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I was wondering what the movie is trying to tell us.

In Wikipedia I found that the film is an allegory:

"It depicts the rape and torment of Mother Earth ... I represent Mother Earth; Javier, whose character is a poet, represents a form of God, a creator; Michelle Pfeiffer is an Eve to Ed Harris's Adam, there's Cain and Abel and the setting sometimes resembles the Garden of Eden."

Can anybody tell me how the characters in the film depict the meaning? For example:

  • Him seems to dominate Mother and she seemingly has a lot of questions, but she doesn't ask her husband.

  • Woman seems to be an intrusive character and while Man tries to make her realise that sometimes, she doesn't really pay much heed to it.

  • Why is Man terminally ill?

  • On the first night that Man comes over, in one scene, Him covers a scar on Man's back when Mother enters.

Are all of these symbolic?

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Him - God, create, from ashes a brand new world to live in. Then he invite in Men and Women.
Their presence is infuriating to mother and result in bringing two brothers (Cain and Abel). Murder of one them result in even more people coming to the house and even more frustrate mother.
Him, creating new poems is the equivalent of God writing Bible. This spawns even more fans coming to the house, destroying it in the process. Military trying to help Mother are laws and reason failing when confronted with cult and fanatics. Mother gives birth to all the things that are on the earth. Him, giving it to humans without mother consent and knowledge is God saying:

I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food

Fans killing it and then devouring is the humanity that slowly destroy each things that is on the planet.
Mother lighting the oil tank is the nature destroying earth as result, and punishment for humans actions. Him, being intact in the whole process shows that God will repeat the whole process over and over and he don't care about people or mother. And the sixth day ends.

And for your questions:

  1. Mother is everywhere because she is HOME. The Man is a guest, and unwelcome guest to begin with that don't know how to act as a guest.
  2. and 4. Illness is the flaw in humans. BUT the flaw is in Man not the Woman. The wound on the side is when God taken out Adam's rib to create woman.
  3. (should be 1.) God is the one that speaks in Bible. Nature/Earth is mute and seemingly passive. The whole movie is an allegory about how Man are dominating women and bringing her to passive, child birthing item that have no power in speaking about their lives, child that they born and what surround them. The publisher is the male that speaks in the name of women but take role in the process of destroying them.
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Him, as God, created Man and welcomed him in the world (as Him welcomes Man in his house, while Mother has tonnes of questions regarding the sudden change). Man's terminal illness signifies the faults in mankind, which was flawed from the start (because it was he who destroyed the sanctity of Garden of Eden), which Mother (Nature/Earth) didn't know and Him tried to hide the fault to show that everything was fine, hence the hiding of the scar. All along the film you can relate to the Bible and also to the "rape" of Mother Nature by God's creation, man.

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