Contrasting Post-apocalyptic Societies in Mad Max

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About this sample


Words: 1007 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Words: 1007|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

There has always been a great interest among humans today of post-apocalyptic scenarios and societies. Social commentary in post-apocalyptic narratives seem to focus on the danger, sadness, and phenomenon that follow along with seeing a city’s framework and culture being destroyed. In the movies Mad Max: Fury Road and WALL-E, each of the directors portrays similar views of a post-apocalyptic society but show different scenarios when it comes to the aftermath of the destruction. In this essay I will compare the two movies to reveal social commentary in post-apocalyptic narratives.

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The word destruction roughly means when something has been put under so much stress or damage that it no longer exists or becomes impossible to bring it back to its original state. In the post-apocalyptic context, according to Anderson (2012), environmental destruction is thought to be caused by “pollution, consumerism, corporate power, and human gluttony for both food and technology”. When viewing the movie Mad Max: Fury Road, you see the destruction of a society through war, violence, and nuclear apocalypse. Thousands of people were killed, and homes were destroyed. This event resulted in people fighting for a way to live and wondering how society would continue on, since theirs was no longer in existence. In an article written by Barbara Gurr (2015), she states this reaction as “‘ability and disability’; not only WHO survives but HOW they survive.” This statement in relation to Mad Max: Fury Road, can also be compared to gender. When recreating their society, they go back to the way things were run in the beginning of time: the hierarchy of one singular person in charge to govern over its people. That person to be head of the society was male, and he related back to the times of Adam and Eve. The male was the main ruler and the woman was there to comfort and provide, specifically to provide offspring. This destruction of a society required people’s instincts to survive to come to surface and act in a more barbaric manner.

In comparison, in the movie WALL-E, their society was destroyed by humans as well, but through the littering of their planet to the point where it was no longer livable. This required instincts to survive but not on Earth. Rather than turning to more natural ways as in Mad Max: Fury Road, they turned to their accessibility to technology. This is also a social commentary in post-apocalyptic narratives that would be more relatable to our society today. The ability to use the extensive amounts of technology allowed them to escape the destruction of the planet and relocate to space until their planet was restored. Their living situation and governing was much different, as it was run by and sponsored by a company, rather than a person. They had a captain on board of the ship but not many decisions were made by him, instead he was there in place to overlook that the ship was run smoothly.

After a community or society is destroyed, most often, people are put into a fight or flight mode. In Mad Max: Fury Road, areas that were destroyed beyond repair were abandoned and places that were still habitable were created into the new living area for that society. With such chaos, it was difficult to pick up where the society left off. In their situation, those in charge could have either died, or many could have come together into one society, leaving the question of: who is in charge? This resulted in the need to start fresh and create a new form of government compared to what they individually were used to. When one person asserts themselves into being the one in charge, people will usually fight back or fall in line due to fear and simply just the desire to survive.

In WALL-E, society has turned to technology which results in very simple way of living. They know that everything they have to worry about is being taken care of by Buy N Large, or BNL. This corporation provided them with robots to assist them with their every need; food, transportation, entertainment, and everyday self-care needs. They also were responsible for the robots placed on Earth that are supposed to clean up trash and rubble on the Earth in order for the planet to be habitable again. Although Earth was being cleaned, there really was no hope or desire to return to Earth. With the amount of technology provided, people became lazy and dependent on robots to take care of themselves and returning to Earth would require them to revert back to their own ways of doing things for themselves.

With comparing these two films, Mad Max: Fury Road and WALL-E, it shows two different views on a post-apocalyptic society. The society that we today would relate to more would be from WALL-E. This is because the amount of technology we now have today at our finger tips along with how much we rely on it. The destruction of their planet was a result of brought on by nothing other than humans. Their fault causing this collapse was purely over-consumption and having a focus of their own well-being rather than taking care of the planet that they are inhabiting. By the time they were attempting a last-ditch effort to save their environment, it was too late and anything else they could have tried, most likely would not have worked. In Mad Max: Fury Road, their destruction was brought on by humans, but through anger and in the attempt to destroy other humans. After their downfall, they find that their world must return to a more primitive state in order to save their existence. They return to a natural living in the sense of hierarchies and gender and sexual expectations.

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Each of these movies show the fear and pure spectacle of seeing a post-apocalyptic scenario. As humans in today’s current society, we are infatuated with the idea of what a society after an apocalypse would be like since we have never truly had to deal with an event of that degree.

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Contrasting Post-Apocalyptic Societies in Mad Max. (2024, February 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
“Contrasting Post-Apocalyptic Societies in Mad Max.” GradesFixer, 13 Feb. 2024,
Contrasting Post-Apocalyptic Societies in Mad Max. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
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