Comparative Essay On Social Structure In Monkey Kingdom


The film titled "Monkey Kingdom" demonstrated the chimpanzees' world in an ancient city in a Sri Lankan jungle. It illustrated the similarities between humans and primates. Chimpanzees and humans are similar in several ways, such as social structure/ classes, emotions, and gender norms. Humans and monkeys followed socially created groups, where the higher status on the social ladder is more privileged than the lower. They both can show emotions such as love, anger, joy, and more. Human and monkey societies had created expected roles based on gender, like females being caregivers and males being providers. In the film,  Maya was born into a lower-class family who struggled to nourish herself to feed her son, so she tries to abolish rules made by the hierarchy to provide for him.
First of all, chimpanzees lived under a strict social structure. Raja was the King, and there was a sisterhood consisting of 3 queens. They had access to the best quality of food, and no monkey could cross them. In today's society, there are upper, middle, and lower classes in which you are born in, but can work your way up. During ancient civilizations, there was a more strict structure like the chimpanzees in the film. For example, in the movie, the queens brutally punished Maya and took her son for eating nutritious food. They can abuse their power without being called out. Likewise, humans in higher authority tend to take advantage of their reputations. For example, the government can hide certain news, or famous influencers can make lawsuits against them disappear, and police officers can wrong someone and get away with it. Therefore, social structures lead to inequality within groups.
Furthermore, humans and chimpanzees share the ability to express emotions. Maya loved her son Kip unconditionally and was extremely protective of him. For example, she guaranteed his safety when exploring a new land, and she made sure that the lizard from the pond did not come near him. Similarly, human mothers care for and nurture their babies, creating a strong bond. Chimpanzees always look out for their troupe when it comes to searching for food, enemies, and invasions. When the chimpanzees lost their battle against Lex, causing them to be homeless, Maya directed them to another city to gather and rebuild their strength to go back home. They try to ensure everyone's safety, just like humans. Human families tend to care for each other's well-being. While building relationships, trust develops within humans and primates to rely on one another.

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