07-06-2010, 08:24 PM
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Careful with that axe
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Join Date: Oct 1995
Re: Explanations of the "Pink Floyd The Wall" movie: Hammer and Ending
I just came by this thread, which I thought was interesting and relatively unexplored.
It seems some people think they represent either "soldiers being used as tools by those in power" or "oppression by the use of military power" (from Yahoo Answers
The Pink Floyd The Wall: A Complete Analysis FAQ
has a more through answer:
A further note on hammers, and especially the Marching Hammers, since it appears to be one of the most asked about symbols: Hammers (as used in the movie) in general are a dichotomous symbol, representing both positive and negative qualities: the hammer that builds a house can also destroy it, etc. So naturally, hammers are both a creative and destructive symbol, it just largely depends on the context in which they are used symbolically. For the most part, the hammers found in "the Wall" are cast as a negative tool, showing the more destructive power of creation, of humanity. There are hammers in the cogs of the machines that mold the school children into formless meat, there are hammers in the barbed wire fence that surrounds Pink during the "Nobody Home" sequence. And, most famously of all, the marching hammers in "Waiting for the Worms." Personally, I think these hammers (in conjunction with the swastika-like crossed hammers on the flags) are meant to call to mind the Nazi forces of World War II and all their oppressive might. The Nazis true power lay in their unflinching destructive power...they didn't mark society through subtle changes, but rather hammered in (for lack of a better metaphor) their particular oppressive ideology, destroying those who would not bend. One can't help but feel that Waters is, when all is said and done, an eternal optimist who believes in the creative power of humanity...yet for him (and pretty much all of the world), this WWII era was the lowest point of human existence. |
So the marching hammers...if I were to condense the complex symbolism down to one thing, I'd say the hammers in this instant represent the total dark, destructive half of humanity, a dark side that is willing to exterminate an entire people because of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. These are the hammers with dual negative capabilities, that not only seek to destroy a culture, but also to build walls that will separate factions of society. They are both a reference to the Nazis as well as to the dark side of all of mankind.
So... what do you
think the hammers in the Pink Floyd The Wall movie mean?