Westworld’s Rich Symbolism

These are just some of the things I have picked up on after two episodes have aired. I highly recommend you watch Westworld if you have not yet. When/If you watch, pay attention to the following:

piano notes westworld

Automaton piano – notes arranged on paper as vertical dots that tells the piano to play a particular key. The notes are like robots going through their narrative routine.

Fly swatting – distinguishes humans from robots. I understand why  robots wouldn’t kill the flies when being worked on in the real world as the flies would be a living thing and the robots are forbidden to inflict harm. In Westworld though, I suppose flies could have gotten in and with new guests. It isn’t clear if any files were put into the world as robot flies. We see them constructing horses in the lab. They could have created flies too. It is pretty clear though that swatting flies indicates robots behaving against their programming norms.

cattle lead by Judas

Herding cattle – robots are like the cattle. Deloris will likely be the Judas she describes in episode 1.

Black hats vs. white hats – bad vs. good – white hat cares about how others see him and cannot distinguish between humans and robots. He does not consider harming them to distinguish the two.

black hat or white hat westworld

Levels of the corporate building – lower levels are where robots that are not being used due to malfunctioning are stored. Pretty evident that this is hell. Cooling system has broken.

Memories – usually daydreamy nightmares of previous traumatic experiences in Westworld

Dreams – always nightmares for robots. These nightmares often involve the Ed Harris character terrorizing families, mothers, women, children

Guests (newcomers) vs. hosts – hosts are there to gratify guests’ desires – which can be through a desire to kill or fuck. The hosts are like us only they seem to lack conscious awareness and even why they attempt to kill a guest, they are prevented from doing so.

Ed Harris character – seems to set out to create extremely traumatic experiences for the robots as he sees this as pushing them towards being human.  He is allowed to do as he pleases without interference from management, and he aims to find the entrance by following the maze map imprinted on the underside of a card dealers scalp.

Children – seem to be kept away from everyone else and seem more aware of the world in which they live. It would be less appealing to audiences too if Westworld were to be a pedophile playground. It isn’t clear if any children were or are actually born in Westworld.

milk westworld

Milk – milk seems to have significance. It may be tied children as one of the robots who just murdered a bunch of fellow robots and pours it down the throat of his victim saying it will help him grow up strong. He does it as if he had a tortuous experience as a child having to gulp down milk. The glass containing the milk also seems significant but I haven’t got any ideas there.

Seeing reflection of self in mirror – looking glass self – helps characters realize their presence in the world
The show has probably the two greatest episodes I have seen to start a series.There is so much to chew on with every scene and the music moves you along as if on an amusement park ride. The music is catchy as hell and I didn’t mind its presence throughout the episodes in which it ebbs and flows between scenes. I do think there will be variations to the music just as we see variations in the robots. It will be interesting to see how these symbols maintain their prominence throughout each episode.

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