"I've shown you plenty of the water illusions performed by me and my Pokemon!"
In this section, I'm going to quickly look at the symbolism and meaning of water, as water is a special type to Wallace. Water is one of the four classic western elements (consisting of water, earth, fire, and air). Depending on the culture or religion, water can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some of the meanings that have been given to water over time include: dignity, respect, grace, beauty, life, and intelligence. We already know that that Wallace explicitly mentions dignity and respect in his in game battle strategy: "With dignity and respect". He also expresses that, "Aquatic illusions best suit my distinctive sense of elegance.", which links back to grace and possibly beauty.
Speaking of the element water in real life, dignity and respect often go hand in hand with 'life'. Water is highly associated with life, due to the fact that we so desperately need it to survive. Water quenches thirst, but also brings life to much needed crops. Natural bodies of water therefore must be treated with dignity and respect, in order to keep in clean and viable for human use. Water that is polluted for example, may become dangerous to consume, or may hinder the growth of crops. Respect is also demanded as water is a force that nature can use against us. While the ocean can be calm an inviting at one moment, it would only take a storm rolling in to turn the waters violent. Many cultures across the world respect the ocean, as they know it can sometimes be a force to be reckoned with.
Water is sometimes associated with beauty as well as grace. Grace in particular, is likened to the flow of water along a calm river. The beauty of water is widely appreciated across the world, with many natural wonders such as Niagra Falls, and Victoria Falls. I think it is no coincidence that the Sootopolis Gym features decorative waterfalls in each game it appears. For Wallace, beauty and grace would also be linked to his participation in Pokemon Contests. Wallace competes with his Milotic in the Beauty category. Apart from physical beauty, Wallace also recognizes the beauty that is the relationship between a Pokemon and its Trainer. This goes further, and is also dependent on respect. When Ruby treats his Feebas horribly in the manga, Wallace is rather angry with Ruby over the incident. Wallace feels that there must be a certain level of trust and respect between Pokemon and their Trainers, or else they cannot reach their full potential. This extends to not just the manga, but also the anime and games as well.
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