleasure. We can say that nature paved the way for many
civilizations that share a little or no common ideals and perceptions of the world.

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