Naturally, individuals desire to be the best, and they try to distance themselves from those who are not the same; the homeless, the handicapped, people from different cultures, or those that look different. The film approaches this idea in a different manner because Andrew, the android “star” of the film, is not a person. It takes Andrew a period of two hundred years (hence the name of the movie, Bicentennial Man) to convince the World Government that he did, in fact, have a soul and should be considered an equal. Columbus, Bicentennial Man) The film’s idea of android equality is not (yet) an issue needing to be addressed in American society. The film’s concept of equality does, however, resemble the real challenges of human equality faced by many Americans throughout history. At the start of the movie, it was established that Andrew only existed to serve and obey his owners, the Martin family. His only purpose was to obey the commands of and attend to the needs of this family. Jeremy Bentham, a political theorist, believes this is an example of the concept of utilitarianism.
In simple terms, utilization is using an object (or people) “as a tool” to achieve a goal. (Nelson, 205). A word that could be used interchangeably with utilitarianism is, of course, slavery. Bicentennial Man evaluation of android equality is a clear reflection of the challenges of equal rights faced by many Americans throughout the history of the nation. In the film, Andrew Martin, the android, fought for 200 years in order to be declared equal to the humans he once served.
In the real history of America, however, African-Americans fought for more than 300 years for equal rights as Americans. If only reality was a swift as Hollywood! Works Cited: Bicentennial Man. Dir. Chris Columbus. Perf. Robin Williams and Embeth Davidtz. Radiant Productions, 1999. DVD. Mayflower Compact. November 11, 1620. Documents of American History. Ed. Henry S. Commanger. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts, 1968. Nelson, Brian. Western Political Thought From Socrates to the Age of Ideology. 2nd. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1996. Print.