Study "Mythology / Folklore / Science Fiction" Essays 1-55

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Masculinism in Science Fiction Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Evolution in Science Fiction Essay

… 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. [read more]

Fantasy and Science Fiction Assessment

… 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… [read more]

Science Fiction Film Comparison Essay

… 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 Stood Still and I, Robot are two very different films. The older film is about the dangers of human technological progression as is the newer. Both films deal with the issue of human beings and their curiosity. Scientists explore questions and come up with answer which sometimes lead to positive ends and sometimes lead to negative ones. This is a very technological age and people are not as distrustful of scientific progress as they once were. This is perhaps not for the better because both movies show the possible repercussions of too much dependence on technology as well as showing… [read more]

Science Fiction Films on September Essay

… 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… [read more]

TV Genre- Science Fiction Case Study

… 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… [read more]

Science Fiction Television as a Genre Essay

… 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… [read more]

Science Fiction a Definition Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Mythology Folklore and Nationalism in Creating Irish Identity Research Proposal

… 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… [read more]

Scifi Emiko Essay

… 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.


Bacigalupi, Paolo. The Windup Girl. Night Shade,… [read more]

Blade Runner and Wall-E: In Depth Contrasting Critiques Term Paper

… 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.


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 even enchanted in the face of it" before he is able to donate "scarce mortal resources to the service of others" (Bennett, 2001, Chapter 1). In Wall-E's case, he has in fact become somewhat enamored with his emerging, evolving existence and is indeed making a contribution in the service of others. Wall-E symbolizes the hope of the future after humans have pretty much trashed the landscape of earth, which is, in a way, what humans are doing today as global climate change is rapidly altering the planet in impactful ways.

Works Cited

Bennett, Jane. The Enchantment of Modern life: Attachments,… [read more]

Utopias Explored: The Time Machine Essay

… 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… [read more]

Science Fiction Film Repo Men Essay

… 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… [read more]

Fantasy or Science Fiction Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Wind -- Science Fiction Term Paper

… 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, /… [read more]

Women Science Fiction Writers Term Paper

… .. [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… [read more]

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Posthuman Change Term Paper

… 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,… [read more]

Godzilla ) Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

George Melies's Movie "A Trip Essay

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

Star Trek the Next Generation Essay

… 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… [read more]

Science Fiction Film Genre Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Greek Mythology - Atlas Thesis

… 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… [read more]

Humanity Essay

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

Art Spiegelman's Maus and the Literary Research Paper

… 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… [read more]

Satisfaction Guaranteed by Isaac Asimov Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Storytelling a Tale of Fictitious Research Paper

… 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 [read more]

Ancient Astronauts Essay

… 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… [read more]

Pan's Labyrinth the Movie 'El Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Themes in World Literature Essay

… 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… [read more]

Travel Kurt Anderson Investigates Different Perspectives Essay

… ¶ … 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 the dark underbelly of human nature even when it appears that someone has everything they ever could have wanted. The fact of the matter though, and what perhaps is the most significant message of the book is that often the pursuit of goals be they material or abstract, can often blind us to the genuine roots of the desire for whatever it is.

I consider myself a Gatsby aficionado having read the book several times. As noted in the broadcast though one significant factor of the work is that, with every reading there is a new facet,… [read more]

May Flower Research Proposal

… 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… [read more]

Young Adult Literature Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Tale an Intergalactic Space Mission Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Salman Rushdie Term Paper

… Given the subject matter of the book, this aspect has garnered criticism from others.

Rushdie's portrayal of India and Indian's might be seen as guilty of stereotyping in his use of magic realism and the implication that India can only… [read more]

Humanities Interdisciplinary Chapter

… ¶ … Hybridity and Post-Human Anxiety in 28 Days Later," we now live in a post-human age, a concept which is causing increasing anxiety for more and more people. The concept of the 'post human' raises such questions as 'are we humans -- or machines' and 'what is the difference between humans and other animals?' Technology invades our bodies more and more, spanning from scanners to artificial limbs, even to the iPods we plug into our ears 24/7. The boundary between the human and the animal has likewise been collapsed through technologies such as cloning and interspecies organ donation. Humans seem more like machines (or animals, as we learn more about the evolutionary process) and machines seem more human. The cyborg, once assumed to be a creature of science fiction has thus now become the reality (Rogers 121). However, while some people find this scenario delightful -- one professor is quoted as saying "I was born human…but this was an accident of fate" others are afraid (Rogers 122).

This also calls into question traditional disciplinary boundaries as 'the humanities' (once thought to be separate) from other disciplines. As well as disciplinary boundaries being blurred between science and technology, there is also an increasing confusion between genre differences such as horror and science fiction. Simply put, because so much of what seems to lie in the future fills us with horror, we are inclined to view science fiction and horror as the same. Indeed, many of the most popular subjects of current horror films (zombies)… [read more]

Japanese Animation Term Paper

… Animation is more commercial now, but the production remains an art form. Many artists of Japanese animation work from home or in independent studios. We see the influence of the art form everywhere -- CGI features, digital masterpieces such as Avatar, and even the work of Pixar has some resemblance and reference in Japanese animation (Halsall, 2010). Most notable is anime's influence in modern video games and virtual reality features. Japanese animation has become a signature of the country and one of its best exports. According to the Japan External Trade Organization (2003), Japan exports approximately 4.35 billion dollars of ACG (Animation-Comic-Game) to the United States - four times the volume of steel exports to the America (Lamarre, 2002). Japan also contributes more than sixty percent of the global animation market share. Animation is estimated for ten percent the country's GDP and is its third largest business following industry and agriculture. It is a very important part of the everyday lives of the Japanese and a treasured form of entertainment.

My introduction to animation has been inspiring. I am impressed with the creativity of the art form and eager to learn more about the production process. I enjoy anime because of its artistic value, but also because of its wonderful story telling. Anime uses actual plots and story lines that continue through the duration of the feature. In that sense, the genre is more like live action film -- a stark difference from American cartoons. Characters are always well-rounded and I can appreciate the actual slaps, kicks and punches of a good anime duel. In general, there is a certain realism reflected in the art form. In addition, the idea that you can escape your circumstances always shows up as a theme; it is possible to create our own lives and destinies. I look forward to more of this type of inspiration as I learn more about the genre of anime.


Halsall, J. (2010). Anime Goes Mainstream. School Library… [read more]

Dominican Fantasies, Written and Unwritten Essay

… Of course, some of the famous fantasy narratives discussed in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao like Lord of the Rings do feature unlikely heroes. The Lord of the Rings tells the tale of an unlikely hero (a hobbit named Frodo) who goes on a great quest to liberate the world from evil. But heroes do not need to look for mountains to climb or dragons to slay as they do in fantasy narratives, suggests Diaz. Oscar is a hero of a different kind, on his own quest narrative. He is interested in the characters of science fiction novels because they seem to offer him alternative 'ways of existing in the world,' even though the characters of the genre are often less interesting and more formulaic than Oscar himself. Diaz always underlines the fact that Oscar's love of science fiction is a search for 'self.' "One day he walked into the Game Room to discover that the new generation of nerds weren't buying role-playing games any more. They were obsessed with Magic cards!...No characters or campaigns…All the narrative flensed from the game…it just wasn't his thing" (Diaz 269-270).

Oscar is looking for a character in fiction to better define himself in reality as well as escape from reality, Diaz suggests, but unfortunately science fiction provides less breadth and depth than can be found in Oscar's unique soul. According to the New York Times critic, "in creating Oscar, Diaz has used one stereotype to subvert another. Not all Dominican men are macho peacocks, and not all sci-fi, anime and Dungeons & Dragons fanatics are white boys. That this may be an obvious point doesn't diminish the skill and flair with which Diaz brings it home" (Scott 2007).

What is unique about the way in which Diaz presents Oscar's tale is the way he exposes the limits of science fiction, as well as its imaginative possibilities for outsiders. On one hand, science fiction can be very exciting for misfit nerds who see themselves as thwarted by society and in need of an escape and an outlet to prove themselves. It seems to offer limitless possibilities. But on the other hand, science fiction is also quite limited by the prejudices of its creators, as Oscar discovers when he feels shut out of fully participating in this world of fantasy and nerds because of his Dominican heritage. For science fiction authors, it is easier to imagine a ring 'that will rule them all' than a boy like Oscar.

In the novel, science fiction and fantasy symbolizes the limits of culture as well as formulaic fiction to truly encompass the human condition. Oscar lack of sexuality makes him a pariah amongst Dominicans and even when the quest narrative of his life ends in a bloody martyrdom back on Dominican soul, this is not fully recognized as a hero's journey in science fiction 'nerd' terms. People like Oscar who exist outside of the lines of fiction are often invisible, buy Diaz's book seeks to dignify… [read more]

French New Wave Cinema Term Paper

… And that meant because he's walking up to a shack that has an alien in it with a whole story that we've written with those guys distilling their fluid and I'm like, "that's interesting you just said that the supporting alien character is a gangster." But if it works, we keep going," (Neill Blomkamp to Meredith Woerner). [footnoteRef:7] [7: Meredith Woerner, "Five Things You Didn't Know About District 9."]

3. "All of my dialogue, all of my actual lines are improvised. There's a script but Neill works within a structure. "This is what neebds to happen in the scene -- go there, evict the guy, pull the guy outside, go inside and see the computers." And then I'll work with Jason and improvise and keep throwing stuff, throwing different options."[footnoteRef:8] [8: Brian Tellerico, "Interview with Sharlto Copely Star of District 9," Videohound's Movieretriever, accessed November 13, 2012,]

iii. Characters are odd and often act on a whim

1. In the film, the Wikus's actions and behavior are reactionary. This is further evidenced and supported through the improvised dialogue.

2. Additionally, Wikus is characterized as an indifferent bureaucrat who happens to be married to Tanya, who is the daughter of Piet Smith (Louis Minnaar), an MNU director.[footnoteRef:9] [9: District 9, Directed by Neill Blomkamp]

iv. Use of unnatural jump cuts.

1. District 9's editing incorporates documentary style interviews intercut with traditional film narrative and editing. The film is initially presented to be a documentary until the concepts of aliens is introduced into the film.

v. Shooting on location, natural lighting, and direct sound recording.[footnoteRef:10] [10: Craig Phillips, "French New Wave," Green Cine, accessed November 13, 2012,]

1. This element of French New Wave is facilitated through District 9's documentary style, which extends beyond the interviews that are incorporated into the narrative.

2. Element of documentary influence can be attributed to Alain Resnais, who made documentary films at the beginning of his career.[footnoteRef:11] [11: Ibid.]

3. The aftermath of Wikus' infection is captured on film as though a documentary was being created. Staging is kept at a minimum and Wikus' actions and behavior, much like the character's dialogue, is largely improvised.

4. District 9 is different from other contemporary hand-held films, almost exclusively horror films, such as Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project because even though the film is formatted like a documentary, the production value remains high.

vi. Provides a commentary on social issues

1. In District 9, issues of institutionalized discrimination, reminiscent of apartheid, are major issues.

a. Discrimination in District 9 against extraterrestrials is based solely on species.

b. Species discrimination also influences social stratification. Regardless of a human's social position and role, the extraterrestrials are regarded to be subhuman and thus are placed at the bottom of the social hierarchy.

c. District 9 as a continuation of Godard's work in Alphaville[footnoteRef:12] [12: Ibid.]

i. Like Alphaville, District 9 combines science fiction and the concepts of investigation and unwarranted persecution.

1. The element of science fiction… [read more]

Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Essay

… ¶ … Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Sometimes there are those novels in the world of literature that will challenge how everyone is viewing a host of: different events and their underlying meanings. In the narrative The Brief Wondrous Life… [read more]

Evolution Essay

… Life on Earth began to dwindle and congregate into only a few cities across the globe. After telephoning several major cities, Ares finds humans only in San Frisco (formerly San Francisco). When he arrives, he finds that humans' physiognomy has evolved into larger heads with larger eyes, and that "they never grew old," they only died at the end of a couple thousand years (Campbell). But while humans' lives were becoming so protracted, the life around them faltered as they "destroyed all forms o life that menaced" them (Campbell). It started with disease and insects then spread to harmless plants and animals. Perhaps worst of all in this devolution over millions of years, men lost their instinct of curiosity. At this point in Earth's history and evolution, humans had begun also to stagnate, to stop studying, to stop learning, and to stop evolving, instead relying on the machines to move them through life.

Works Cited

Campbell, John W. "Twilight." Ralph Nader Library. American Buddha, n.d. Web. 27 April

2011. . [read more]

Magic Realism Latin American Essay

… Meaning, on a canvas what is meant to be seen as something mundane with a concurrent magical meaning, may be viewed as something that is just mundane. Artists who paint with a magical realist intent do not necessarily show the fantastic as do surrealists such as Salvador Dali, so the subtlety often confuses what the intent of the work actually is. For example, a bridge may signify promise because on one side is a stark, poor little town and on the other is a bright country setting with cavorting unicorns and smiling fairies. Many Latin American artists would try to paint a picture of how poor villagers lived, and the promise that could be had with proper government and economic prosperity. Unfortunately, the vision the artist has for the picture may fall short because every person sees symbolism differently. However, it is the perfect medium for writers because they can show the symbolism without compromising the realism of the portrait they are trying to paint.

The problem with magic realism has always been the definition. Although the one used above seems to capture the spirit of the genre, many would disagree with how that definition portrays the topic. There is a great deal of controversy among different people when trying to explain exactly what magic realism is and what it is not. The conflict lies with the different critics of the genre and some of the writers who have used what they would term magic realism their life's work. Of course, there is also the conflict between the different people who have tried to define the work and those who say that magic realism cannot be properly contained within a strict academic framework. First it is necessary to examine the different issues that arise because people do not agree on what the form actually is.

The first issue is that realism does not explain all that can occur in a given situation. This can be seen in the fact that multiple perspectives are operating at the same time within the same frame of reference. Different people see the same scene from each individual's unique perspective. This is the beginning of magic realism (Rios, 1999).


Cowan, K. (2002). Magic realism. Retrieved from http://www- l

Rios, A. (1999). Magical realism: Definitions. Retrieved from [read more]

Faery Handbag One of the Newer Subgenres Essay

… 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… [read more]

Kindred the Device of Time-Travel in Butler Research Paper

… 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… [read more]

New Music Research Proposal

… Libby Larsen's Compositional Style And Audience Impact As Observed In An Introduction To The Moon

If Larsen's compositional style was to be summed up in one word, it would have to be retro-experimental. Granted, this is not precisely one single word, and it must be acknowledged that Larsen group up during the space race and spent her early childhood in the 1950's world of science fiction "B" movies, making her work somewhat less "retro" than a younger composer's work in the same vein might be considered. Yet the fact that this An Introduction to the Moon still so clearly and purposefully evokes the era of Larsen's birth despite having been composed in 2006 absolutely adds a retro aspect to the piece. Many of the sounds -- oddly phrased flute solos trailing off into nothingness, subtly discordant brass that builds in a way reminiscent of Richard Strauss' "Also spracht Zarathustra," uniting the piece with Kubric's masterful 2001: A Space Odyssey -- recall the science fiction films of the fifties and the television shows of the sixties, especially Star Trek. Despite the strong roots in the past of American popular culture that Larsen evokes in this piece, however, the sense of wonder and strangeness with which space and the outer-lying bodies -- even the nearest of these bodies, the Moon -- were viewed seems entirely fresh in this piece; it is still new and experimental. Thus the succinct "retro-experimental" description.

Even the wide range of instrumentation and spoken text that Larsen uses in the piece serve to make it strangely less varied, and more unified in its attempt. Each individual voice and texture in the piece, intellectually and musically, fits neatly with the others. The discordance that Larsen strives for… [read more]

Creative Risk Research Proposal

… Creativity is the Motivation was still in high school when I wrote what I thought was a science fiction master piece. I really thought my writing was on a level of par excellence with the great science fiction writers. I was really quite full of myself. I sent the short story to the one place I was convinced it would be well received, praised for its original theme, and my story telling ability. Everyday, I would go straight home to check the mail for the response from the science fiction magazine. When the letter finally arrived, I went to the quietest place in the house, my room. With the door closed, I opened the letter. I think what most surprised me, was that it was so short. Just a few lines, thank you, but no thank. It said something like, "not for us." I really had not expected a rejection letter.

My initial reaction was a sense of embarrassment. There is really no way, I think, to prepare for your first rejection letter. I put the manuscript away. It was a long time before I got over the sense of embarrassment. It would be along time before I would look at it again, but not a long time before I would… [read more]

Junot Diaz Short Story Evaluation Thesis

… Junot Diaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao hails as Junot Diaz's greatest creation. In this book, Diaz details many facts of Dominican life that are often absent from the minds of… [read more]

Dragon Song Term Paper

… Dragonsong

Metaphor, "the coast was bare as rock" (14). Imagery, "The Red Star again spun close to Pern, winking with a baleful red eye" (McCaffrey xii). Simile - "And since the old auth had a memory like a seine net" (47). Hyperbole - {Hoping that she wouldn't pull down the Cliffside and bury the queen, clutch and all" (56). Personification - "When the little queen saw Menolly putting the eggs in the sack, she began to have hysterics" (56). All of these literary devices add texture and depth to the novel, and make it more than just narration. They illustrate the characters and make the novel more interesting to read.

Vocabulary - Telepathic (noun) - "Men and women with high empathy ratings or some innate telepathic abilities were trained [...] (x). It means to communicate without using the senses, like speech. Fosterling (noun) - it means a foster child, not a "true" child. "Yanus had told Elgion that a fosterling had undertaken the task" (43). Nebulous (adjective) - cloudy, misty, or lacking form. "Even something nebulous as fog" (63). Unorthodox - (adjective) "Her unorthodox behavior had waned" (64). It means not conventional. Imperious - (adjective) it means overbearing or domineering. "Squeaking an imperious command to her followers" (72).

Menolly - "So, Menolly took her sleeping furs and a glow and went to one of the unused inner rooms where no one would find her" (63). She is a loner, and can get along on her own. "Curling around her hand as she spread oil on their softer belly side" (91). She is kind and gentle, and cares about others. She'd a little pipe among her things, a soft, whispery reedpipe, and she began to play it" (15). This shows she loves her music, and she is a good musician, an important part of the story.

The Little Queen - "The little queen's furious complaints" (56). The author wants to make the little queen seem almost human, so she gives her human qualities. "The queen marshalling her bronzes to position her eggs just right" (57). She is a leader, and this shows it. "She squeaked shrilly at the others." (89). She is a leader, but she has a fiery temper, too.… [read more]

Sir James Barrie Peter Pan Term Paper

… ¶ … J.M. Barrie and his "Peter Pan" stories. Specifically it will discuss the character Peter Pan in the play "Peter Pan, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" compared to the same character n "The Little White Bird." Peter Pan,… [read more]

Slaughterhouse Five Term Paper

… Slaughterhouse Five

Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five is a postmodernist text which focuses on war and on mankind's potential for cruelty. The narrative leaps from historical accounts of the bombing at Dresden, for example, to science fiction reports of Billy Pilgrim's time… [read more]

Lottery" With "The Ones That Walk Term Paper

… ¶ … Lottery" with "The Ones that Walk Away from Omelas"

Both Shirley Jackson's short allegory "The Lottery" and Ursula Le Guin's narrative "The Ones that Walk Away from Omelas" address the theme of how certain cultural injustices are ignored by the citizens of their respective societies. The residents of the town in "The Lottery" do not like the fact that a random member of the town must die on a regular basis, so that the land will continue to prosper. However, they do not question that this barbaric practice is required and if it does not, they will lose everything. In Le Guin's tale, the dwellers of the fantastical land of Omelas permit the suffering of a single idiot child so that their paradise can continue.

Although the stories are works of fantasy and science fiction, respectively (one is deals with cultural myths in an apparently contemporary but remote and rural context, the other deals with scientific and human societal advances in the future) the two narratives highlight how, in American society, people who prosper ignore the suffering of everyday individuals. A person's prosperity, such as their ability to wear attractive and cheap clothing, may be dependant upon the oppression of women who labor under sweatshop conditions but because this ugly truth is not frequently highlighted in the media and because it seems remote, it is easily ignored. The tone of the stories, which is matter-of-fact rather than judgmental of the protagonists, makes this theme seem even more disturbing. The reader is forced to be outraged, rather than the people in the stories who accept the oppression.

However, in contrast to Jackson's narrative, some people are capable, in Le Guin's tale, of feeling disgusted by the treatment of the solitary child. They are the ones who walk away from Omelas. Also, Le Guin suggests that even those who stay do apprehend, on some level, the horror of what is being done. The narrator says the suffering of the child gives the culture of the land a certain compassion and depth that would otherwise be lacking. In contrast, the residents of the town of holding Jackson's lottery seem to take a certain savage glee as they begin the stoning, and the random choice of one… [read more]

Literary Analysis on the Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Guin 1974 Term Paper

… Omelas

Literary Response: "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"

Ursula LeGuin's short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" is a science fiction narrative set in the future, depicting a paradise of peace and harmony beyond the contemporary reader's wildest dreams. In LeGuin's fantasy world, there is no king, no discord. The people are wise and mature, and not coarsened by evil. In fact, LeGuin writes, arguing with the reader's presumed assumption: "The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting" (2). The people of Omelas are generous and curious, even though they do not suffer. They use just enough technology to make life pleasant (washing machines and public transport) but reject technology that enslaves people and makes life too hurried and ugly, like cars.

There is one awful thing about Omelas, however -- the creation of the entire society rests upon the suffering of a single child. If the child were to be treated kindly, then everything would fall, and the people of Omelas would no longer have their Eden. "Theirs is no vapid,… [read more]

Social Customs in "Bloodchild" Octavia Butler Term Paper

… Social Customs in "Bloodchild"

Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild" is a science-fiction futuristic fantasy with a foundation in what people see as "normal" social roles and customs. In fact, the story explores the results when traditional social roles are reversed. The protagonist in this story, Gan, is a human being living in an alien world where the male humans give birth to alien grubs. First, the roles are reversed in this story, with the humans serving insects and men bearing children. This goes against traditional social customs and indicates how different roles are not so different when situations are unusual. It shows the adaptability of humans to adverse and extraordinary conditions, and what a species will do when survival is at stake.

There is another reversal in this story, and that is the insects are dependent on the humans for their own survival. This is another reversal of social customs and traditional roles that makes the story more interesting and effective. Gan grows up and matures as the story continues; he discovers the differences between the Tlic's and the humans, and how dependent… [read more]

Never Ending Story Term Paper

… ¶ … Neverending Story

Wolfgang Petersen's 1984 film The Neverending Story or Die Unendliche Geschichte was based loosely on the fantasy novel by Michael Ende. The movie which provides the viewer with a plethora of special effects deviates greatly from… [read more]

Martian Chronicles Term Paper

… Mart Chron

Ray Bradbury's the Martian Chronicles

In Ray Bradbury's the Martian Chronicles, the story of "The Martian" one of the last Martians poses, as long dead loved ones of the human colonists. The paragraphs below will explore how the Martian's ability to shift shape and identity amongst the colonists due to their personal desires and how this literary idea reflects the changing times in which Bradbury wrote this novel.

Like so many men and women after the Second World War, the Martian represents a person without a country or identity due to the loss of its own culture because of Human influence. This is a common theme worthy of exploration by many writers of this time not just science fiction writers. This theme clearly acts on many levels to emphasize man's inhumanity to man. This comes across really strongly as the colonists start to fight over the Martian. Still it is the Martian's ability at first to bring hope and happiness to the colonists that makes this story so compelling. Mr. LaFarge says, "Tom, if that's you, if by some chance it is you, Tom, I'll leave the door unlatched" (Bradbury 152). Maybe this represents the hope Bradbury felt for a changing world society where people are treated as equals. Possibly it is the selfish hope that through the collective character of the colonists like the LaFarges that they can regains what they have lost from the old world experience by taking advantage of a new world and its people. This is not unlike the role of England claiming the new colony of America. This becomes more apparent as the Martian feels trapped by the feelings it absorbs from the Earthlings and tries to express the situation to Mr. LaFarge in the form of Tome "I don't know how to explain it to you, there's no way, I… [read more]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Term Paper

… Rowling's underlying philosophy here seems to be that one must

3. What psycho-social issues does the text evoke and how do these issues fit with the development of children for whom the text is age-appropriate using Piaget's cognitive development or Erikson's eight stages of development?

Psycho-social issues the text evoked would include those mentioned within Erickson's fourth and fifth stages of development in particular, of all eight stages possible. In terms of Erickson's eight stages of socio-emotional development, children reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone would most likely be in either the fourth ("Accomplishment/Industry vs. Inferiority") stage or the fifth ("Identity vs. Role Confusion") stage of development, that is, Middle Childhood/Elementary or Adolescence.

In Erickson's fourth stage, the child "learns to do things well or correctly in comparison to a standard or to others" (Huitt). That would echo the comparisons made between Harry and his cousin Dudley before Harry ever enters Hogwarts. For example, Dudley's parents, because they are so partial to their son over their nephew, are blind to the fact that Harry does many things better than Dudley, e.g., motor coordination; self-sufficiency; motor skills, but Harry nevertheless knows, objectively speaking, that he in fact does many things better than Dudley (likely the Durleys know this too, although they will not admit it). In Erickson's fifth stage, the child "Develops a sense of self in relationship to others and to own internal thoughts [read more]

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