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Government Privacy

The issue of government and privacy is one of the largest themes in the movie. Curtis and the other tail-enders plan their rebellion, thinking that they are keeping information hidden, but their leader, Gilliam, is relaying their plans to Willford, and manipulating the tail-enders to fit Wilford’s plans to control the population. The strict watch kept over everyone by the guards means that even when guards are not around, the rebels are careful about being too loud for fear of being heard. This fear is used to control them and keep them from getting too confident. When they do finally manage to rally and stage a rebellion, it is only due to the encouragement from the spy in their midst. When the tail-enders believe that they are heroically rebelling and getting their freedom, Wilford claims that it was all orchestrated by him as a way of population control and that he is entertained by the battles. Wilford compares the events to stories of heroism, commenting on how the actual rebellion veered slightly off his plan. He goes as far as to calculate the number of people who must die in order for the train to continue being self sufficient, and used the mentor of the protagonist to manipulate and control the rebellion without leaving his engine room. While it could be argued that the calculations for the number of people that would die was a bluff, the calculations are seen at multiple points in the movie and it matches Wilford’s motif as being a power crazed ruler that thought of himself as God.