Project Nim Blog Revision

11/2/2016

Original:

While watching Project Nim, I felt that the movie showed the “human” side in Nim, but the humanity in Nim was not the purpose of the film which was to see if Nim could communicate with human on a grammatically correct level. Nim, being raised in the family of humans, thought he was a human to a certain extent which further enforces the humanity in Nim from the beginning of his life. Throughout the film, a multitude of emotional reactions from Nim and those around him show the connections Nim made with his friends and the devastation caused when those connections had to be broken. When Nim was taken from his first home, forced to go to Oklahoma, and put in a cage in an animal testing facility, everyone around Nim felt emotionally distraught due to the severed connection between Nim and his friends. Not all of the emotions felt were sadness, such as when Nim was angry to see his first family after they “abandoned” him, but even Nim’s anger shows the human aspects within him. Although the movie pushed the human aspects of Nim, it couldn’t leave out the parts of Nim that seemed much more animal and primal, such as how Nim would fight against his male caretakers and attack the people around him. Nim showed his “human” emotions throughout the film, but I believe that Nim was very far from being a human and showing human communication.

Nim was more animal in nature, actions, and communication, and, although Nim did learn basic communication, he lacked the guidance and mental ability to put together grammatically correct sentences.

The argument could be made that Nim wasn’t taught enough in a scientific setting, but I still believe that Nim could never have put together his thoughts in a sentence like humans can. We as humans do not always communicate for our wants and needs, unlike Nim who was a “good beggar.” Nim had emotion, something which humans have, and basic communication, which humans also have, but he could never put those two pieces together through communication which separates Nim from humanity.

Revised:

While watching Project Nim, I felt that the movie showed the “human” side in Nim, but the humanity in Nim was not the purpose of the film which was to see if Nim could communicate with human on a grammatically correct level. Nim, being raised in the family of humans, thought he was a human to a certain extent which further enforces the humanity in Nim from the beginning of his life. Throughout the film, a multitude of emotional reactions from Nim and those around him show the connections Nim made with his friends and the devastation caused when those connections had to be broken. When Nim was taken from his first home, forced to go to Oklahoma, and put in a cage in an animal testing facility, everyone around Nim felt emotionally distraught due to the severed connection between Nim and his friends. Not all of the emotions felt were sadness, such as when Nim was angry to see his first family after they “abandoned” him, but even Nim’s anger shows the human aspects within him. Although the movie pushed the human aspects of Nim, it couldn’t leave out the parts of Nim that seemed much more animal and primal, such as how Nim would fight against his male caretakers and attack the people around him. Nim showed his “human” emotions throughout the film, but I believe that Nim was very far from being a human and showing human communication.

Nim, although intelligent, could never put complete sentences together, and this, I believe, comes down to the idea of nature versus nurture. You can try to train a chimpanzee to speak proper grammatically correct sentences its entire life, and it may never achieve this goal, simply due to the fact that in some cases, no amount of nurturing will change the chimpanzee’s nature enough to make a difference. The nurturing Nim received did allow Nim to learn basic communication through small verb-subject sentences, but he could never overcome the barrier that was his own mind.

The argument could be made that Nim wasn’t taught enough in a scientific setting, but I still believe that Nim could never have put together his thoughts in a sentence like humans can. We as humans do not always communicate for our wants and needs, unlike Nim who was a “good beggar.” Nim had emotion, something which humans have, and basic communication, which humans also have, but he could never put those two pieces together through communication which separates Nim from humanity.

 

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