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During Snowpiercer all the soldiers were cutting into fish as they prepared for battle. If you saw the movie, you know what scene I mean. What was the meaning of this gesture?

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5 Answers 5

I think fish symbolizes people, particlarly ones in the tail section. Mason said that they eat sushi twice a year in trying to control the population of the aquarium. Likewise, the population of the train can be controlled by a massacre.

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Found this interesting interpretation of the fish, it attempts to tie the events of the movie to astrological symbols/cycles. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:0w577xTVOowJ:www.reddit.com/r/YMS/comments/2a2hny/id_love_to_hear_adams_thoughts_on_snowpiercer/+&cd=10&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Per fellow user's request, my quick summary of the post linked above:

The post explains that the cycle of the train follows the zodiac cycle, Pisces, fish cut, Aquarius, aquarium then Taurus for the steak. If the front of the train is the top of the cycle this syncs up quite well actually, the front being the first symbol, the ram (ramming through the snow). Then there is mention of a Greek myth involving Eros and Aphrodite turning into fish in order to escape Eros' father, Typhon. If you believe this tie into astrology it could indicate that cutting the fish is meant to show that there is no escape.

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1  
Thanks for the link, but can you summarize or quote this somehow? As it stands the information is hard to extract from all the chat there. –  Napoleon Wilson Aug 29 at 13:49
    
The post explains that the cycle of the train follows the zodiac cycle, Pisces, fish cut, Aquarius, aquarium then Taurus for the steak. If the front of the train is the top of the cycle this syncs up quite well actually, the front being the first symbol, the ram (ramming through the snow). Then there is mention of a Greek myth involving Eros and Aphrodite turning into fish in order to escape Eros' father, Typhon. If you believe this tie into astrology it could indicate that cutting the fish is meant to show that there is no escape. –  Wilford Aug 29 at 14:37

I think there are multiple meanings and people above touched on some of them. It definitely has a lot to do with the idea of "balance" that Tilda Swinton talks about with the Sushi. Interesting that the aquarium becomes a symbol of balance after Curtis slipped and lost his balance on the gutted fish.

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While I can find no direct quotes from anyone involved with the film to confirm my suspicion, within the movie itself I took it to be a symbolic gesture of intimidation. Much like when someone draws their finger across their throat to imply an opponent's death or defeat.

In a grander sense, I think it was a symbolism to mark the end of Christian charity. As you might or might not know, the fish has been associated with Christian symbolism. I think that the act of gutting the fish with their ax was symbolic of the renunciation of the Christian idea of brotherly love, which was an omen to show that they were prepared to murder their "brothers."

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The fish is poisonous, they pass it around to spread its blood on their weapons as intimidation.

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I was thinking the same thing. Poisonous or somehow rotten / contaminated / poisoned. But that's more than intimidation, right? It would mean that you might die later even if you win the fight. –  colllin Nov 16 at 1:40

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