How is conflict explored in the film Gattaca, written and directed by Andrew Niccol?

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Murphy Koss eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Gattaca, conflict is explored in several ways. The most obvious conflict is between those individuals who are genetically engineered to be perfect and those individuals who are born naturally. The conflict can be seen in the restrictions that are placed on natural individuals and the reliance on genetics as a determinant of one's future.

There is also conflict and competition between the genetically engineered, which is more intense because of the supposed perfection of these individuals. Jerome paralyzes and later immolates himself because he took second in his competition when he was designed to be the best. This is a demonstration of both cultural conflict (the design of multiple "bests" will create intense competition) and inner conflict, as individuals must contend with their supposed perfection in the face of failures.

Interpersonal conflict is also explored in the relationship between Anton and Vincent in their games of "chicken." These games (as well as Vincent's saving of Anton) show not only the conflict in society at large between the genetically engineered and the naturals but also the ability of natural individuals to win competitions for which they were not expected to be able to match (or in this case, surpass) those who were genetically engineered.

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This is a good question. There are several types of conflict in the movie. 

The most obvious type of conflict that is explored is based on the genetic make up of a person. Those who are genetically "perfect" are on the one side, and there is everybody else. This creates a caste system, where causes a lot of tension and conflict in society. 

Conflict is also explored through personal relationships. For example, when Irene finds out that Vincent is not the person he says to be, what will she do? There is inner turmoil.

There is also personal conflict. Will a person fight to overcome his/her genetic makeup? 

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