Shinji, Kaworu, and Milgram

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AdamMalkovitch
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Shinji, Kaworu, and Milgram

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:33 pm

In 1963, Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment on 40 men. They were paid to come to a university, where they were instructed by a man in a lab coat to deliver an electric shock to a man answering questions every time he got a question wrong. Each shock increased in intensity. This would continue until the man answering questions stopped responding. This was seen as a wrong answer, and another shock was distributed. This continued until the man administering the shocks decided to stop, going against his orders, or until all levels of shock had been delivered. After the experiment, the men were told that this was not an experiment about shocking another person, but an experiment on obedience. The man who was supposedly electrocuted came out and had a conversation with each of the men. No one was harmed.

This well known psychology experiment seems to have been referenced throughout most of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Shinji has a tendency to follow orders, but will occasionally go against what he's told to do. He also will continue to do something just because no one ever told him to stop. This culminates in episode 24, when Shinji isn't forced to kill Kaworu, but does it anyway. Notice that Shinji is never directly told to kill him by anyone at NERV, communication is cut off upon entering Terminal Dogma. Kaworu himself tells Shinji to kill him, as, if he doesn't, humanity will be erased. Shinji kills Kaworu, and is psychologically broken until he comes to terms during Instrumentality.

Any thoughts on this?

Edit 1:

I can't believe I forgot this very important bit:

Subjects (those giving the shock) were told they could leave at any time, and keep their payment, but they were also told that the experiment was important. This almost guarantees that this experiment was a massive inspiration for Shinji's character, and his dynamic with others, along with his thoughts on running away.

Edit 2:

Another thing I noticed going over the footage of the experiment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdUu3u9Web4) is that even though subjects are told they can leave at any time, they're still heavily pressured to continue the experiment. This is very similar to Shinji wanting to run away, and being told that he could at any time, he's also very clearly needed and pressured to continue piloting.
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Re: Shinji, Kaworu, and Milgram

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Postby one-eyed » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:22 pm

When Kaworu invaded the Central Dogma, he used Eva 02 to fight Shinji while he would make contact with Adam. Kaworu used his AT Field to completely isolate the area. Later, Rei/Lilith used her own AT field to neutralize Kaworu's. Soon after Eva 02 simply stops. Kaworu begins his martyr speech and convinces Shinji to kill him, but the truth is likely that he did not need die. Without an active AT Field he was completely helpless (he had the strongest AT Field, but it was the physically weakest of the angels). I think even Hikari or Kensuke could dominate him using a baseball bat. I guess he could not even get out of the place where he was suspended! He chose to die that way. Dying as a martyr, sacrified for all Humanity has marked Kaworu in Shinji's life forever. That was his "victory." In the manga, he was more honest and cut off the messianic bullshit and martyr impersonation. The effect on Shinji was intense, but not as negative as in NGE. So, the manga version is by far my favorite. I respect his honesty a lot.

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Re: Shinji, Kaworu, and Milgram

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:37 am

View Original Postone-eyed wrote:When Kaworu invaded the Central Dogma, he used Eva 02 to fight Shinji while he would make contact with Adam. Kaworu used his AT Field to completely isolate the area. Later, Rei/Lilith used her own AT field to neutralize Kaworu's. Soon after Eva 02 simply stops. Kaworu begins his martyr speech and convinces Shinji to kill him, but the truth is likely that he did not need die. Without an active AT Field he was completely helpless (he had the strongest AT Field, but it was the physically weakest of the angels). I think even Hikari or Kensuke could dominate him using a baseball bat. I guess he could not even get out of the place where he was suspended! He chose to die that way. Dying as a martyr, sacrified for all Humanity has marked Kaworu in Shinji's life forever. That was his "victory." In the manga, he was more honest and cut off the messianic bullshit and martyr impersonation. The effect on Shinji was intense, but not as negative as in NGE. So, the manga version is by far my favorite. I respect his honesty a lot.


I'm not sure. The EG Wiki is down right know, but there is a part mentioning how Kaworu was likely compelled to go to Lilith anyway and was not capable of holding on for much longer. Also, do note his "sacrifice" is questionable since it doesn't really help anyone besides Seele. If anything, Rei, having also sacrificed himself and coming back to later be a omnipresent ethereal entity, is a much better candidate for any silly Jesus analogies we might want to come up with. Though I guess Eva 00's explosion did kill a couple dozen thousand people?

About the OP, I don't disagree but I think you can make this comparison with pretty much anything so I doubt there was any deliberate allusion to it. It is interesting to notice that Shinji questions the nature of the angels and why they're fighting them in eps 12 (I think) and 16, yet Asuka shuts him down because to her it's just supposed to happen.

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Re: Shinji, Kaworu, and Milgram

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Postby one-eyed » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:02 pm

I also do not believe in the messianic interpretation that people make of Kaworu. I do not even think he sacrificed himself for Shinji's sake. He lost. He knew that. His weapons, AT Field and Eva 02 were neutralized and he was helpless, but look at his expression before Shinji arrives. He did not appreciate defeat. And when he made his Martyr speech and smiled he was not looking at Shinji, but at the Rei/ Lilith who had defeated him. He recognized Rei and the corpse of the Central Dogma as Lilith. Everything in Kaworu seems false to me. I could never appreciate the character except in the manga version.

FelipeFritschF wrote: If anything, Rei, having also sacrificed himself and coming back to later be a omnipresent ethereal entity, is a much better candidate for any silly Jesus analogies we might want to come up with. Though I guess Eva 00's explosion did kill a couple dozen thousand people?


This is Evangelion! Rei, Asuka, Misato, Gendo and Kaworu have free pass! They do not have to worry about these things!


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