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Essays on "Mythology / Folklore / Science Fiction"  |  Term Papers 1-40

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Masculinism in Science Fiction Science

First World culture as depicted in the novel is thoroughly corrupt and decadent, since 'jacking' technology allows people to live out the experiences of others, which often involve violent death, rape, orgies, warfare and car crashes. There are many stores that sell these experiences, which are called "feelies" for the benefit of those who can longer feel any emotions except…

Pages: 8  |  Term Paper  |  Style: MLA  |  Sources: 3


Fantasy and Science Fiction

SciFi Chadbourn (2008) believes that "the more rational the world gets, the more we demand the irrational in our fiction." Although fantasy has been the mainstay of most of the world's literary traditions -- from the mythologies in sacred texts to the eerie universe of the European folktale -- the 20th century has witnessed an incredible flourishing of both science fiction and fantasy. Chadbourn (2008) calls it an "unprecedented fantasy boom." Granted, books in general are more widely available and distributed now than they were before the industrial revolution. Still, the popularity of science fiction and fantasy do reflect general social trends. For one, science fiction is a product of the post-industrial world, one in which science is viewed as both a blessing and a curse. The roots of gothic and horror literature such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein weave in the natural mistrust of scientific advancement with fantasy motifs and imagery. Moreover, both science fiction and fantasy allow authors to explore themes that might not be possible in a realistic literary setting. As Chadbourn (2008) puts it, "The genre starts at the point where science ends." Finally, fantasy and science fiction do offer arousing alternatives to the predictable, materialistic mindsets of hard science. A seminal work of science fiction, Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea uses the sciences of marine biology and ocean navigation as a jumping-off point. The giant squid, massive shipwrecks, and the ruins of Atlantis portray the seas as a frightening and formidable place. The fantasy threats that Verne creates in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea are technically unnecessary given that traversing the ocean presents very realistic problems, evidenced by the narratives of historical sailors. What makes 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and similar novels so captivating is that they border on the real so closely that the line between fact and fantasy becomes blurred. In this sense, the Nautilus and its adventures become hyperbole for an ever-increasingly complex world. Moreover, Verne understands the potency of the fantasy and science fiction genres for exploring universal themes. Like Homer's Odyssey, Verne uses the seafaring journey as a springboard to discuss broader issues such as the search for self-fulfillment and independence. The impossible elements that Captain Nemo encounters are those that develop his character. Nemo's adventures illuminate his motivations, which are squarely human. Verne also presents exploration itself as inherently treacherous. This is a theme far more present…

Pages: 4  |  Assessment  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 0


Evolution in Science Fiction the

This analysis of "The Myth of the Ant Queen" can explain the process of evolution within the throes of science fiction writing. In order to understand evolution, one must take into account the way in which the writers view living beings. Any sentient civilization will want to continue its progress, and the ant colony is but one of many sentient groups that try to survive and adapt in order to breed into the next generation. Other writers have picked this idea up, and even the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Greg Bear dominate their science fiction stories with this idea of evolution within intelligent, aware beings. Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Rappaccini's Daughter" highlights the survival of Beatrice, the beautiful daughter of Dr. Rappaccini. Hawthorne illustrates Beatrice's adaptation inside gardens filled with poisonous plants, and in order to survive within the venomous environment, Beatrice herself becomes an evolved, poisonous organism. The poisonous plants embrace Beatrice's change, and protect her from the non-poisonous plants. In the same manner, Greg Bear's Blood Music showcases the sentient reaction of lymphocyte-inspired biological computers. After injecting these computers into his own bloodstream, Vergil Ulam's creations proceeded to replicate and rapidly evolve, breeding into a self-aware society that overtook Ulam's bodies. Once again, survival and evolution become key ingredients in the storytelling. It is clear that evolution is an important aspect in order to understand the inner workings of organisms in a science fiction environment. Writers keep this in mind, and, just like the worker ants and the ant queen, these writers produce societies, colonies, or groups of sentient beings that illustrate the need to continue an ongoing system. And in order for this system to work, it must evolve.…

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Science Fiction Film Comparison in

These scientists use their decidedly advanced intelligence in order to create artificial life. However, despite positive intentions, the repercussions of the scientists' work are the very real potential for the destruction of human lives. In both films, the actions of the scientists imperil humanity by acting against the greater good despite what may have been good intentions. Robots are part of the plots of both films. In The Day the Earth Stood Still, alien Klaatu has a solid metal robot sidekick who serves as a kind of bodyguard. Gort, the robot, has the ability for violence but only in the defense of others. There are more robots like Gort have been made and if the world continues to explore space and has anything but peaceful intentions, then the other creatures on other planets will intervene. The robot is physically stronger than either humans or even the remarkable alien. At the center of the film I, Robot is the inclusion of machines with artificial intelligence into the daily existence of human beings. According to the plot of the film, robots must abide by the three laws of robotics: 1) a robot cannot harm a human being or allow a person to be harmed through inaction, 2) a robot must obey orders given to them by human beings unless it violates the first law, and 3) a robot must protect itself unless doing so violates the first two laws. The question at the heart of the story is what the human beings should do if robots decide that they no longer wish to follow these three laws. By definition, the robots are stronger or smarter or swifter than human beings and if creations with artificial intelligence did choose to destroy humanity, it would be unlikely that people would be able to thwart the enemy for very long. After destroying the evil robot, the humans and the good robots get to co-exist which is a happy ending. Yet, this resolution is only a matter of luck. Some would argue that by creating entities which are designed to be stronger than human beings and have the ability to think and learn can only lead to disaster. Both films have robots who are stronger and more capable than humans, creations which could act violently and destroy lives and yet the screenwriters allow the human beings to live possibly happily ever after. The Day the Earth…

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TV Genre- Science Fiction Ever Since the

TV Genre- Science Fiction Ever since the advent of television as the new technology in the mid-20th century, it has shaped popular culture and strongly influenced and revolutionized the way society think about its future and further development. Indeed, 'predicting' the course that human society will take in the next years to come has been an emergent theme that is mirrored and depicted in different ways through television. A TV genre that best reflects society's need to know and shape the future of humanity is science fiction. This genre is defined as a "literary fantasy involving the imagined impact of science on society" (Princeton University, 2010). Science fiction as a TV genre did not lose its appeal to audiences, as it has proven itself, time and again and through different kinds of programs and shows, it constantly brings with the mystery of the unknown and the appeal of knowing the future -- at least, from the perspective of the show or program. In this discussion of the science fiction genre in TV, three popular TV shows in three different periods are analyzed based on their depiction of scifi and its role or effects to society. The Twilight Zone, Quantum Leap and the X-Files are considered top-rating and among the most popular scifi shows in the 1960s, 1980s and 1990s (to 2000), respectively. This analysis discussion posits that these scifi shows reflected society's attitude towards technological progress and development of the period, and to a certain degree, documents the level of scientific and technological progress and capabilities of human society of that time. This mirroring of society's attitude towards technological progress and development is apparent in the focus of these scifi TV shows. Specific examples of these……

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Science Fiction Television as a Genre, Science

Science Fiction Television As a genre, science fiction is medium that allows imaginary elements that are largely possible/probably within scientific laws, imaginative speculation, or building upon principles that are unproven but might be likely at some future time. It has been called "the literature of ideas," and is largely based on alternative possibilities or, as in the case of the…

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Science Fiction a Definition of

Bernard Marx of Brave New World is as close to a hero as Huxley's novel is willing to have, and Marx is callous, clever, and mainly interested in bedding the main female protagonist, even though he occasionally questions his society's values. In Slaughterhouse Five, the novel's initial setting depicts the main protagonist in 1968, where he is married and has…

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Science Fiction Films on September

As for the machines, they have been designed to "free mankind from menial and hazardous tasks, yet their existence implies the threat on non-human control."[footnoteRef:13] For this reason they are not allowed to live on earth at all but only in the space colonies, where they are used for a wide variety of purposes, from fighting machines to sex slaves.…

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Scifi Emiko and the New

She creates an identity in opposition to the oppressive culture in which she dwells. Her identity has been entirely, and literally, created for her by others. Emiko is "wound up" because she has been toyed with, played with, and manipulated since her creation. The symbolism of being a windup girl also pertains the fact that her destiny is wound up with those around her. Her power is palpable, and Emiko is even more powerful in her humility. The fact that Emiko is unaware of her potency makes her the ultimate postmodern science fiction hero. Emiko therefore subverts and transcends her underclass status in a way that is marvelously graceful. Her killing of Somdet Chaopraya is a pivotal point in The Windup Girl, for the events but also for Emiko's character development. The event also plays on the symbolism of windup doll. Emiko was wound up spiritually and emotionally by the time she met Somdet Chaopraya. Having numbed herself, tuned out and turned off to the world, and especially to predatory men, Emiko springs to life like a jack in the box. A Tarantino-esque scene unwinds from that point forward, providing the reader with a cathartic and transformative figure. The Windup Girl is a classic science fiction novel on many levels. Its ready reflection on the relationship between science and society permeates every page, and is in fact the theme behind windup girls themselves, the Seed Bank, and all other aspects of the book. The novum in The Windup Girl. are carefully chosen to support the main themes, and are never inserted in an arbitrary manner because they have a direct bearing on how readers of the novel already live. For example, Monstanto already maintains seed banks and the results of genetically modified organisms have yet to be seen. References Bacigalupi, Paolo. The Windup Girl. Night Shade,……

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Fantasy or Science Fiction

Fantasy Mark Chadbourn's (2008) assessment of the popularity of fantasy and science fiction is somewhat true. According to Chadbourn (2008), fantasy has surpassed "its former powerhouse cousin, science fiction" to become "the biggest genre in publishing." The trend, claims Chadbourn (2008), is directly related to an increasingly rational worldview. "The more rational the world gets, with super-science all around us, the more we demand the irrational in our fiction," (Chadbourn 2008). While this may be true, fantasy is the root of all fiction. Chadbourn (2008) admits that "A search for the origins of fantasy will usually have academics muttering about Beowulf, the Epic of Gilgamesh or Homer's the Iliad." Moreover, "all stories were fantasy" at some time, depicting "gods and monsters and supernatural artifacts with humanity caught in the middle," (Chadbourn 2008). Before the Age of Enlightenment, most stories were oral. Up until the 20th century, most people did not read, let alone write. The stories that were told were deliberately fantastical because they captivated minds and permitted escapism. The realistic literature that emerged in Europe after the Age of Enlightenment was a domain of the upper classes. Fantasy stories were the stuff of the masses: the folktales and other oral traditions that have always been a part of cultures around the world. The 20th century saw major social and political changes. Public education enabled more people to read and write. Therefore, the 20th century was a time of literary flourishing for all genres, including science fiction and fantasy. The popularity of fantasy is nothing new; it has always been the epicenter of fiction. Chadbourn is absolutely correct about the role fantasy plays in the modern world. The reason why fantasy has surpassed all other genres, including science fiction, in sales is partly related to……

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Science Fiction Film Repo Men

Repo Men (2010) is a postmodern science fiction/horror film set in the not-too-distant future in which technology has developed to the point where life extension through the use of artificial organs has become commonplace, at least for those with money or good credit ratings. Those who are unable or unwilling to pay their bills to The Union that has a…

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Wind -- Science Fiction for

The conflict of the book addresses their relationships with the dead, as well as living beings with one another and the natural environment. The book's title come from an oft-repeated song, "Farther west than west, / Beyond the land, / My people are dancing / On the other wind." Characterizations: Alder and Ged In the person of Alder, the book takes an ordinary man and gives him the power to engage in important work for his land. He is already proficient in magic, but the death of his wife infuses what in Earthsea is merely ordinary conjuring power of mending with a new vitality and strength. This gives Alder access to the world of the dead and infuses his mending power with a spiritual new force. It also gives him the ability to understand the plight of the dragons, the people with whom earth has sundered their covenant. Yet in the form of Ged, the book takes a magical character of great power and makes him into an ordinary person, a man who has given up his formerly great powers, because he now believes they are futile. Thus, although it takes place in a magical world, the characters that should be heroic in conventional mythical tales, like the husband retrieving his wife from the dead, the noble king, and the warrior Ged, are often full of self-reflection and doubt about the nature of their powers. Ged doubts the nobility of the wizardly path and value of magical power itself. Even Alder's ability to access new levels of power comes not from wizardly lore, but from an ordinary life event, the death of a loved one. Themes The book hinges upon an unbalance that has occurred between two people, and natures and humans. For instance, Orm Irian, the dragon that is also a woman, speaks of her people's anger against humans, whom they believe have stolen a part of the dragons' realm. This relates to human impingement upon the environmental world. The breaking of the covenant between two species creates a larger unbalancing of all of the different creatures of the world, and thus severs the proper connections of the world of the dead and the living. Although this covenant may be magical in the book, it may be extrapolated to a real-live severance of humans and the environment. The motifs of division between the dead and the living, and two…

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Utopias Explored: The Time Machine

Deckard travels to Seattle to interview Rachel, who eventually fails his test. This is explained to Deckard as Rachel lacks normal empathy because of being raised in space. Later, Deckard verifies that Rachel is indeed an android -- a Nexus Six, or top of the line model. This, and his own feelings of self-doubt about the humanity of "retiring" another…

Pages: 8  |  Essay  |  Style: MLA  |  Sources: 3


Women Science Fiction Writers as

.. [and who] will surely be punished for it by being taken less seriously than if she had taken the trouble to write badly." Davidson says "Generally, Piercy is right." In Barr's introduction to her book, she details how and why she decided to take up work as a feminist science fiction critic; she said she realizes that "foot binding…

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Blade Runner and Wall-E: In Depth Contrasting Critiques

At the time of the film, the earth can no longer sustain life but technology (Wall-E) is the only thing attempting to sustain what is left. Humans can and they should restore the mess on earth, and with the help of a robot they no doubt will clean it up and sustain it. In effect, Wall-E is resurrecting some of the technologies that were abandoned by the people who left the planet: an abandoned truck, a pendulum clock, a singing bass and a mechanical egg beater. In the end the automated spaceship is abandoned and the love interest between Wall-E and EVE (an advanced robot) opens the door for technology becoming a savior for the reshaping of the earth. Wall-E and Blade Runner -- Futurity and Nostalgia Wall-E Futurity -- if future generations can anticipate a planet like Wall-E works in, it is going to be a depressing situation indeed. Future generations should see the film in the sense that this kind of ecological catastrophe must be avoided at all costs. Wall-E Nostalgia: Murray and colleague note that there is nostalgia associated with Wall-E, because the nostalgia (longing) for human artifacts is a powerful driver in the film. The film draws on three types of nostalgia, according to Murray: a) it explores Wall-E's movements "from tragic to comic ecological hero"; b) images of nature are both "eco-collective" and "individual"; and c) there is an environmental adaptation that links with nature. Blade Runner Futurity: If what is portrayed in the film is the future of Los Angeles -- and by inference, the planet -- then humans are in deep trouble. It's as simple as that; humans need to be better stewards of the environment or certainly things will continue to deteriorate. Blade Runner Nostalgia: The only application to nostalgia that an alert viewer could imagine would be if somehow new leaders could emerge in time to apply reason and ecological good judgment before the country falls into a social malaise. Conclusion The world of Wall-E has improved over the 700 years he has been trying to clean up the mess left when humans departed. In Jane Bennett's book, The Enchantment of Modern Life: Attachments, Crossings, and Ethics, the author describes "enchantment" in terms of a person needing not just to love himself, but to love life "before you can care about anything." A person must be "enamored with existence and occasionally…

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George Melies's Movie "A Trip to the

¶ … George Melies's movie "A trip to the moon" is considered to be the first example of science fiction cinema in history. First of all, the movie's theme is an event which, at the point that the movie was made at, was a future event. Indeed, in 1902, humanity only dreamed that, at some point, it could actually send a spaceship to the Moon and safely lend a human being there. The theme of a trip to the moon was part of a number of science fiction writing, most notably Wells and Jules Verne and was eventually put into Melies's cinematographic representation. At the same time, the storyline in Melies's movie is set outside everyday reality, as science fiction stories generally are. In order for his characters and actions to evolve, they are sent to the Moon, at that point an element definitely outside everyday realities (it had never been reached before, it only presented itself as a celestial body). The movie, in fact, fulfills several potential criteria for the settings: it is set in the future (the action could not be performed at the time the movie was created), it was set in a different world (on the Moon) and in space, which was not known or researched at that point. This brings another characteristic of science fiction works present in Melies's creation as well: the existence of scientific objects and advanced technology with which the characters generally interact in order for them to fulfill their mission. In the case of Melies's movie, these technological advancements abound, starting with the initial mean of getting into space (a huge cannon, a space capsule) and continuing throughout the movie. It is certainly not only the scientific and technological objects that make the movie a science fiction one, but also many of……

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Star Trek the Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation "the Measure of a Man" A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. ("The Three Laws of Robotics "Asimov 1942) Artificial Intelligence (AI) by its nature may never achieve that reality of human sentience, primarily because it is not "Organic" Intelligence but "Artificial" by design. Human beings are born and grow into the world, as do most natural creatures, they become part of the environment. This connection creates a bond that could not be experienced by a robot that is built and not grown. The Three Laws above have become synonymous with AI in the minds of many, these laws, or something like them, must be programmed into a robot in order to create a safe "tool" for mankind to use. They are safeguards and not instincts. However, that being said, what if one was faced with a Data who has "some" of the characteristics of a human being and has the ability to improve and evolve from its original programming, just like a human being? However, Data also has characteristics that are robotic, senses that are merely data input and digital, a mind……

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Bres Celtic Fertility God

Bres -- Celtic Fertility God Much like other cultures in Western civilization, that of the ancient Celts who lived primarily in what is now Northern England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, worshipped an entire range of gods and goddesses, known as a pantheon. Culturally, the ancient Celts which included a group of religious worshippers called the Druids, were deeply influenced by the natural world around them; thus, they created this pantheon of gods and goddesses as a way of giving praise and recognition to the forces of nature, most of which they did not fully understand. Of course, like many other ancient Western cultures, the Celts "were a warrior people who depended greatly upon specific gods and goddesses for protection and victory against their enemies" (Brezina, 189); they were also great worshippers of deities related to fertility and agriculture whom they saw as being responsible for "birth, life and death and for the bounty given to them through the planting and cultivation of foodstuffs" necessary for daily life (Monaghan, 267). One of the most important Celtic gods related to fertility was Bres, a very early Celtic name meaning "the glittering one," perhaps a reference to sunlight or the bright light of a cold winter's day in the hinterlands of ancient Ireland and Scotland (MacKillop, 346). According to Corona Brezina, Bres is most closely associated with Irish mythology and folklore and was often referred to as "Eochu Bres or "Beautiful Bres," due to being extremely handsome, virile and appealing to women. As the son of Prince Elatha, the ruler of the Fomorians, and Eriu, herself a goddess and from which the ancient name of Ireland is derived (i.e., Eire), Bres in his youth became the king of a group of Irish nobles known as the Tuatha De Danann, but as Patricia Monaghan points out, Bres "was not a very popular nor beloved king of his people, due to his arrogance and self-love which he flaunted whenever possible" (268). Exactly how Bres became the king of the Tuatha De Danann is not clear, but according to prevailing Celtic/Irish mythology, a former king known as Nuada "lost his hand in the first Battle of Magh Tuireadh" (Lindemans, Internet) and was quickly deemed as unfit to rule as king, one reason being his addiction to hard drink. Although Bres' father Elatha was the ruler of the Fomorians, there appears to have been some kind of…

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Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Posthuman Change in

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Posthuman Change in a Postmodernist World: Gregor Samsa's Transformation in the Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka In the story the Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, readers are confronted with the sudden transformation of the seemingly normal character of Gregor Samsa. Prior to his metamorphosis, Samsa is a typical individual working for his family, a somewhat selfless individual who struggles and sacrifices for the survival of his family. However, when his transformation occurred, numerous "truths" were revealed to him. First is that his family, whom he loved and sacrificed for dearly, were not willing to make the same sacrifice for him when he needed their understanding as he morphed from being a human to being a roach. Second, he realized that he will only continue to evolve, and that there is no turning back or no way to transform him back as a human. And lastly, he came to acknowledge that in his metamorphosis, he will either embrace the change and thrive in it, or reject this change and, like before, sacrifice himself and choose death instead. The story ended with Samsa choosing the latter option. While the Metamorphosis is considered classic literature, it has the characteristics of a science fiction, which can be considered revolutionary and innovative in Kafka's time. What makes Kafka's work a strong illustration of science fiction is that Samsa experienced "posthuman" change, a term that demonstrates the "fast acceleration of human change," giving humanity a glimpse of the future in the present time (Clarke, 2005, p. 170). The metamorphosis by itself reflects the principle of science fiction, which takes into account "what if" scenarios into the future: what if indeed, humanity eventually evolves to creatures like Samsa, roaches that are generally detested by humanity itself? In addition to accelerated posthuman changes, Kafka's work is considered science fiction work because it also subsists to the principles of postmodernism, wherein the concept of "Being" is continuously asked, interpreted, challenged, and re-interpreted again (Johansen, 2005, p. 4). Combining the elements of posthuman change and postmodernist thought in the Metamorphosis, it can be said that indeed,……

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Godzilla (1954) Was the Original

At the beginning of the film, a ship is destroyed in a mysterious explosion and a salvage team is sent to investigate, but their ship is also blown up. On Odo Island, three survivors from these ships report that a giant monster was responsible, while fishermen report that they are unable to catch anything. This is when an old man first mentions the name of Godzilla, an ancient Japanese legend about a dinosaur that lives in the ocean. That same night, during a typhoon, Godzilla actually comes ashore and destroys some houses, and a scientific team is sent from Tokyo to investigate. They discover that Godzilla is a radioactive monster that has been disturbed by the recent hydrogen bomb tests in the Pacific, and has already destroyed a number of ships in retaliation. Although the Japanese navy drops depth charges on the monster, conventional weapons do not seem to have much effect, which is when the scientists turn to Professor Serizawa. At first the scientist denies that he has created a new weapon, but the truth is that he does not want the world to know about it since it could cause the extinction of all life on earth. He shows his fiance Emiko what it can do, by testing a small sample in a fish tank and turning every living thing into a skeleton. Emiko is horrified and agrees to say nothing about the weapon, although shortly afterward Godzilla comes ashore twice and destroys Tokyo. With the city in ruins and Godzilla still sitting at the bottom of Tokyo Bay, Serizawa agrees that the weapon must be used, but he makes sure that he will die with it. He goes to the bottom of Tokyo Bay in a diving suit and places the device near Godzilla, but then cuts his own air hose and remains in place when it detonates. Godzilla is reduced to a skeleton and sinks to the bottom of the bay, although he returned many times in……

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Science Fiction Film Genre Defining

In the background to this major plot is her relationship with Palmer Joss, a religious scholar, and the tragic story of her father's death when she was eight. Just like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the film fits into the science fiction genre because it is not based on a current reality. The contact with aliens is the background…

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Young Adult Literature

Controversy Over the Harry Potter Book Series Since the initial publication of J.K. Rowling's book series based on the character of Harry Potter some eight years ago, much social controversy has arisen, mostly due to Rowling's use of sorcery and the occult in the adventures of Harry, a so-called practicing wizard steeped in the "black arts." A good deal of the controversy seems to have originated within the religious community which considers Rowling's Harry Potter series with much suspicion because of the author's alleged literary design to introduce impressionable young minds to the art and practice of magic, witchcraft, sorcery and the occult through the predicaments and situations encountered by Harry Potter. Fantastic Literature: One of the most controversial aspects of Rowling's Harry Potter book series is her use of supernatural fantasy which, according to E.F. Bleiler, generally "demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from everyday life" (1973, p. 12). For many of the young adult readers of Harry Potter, this literary genre is obviously not a part of the real world and deals exclusively with things that are non-existent except in the imagination, such as "black magic" and the supernatural world of ghosts, demons and various mythological beings. And unlike science fiction, supernatural fantasy is not based on science but pure imagination which requires the reader to suspend their disbelief. Yet for some readers, this type of fiction can be very disturbing and can bring about changes in one's attitudes and beliefs toward reality which may, under the right circumstances, create undesirable actions and behaviors that can lead to a disruption in the life of the reader. The plots in most supernatural fantasy, such as those in Rowling's Harry Potter book series, are usually set in times and places that are very different from reality and are often filled with situations which the main protagonist, in this case Harry Potter, has to overcome in order to move ahead in his/her life. As Jill P. May points out, supernatural fantasy often deals with "ghosts, demons, witches, sorcerers, various beasts, charms, spells, curses and other devices" (1995, p. 67), all of which prompts the reader to fantasize about the world that Harry Potter lives in as an up and coming warlock under the power of the "black arts." For the most part, the ability to fantasize is a major component of young adulthood…

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Greek Mythology - Atlas Mythology Can Be

Greek Mythology - Atlas Mythology can be defined as the human attempt to explain the world. The earliest attempts at creating myths were generally based upon the fear of the unknown, according to Hamilton (15). The dark unknown was filled with danger and death, and both mythology and ancient religion reflect this. Hamilton however notes that this changed with the advance of Greek civilization. Civilization at the time meant that the world was no longer mysterious or dark. Human beings gained the faculty of knowledge and the ability to explore and investigate. According to the author, this was a time during which human beings became the center of the world for the first time. The Greeks demonstrated this by creating gods and goddesses "in their own image" (Hamilton 15); something that had not been done in mythology before. This idea reiterates Ken Dowden's (53) assertion that the purpose of myth is to establish "people, places and things." Investigating the mythology of ancient Greece therefore connects Western society not only to the cultural paradigms of that time and culture, but also how these impact society today. In this way, human beings can connect with the roots of the cultural paradigms within which we live today. The story of the Titan Atlas is an example of Greek mythology that survives to date. According to Mike Dixon-Kennedy (58), Atlas was born as a second-generation Titan. He was the son of Iapetus and Clymene, and his brothers were Prometheus and Epimetheus. He was also the father of the Pleiades, Hyades and Hesperides. Atlas's name appropriately means "much enduring." The myth behind Atlas dates from the war between the Titans and the gods. According the Greek mythology, the Titans were the first rulers of he earth. The Olympian Gods engaged in a battle with the Titans to take over the earth's rulership. While the gods banished most of the Titans after defeating them, a few remained. Atlas was one of them. For his leading role in helping the Titans in the war, Atlas was punished by the task of holding the sky on his shoulders. This task itself……

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Mythology Folklore and Nationalism in Creating Irish Identity

Mythology, Folklore Irish myths and legends and the movement for Irish independence 'All the great English writers were Irish.' Even before the Irish independence movement of the 19th century, Anglo-Irish writers such as Oliver Goldsmith, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde were famous for using the language of the oppressive English and improving upon it to create great works of…

Pages: 10  |  Research Proposal  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 10


Irish Folklore Introduction & History

"While you had the shamrock, it kept every enchantment and devilment from you, and when you parted with it, you became as big a fool as the others" (Colum, 395). The shillelagh is a symbol of the greatness of the Irish oak tree and oak forests. In a column written over 100 years ago by Crofton Croker in the Dublin Penny Journal, explains the importance of the shillelagh to Irish culture. " ... For an Irishman cannot walk or wander, sport or fight, buy or sell comfortably, without an oak stick in his fist. If he travels, he will beg borrow or steal a shillelagh" (Colum, 397). The shillelagh, we are told, was named after a great oak forest in the eighteenth century. The symbolism of the shillelagh is another example of the love the Irish people have for their land and for the products that are grown from it. CONCLUSION Irish folklore is still very prevalent in today's society. It does not something that is practiced on a daily basis; it is kept alive in Irish literature. In Irish literature, it is common to find a connection between current society and Irish folklore through its words and symbolism and the use of mythology and folklore. The creativity of the tales and the proud nature of the Irish people to preserve this cultural staple are largely responsible for the continued life of Irish folklore in contemporary society. BIBLIOGRAPHY Colun, Padraic. Ed. (1962) A Treasury of Irish Folklore. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. Curtin, Jeremiah. (1890). Myths and Folklore of Ireland. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. Glassie, Henry. (1998) Irish Folk History: Tales from the North. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press. O'Sullivan, Sean. (1974) The Folklore of Ireland. London: B.T. Batsford, Ltd.……

Pages: 7  |  Term Paper  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 0


Art Spiegelman's Maus and the Literary Canon

Spiegelman's Maus And The Literary Canon Spiegelman's Maus Spiegelman's Maus and the Literary Canon Upon examination of the evolution of the Graphic Novel, one discovers that amusing drawings have been around forever. But the rise of the newspaper industry in the late nineteenth century was the force that brought comics into everyday American households. From newspaper funny pages rose magazines…

Pages: 8  |  Research Paper  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 13


Satisfaction Guaranteed by Isaac Asimov

Satisfaction Guaranteed by Isaac Asminov The 20th century was the big exploitation of human creativity where technological fantasy was concerned. This started in the late 19th century with futuristic writings such as Jules Verne's, that pictured the many possibilities for human discoveries and inventions, but had a major increase in the first half of the 20th century, when practically every day new inventions appeared, more and more amazing and sophisticated. The story Satisfaction Guaranteed by Isaac Asimov is one of the many examples of the futuristic world where robots are the main tool to help humans. The conception of the perfect robot, that everyone envisioned in the middle 20th century, was a flawless copy of the life human model. They where conceived in human looks and activities, replacing workers, servants or helpers with robot characters that would almost become alive. Sometimes they even displayed human characteristics, such as emotions, that a real machine would never be able to have. In the story Satisfaction Guaranteed the robot tries to help the human character to feel better about herself, by flirting with her. This is supposed to be part of his program, but the human character, Claire, can not help mixing emotions. Perhaps the real dream that propels this kind of stories in fiction is not reaching to what humans can create, but rather what humans will never be able to create: the emotional link between people and technology. Today, half a century later, it is plain to see that this kind of robots could be built any time and will probably circulate in the market sooner than we imagine. But the fact that they befriend the people they work for, and that a human could fall in love with a robot, as it happens to Claire in the story, is very unlike in real life. The very real side of the story is the first reaction humans have about the whole situation. At first, Claire does not like the idea of having a robot in the house. She refuses to accept the company of this character because he is not human. But as the story unwinds, she gradually accepts him and changes her attitude towards him. It is the typical story of the outcast that is rejected at first, only because he is unfairly misunderstood. Afterwards……

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Humanity One Very Interesting Aspect of the

¶ … Humanity One very interesting aspect of the human experience is the manner in which certain themes appear again and again over time, in literature, religion, mythology, and culture -- regardless of the geographic location, the economic status, and the time period. Perhaps it is the innate human need to explain and explore the known and unknown, but to…

Pages: 5  |  Essay  |  Style: Turabian  |  Sources: 10


Popular Culture Is Relatively Young

Through greed, jealousy, and pride their hearts have become like stone. So they are turned into statues, but retain their consciousness that they might behold their sister's happiness until they admit their own faults. (from Opie, I. The Classic Fairy Tales) This tale makes a parallel between the reality, the world we live in and the world of our imaginations…

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Travel Kurt Anderson Investigates Different Perspectives on

¶ … Travel Kurt Anderson investigates different perspectives on the concept of time travel. While opening with the necessary discussion of time travel in the context of science fiction and fantasy the discussion quickly evolves to include more widely accessible concept of time travel not specifically as transportation but rather as a means of connecting tangibly with the past. The general theme of the broadcast is that anyone and indeed everyone can be a time traveler to some extent. This discussion comes full circle in the course of the five-minute long broadcast when Kurt begins talking about his own experiences as a time traveler of sorts and the events and places in his life which allowed him to connect tangibly to the past. The idea that the past is not in fact past is one which is rather comforting in an age moving forward so rapidly that even a decade out of date may as well be a century. The concept that time travel can only be a myth, something used to travel to the extreme past or future is one which has fueled the imagination of countless writers and producers throughout time. This fascination with the ability to immerse oneself in a time period either long since past or still yet to come is related most likely with a desire to feel connected to a time which has been idealized or holds special relevance to an individual. The ability to connect to times past, and perhaps given that ability connect to what may come is an important part of developing individual identity. Increasingly we find ourselves without such connections. It is impossible to relate back to a specific culture without being inundated and diluted by other world cultures. As technology improves the globalization of developed countries precludes individuals from developing traditional ethnic and familial identities distinct from the identity of the region in which they live. Listening 2: The Great Gatsby In this hour long broadcast Kurt discusses the various thematic elements in the famed novel by F. Scott. Fitzgerald "The Great Gatsby" and the reasons such a seemingly dark novel is so synonymous with Americana. Including an interview with one of the actors who is responsible for bringing the work to life on the stage, Kurt investigates not only the greater thematic elements of the plot but also the development of the characters within the short novel. Specifically…

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May Flower

Mayflower In human history many events change the course of nations, not intentionally, certainly not at the exact time of action, but later, as events domino from each other into what becomes a mythological event captured in writing, art, popular music, and even the heritage of a nation. One such event, the 1620 voyage of the Mayflower, depositing English Separatists…

Pages: 7  |  Research Proposal  |  Style: MLA  |  Sources: 3


Themes in World Literature

Hero as a Model of Behavior In the course of human history, one of the interesting things about past literature is the way the heroic appears again and again. In fact, this appearance becomes an archetype in that we see very similar themes in literature, religion, mythology, and culture. This is perhaps because as humans we have the need to explain and explore the unknown, but also because we tend to psychologically need a guide through the complexities of life. The idea of the hero as a role model for behavior, in fact, is so tied to human culture that one need only look at popular culture -- television and motion pictures for certain, to epitomize the need for particular story themes to remain popular. Whatever the genre -- science fiction, fantasy, western, war, even politics -- the classic nature of human values become clear when one continues to see the character traits of the hero through a series of tasks, through personal and character flaws, and finally through the triumph of the human spirit and the restoration of good (until the next story) (Voytilla). One of the major functions of myth, then, is to establish models for behavior. The figures often described in myth are sacred and are the worthy role model for humans. Myths then not only entertain, they function to uphold current societal and cultural attributes that are considered valuable. We find this in a number of themes in some of the great works of the past: Home's Iliad and Odyssey, Beowulf, and The Canterbury Tales. There are, of course, numerous themes in common in these class works, but the theme of the quest, revenge, personality flaw and redemption help us understand the way each culture thought about the human experience, and indeed how it is eerily similar to our contemporary culture (Campbell and Moyers). In each of the abovementioned works, the idea of "quest" is at the very heart of the plot. Beowulf must quest to free the Kingdom from Evil, the entire Homeric epic is one of questing, not only from Helen's return, but throughout the Ancient Aegean - the Gods could not make it easy, could they, to journey far and retain much? Chaucer certainly found reasons to quest: for love, for morality, and pining back into Ancient Greece in The Knight's Tale, to win……

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Tale an Intergalactic Space Mission

Two days later the Nefertiti landed on Dirgon. The Dirgonians officially welcomed travelers and tourists, even political missions such as theirs. However, Dirgon evolved into an isolationist culture that grew increasingly more suspicious of Earth's intentions to create an inter-galactic coalition. When the Nefertiti arrived, its crew was generously greeted with the ritual customs that Dirgonians had practiced for millennia. 'We have much to gain from a federation of planets," Reeftart finally disclosed the purpose of their mission. Jane anxiously looked up from her day bed, on which she relaxed while a Dirgonian masseuse helped her release the tension she accumulated during the long space journey. "I know," said the Dirgonian Queen, Elaine. "I believe I have persuaded my husband to comply with your desire to manifest this vision of space community." Elaine spoke the word "community" as if it were the first time she had ever said it. "We Dirgonians are a practical people. While we resent the implications of a federation in that it will diminish our independence, we also see that there are few alternatives. We do not wish to go to war for our beliefs, so I sincerely hope that we can reach some sort of agreement that is beneficial to all parties." Jane called out from her bed, "That is all we want too, Elaine! Actually our mission is only to obtain your cooperation in a collective scientific exploration program. We share our knowledge with you, and you with us. From there, all of us in the galaxy can benefit and thrive. We have no intention whatsoever to influence your political or cultural realities." The Queen of Dirgon approached Jane, who rose from the massage table with a smile and an extended hand. When the two women shook hands, they solidified the first formal bond between Dirgon and any foreign planet. And it required no treachery, trickery or deceit. Reeftart appeared relieved and later confessed to Jane that he had planned on lying to the Dirgonians. 'I guess Glastia was wrong," said Reeftart, to Jane's delight. Two years later the Interglactic Scientific Exploration Federation (ISEF) was fully operational, enabling all member planets to share raw materials and natural resources as well as scientific data. Twelve planets joined, far more than they had……

Pages: 7  |  Term Paper  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 0


Epic Heroes

Epic Heroes of folklore and classic literature have several common traits, which allow them to be called "heroes." Epic heroes do not only posses virtues common for "heroes" but they do also perform heroic deeds for the sake of their family, motherland or their people, sacrificing their lives and personal happiness for the better of others. Heroes should overcome a series of obstacles and deprivations and stand them with dignity and honor. Epic heroes always fulfill their quests and only after that they return back to their families, to their homeland. it's typical for ancient eposes of both Greece and India that due to a number of objective reasons heroes having the call of duty have to leave their homes: "Their journeys are filled with great sense of commitment and purpose which may range from fulfilling a moral duty or win the heart of a maiden. In addition to their devotedness and strong faith, the heroes portray a great deal of intelligence, nobility and personal courage" (Rosenberg). In most of heroic epos stories, heroes experience moral and spiritual transformations during their adventures so that after they return back home they are called "heroes": "hero-myth" cycle in which the hero embarks upon his journey usually follows the pattern: call to adventure; meeting the mentor; obstacles; fulfilling the quest; return of the hero; and, transformation of the hero" (Dominguez). The most famous heroes of ancient literature are Odysseus from Homer's "Odyssey" and Rama from Valmiki's "Ramayana." Both Indian and Greek cultures have rich mythology and folklore, with special role devoted to epic heroes, who are regarded to be middle persons between mortal people and gods. Heroes serve as classic model for common mortals, as they are smart, witty, brave and possess all human virtues. Heroes are also noble and generous, which makes them equal to kings. A typical epic hero who finishes his quest with fair virtuous woman of his dream (Sita) is hero Rama, from Indian "Ramayana," written approximately in 5th century B.C. Ramayana is a story of Rama, who was king's son and incarnation of god Vishu. Rama had to spend 14 years in exile together with his brother Lakshama and maiden Sita. Rama's fiancee Sita is later kidnapped by a demon king Ravana, whom Rama kills, rescuing Sita. Rama then returns to his kingdom and restores his right to be the ruler after years spent in exile. It takes…

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Ancient Astronauts

Ancient Astronauts Adherents of the Ancient Astronaut thesis believe that intelligent extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth in antiquity and made contact with humans in certain points of our history. This encounter -- they emphasize -- can be evidenced from aspects such as religion, ancient culture, and technologies. A derivative of this thesis is that many, if not all, of the humans in existence today are products of the original extra-terrestrials who populated the earth in a pre-historic period. We were either created by them or born from them, possibly in a process that was described by Thomas Gold, a professor of astronomy as a "garbage theory" where humans spawned form extra-terrestrial waste. A sub-theory states that much of our human knowledge, religion, and culture may have originated from these extra-terrestrials who built (or supported human in building) many of the marvels on Earth such as the pyramids in Egypt or the Moai stone heads of Easter Island (Lieb, 1998). Adherents of this view have amassed an arsenal of reasons to support their point, but few academicians if any accept them. Scientific research has not found any conclusive evidence and all assertions of ancient astronauts remain unsupported. Argument for Ancient Astronauts Advocates for ancient astronauts categorize their arguments into three factors: 1. Religion: Several of the world's religious texts have passages that may indicate allusion to extra-terrestrials. The Ramayana, for instance, has gods and avatars who travel from place to place in flying vehicles, whilst the Book of Genesis, (chapter 6 verses 1 -- 4) mentions "sons of God [who] went to the daughters of humans and had children by them" - the word 'Nephilim too is obscure and is explained by the apocryphal Book of Enoch to refer to a group of 200 "angels" who, ancient astronaut theorists believes, were extra-terrestrials. The Book of Ezekiel too has a description of winged creatures flying in the Chariot of God who looked like humans. Some of the ancient astronaut theorists believe that Ezekiel had seen spaceships. They also believe that these extraterrestrials had helped the Hebrews carve the Ark of the Covenant and possibly help create some of the miraculous events of the Bible. In fact, a Presbyterian minister claimed that Jesus was an extraterrestrial, citing (John 8: 23) and other biblical verses as evidence.(Colavito, 2005). 2. Culture Theorists have said that certain cave paintings such as those seen in Wondjina in…

Pages: 3  |  Essay  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 3


Storytelling a Tale of Fictitious

The Evolutionary Reason for Stories Evolution is a very philosophical concept besides being considered as a branch of the scientific community. Towards questions, like, is there any purpose acquired by evolution? And what is the reason behind our existence? The evolutionists are still open. Here, the idea of purpose is considered to be a relative ending than an absolute ending, a meaning or reason than a finale, which depicts that a purpose is carried by evolution (Holcomb III, 1996). One can say that evolution is a story, and a purpose is carried by a story, similarly, the way many philosophers used the proof style to explain abstract concepts in the past. Therefore, a purpose is carried by evolution. The idea that purposes are acquired by stories is the idea which is not satisfying to some people. To do something determination, resolution, and intention, the fact or action of meaning or intending is what defines the purposes within this context. To a state of being a symbolic end or for a continual state of being, a reason can be acquired by a story. For example, through storytelling, the reason behind a physical characteristic of leopard was aimed to be explained by people in ancient stories, like, "the reasons behind spots on a leopard." To give death or even life, life questions are tried to be answered by different religions that on a larger scale have arisen throughout…

Pages: 6  |  Research Paper  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 8


Pan's Labyrinth the Movie 'El

Magic & Mimesis In the background of pot-Civil War Spain, Pan's Labyrinth is the tale of Ofelia. Ofelia is a young girl who along with her mother Carmen goes to live with her step father Vidal who is the fascist Captain. With the progression of Carmon's difficult pregnancy, Captain Vidal wishes that his son must be born where his father…

Pages: 15  |  Term Paper  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 3


Pillars of Zen the Road of Trials:

¶ … Pillars of Zen The Road of Trials: Zen and the Hero's Journey Roshi Philip Kapleau -- to whom is credited, in large part, the introduction of Zen Buddhism to the west -- recounts in his seminal work, the Three Pillars of Zen, a series of conversations between a great Zen teacher, Yasutani-roshi, and an unnamed student who found…

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Kindred the Device of Time-Travel in Butler's

Kindred The Device of Time-Travel in Butler's Kindred The institution of slavery is often thought of as a relic in our shared past. As Americans, this is an aspect of our history that we remember with shame and disgust, but also with distance and complacency. In our reflection on the iniquities which were so regularly visited upon the African and…

Pages: 6  |  Research Paper  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 5


Faery Handbag One of the Newer Subgenres

Faery Handbag One of the newer subgenres of science fiction and fantasy is the feminist, posing questions about women's roles in society. This subgenre tends to explore how society constructs certain gender roles and what those roles mean, how gender defines social and political power, sexual politics, and exploring utopian and dystopian futures to find comment on societal direction in general. Science fiction and fantasy serve as important vehicles for feminist thought, particularly as bridges between theory and practice. No other genres so actively invite representations of the ultimate goals of feminism: worlds free of sexism, worlds in which women's contributions (to science) are recognized and valued, worlds in which the diversity of women's desire and sexuality, and worlds that move beyond gender (Helford, 2006, 191). One such exploration into juxtaposition between our world and the world of magic is called magical realism. For the contemporary reader, magical realism is a genre in which magical, or some would say illogical, scenarios and events appear in a relatively normal setting. The power of this genre seems to be the juxtaposition of the two elements -- magic and realism -- in that in an everyday, somewhat banal, setting; one does not really expect magic, the unexpected, the delightful, to happen without a logical explanation. Contrary to many critical explanations, the basic idea of this juxtaposition is not simply to entertain, but as a genre to provide a greater insight into the possibilities of both the human and divine -- of the belief that not everything that happens can, or should, be explained rationally and that as advanced a being as we are, there are still things to learn about the universe. Witness a famous Arthur C. Clarke's "Third Law" -- "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" (thinkexist.com). Kelly Link's the Faery Handbag, is one such journey, albeit a short one. The story is told from the point-of-view of Genevieve, a young woman living near Boston who has a mildly eccentric grandmother, Zofia, from exotic Baldeziwurlekistan. Grandmother has a special possession, a handbag, several hundred years old according to Zofia, which may contain some magical characters, and may not. We aren't too sure about Grandmother Zofia, even less so when Jake, Genevieve's boyfriend, snatches the bag to find out if the stories are indeed true. Feminist Themes and Motifs: One of the strongest themes in feminist science fiction is that of…

Pages: 4  |  Essay  |  Style: n/a  |  Sources: 2

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