“I’m a Synthesist.” He knew that. Of course he knew, everyone did: You can’t observe the system unless you stay outside the system.
“On Earth you’re a Synthesist,” he said. “In the Kuiper you’re a Synthesist. Here you’re mass. Do what you’re told.”
Throughout the novel, I’ve felt like Siri has a sort of superiority complex. It’s not a terrible one, but since his introduction in the fight scene where he “helps” Pag, he’s always acted as though he IS different from everyone else, even if he just thinks differently. When he and his father visit his mom in her world, Siri talks as though he’s better than the two of them, almost like an angsty teenager. He can’t understand why his dad clings to his mom the way he does, or why his mom made the decision to Ascend, he just accepts it as fact and looks down on that fact. Going back to the scene with Pag on the playground, Pag tells Siri he’s different, that he’s not the same person he once was. Regardless, Siri is still human, but being treated like he’s not would eventually make him think he is different, especially if those things were said to him starting as such a young age, and from his best friend no less. I think this exchange of words brings Siri back ‘down to earth’, no pun intended. His skills, on Earth, were unrivaled. However, from the time they awoke Siri had been more or less useless. There was no room for him to develop a superiority complex amongst the people on Theseus. The exchange not only puts Siri in his place, but makes his humanity more apparent.
Dear Unborn Child,
It is due to some unfortunate circumstances that we are where we are today. In the past, humanity made some major mistakes, leading to a war that almost destroyed us. Some of us were spared at the hands of the Oankali, an alien race. However, as you’ll learn everyone has their own agenda. Seeing as how you are genetically part Oankali, it is my hopes that you won’t look too different from the rest of us. Perhaps you’ll be a quick learner, and will adapt more easily to this new world than we have. I hope that you’ll manage to live and learn and act like us, despite your genetics. If anything should happen to you, I hope that you’ll have matured enough to handle the situations to the best of your abilities.
The single most alien thing about the world Lilith is thrust into is the aliens themselves. There are many different aspects about them that seem to clash with what humans understand. To start, they look different. Jdahya is described throughout the beginning of the novel with detail paid to the ‘sensory organs’ on his ‘face’, giving him a humanlike appearance, but just enough that it’s foreign and thus ‘alien’. Continuing on, although he seems to act human, the thought process of the aliens is obviously different. Jdahya hardly shows emotion, and would just as soon continue to ignore Lilith than lie to her, as pointed out in class. The aliens give her the basic necessities, but ignore her for the majority of her containment, an ability most humans lack. The ooloi have a fascination with cancer, something that Lilith cannot understand. Everything that the aliens do, no matter how close to human actions as they may seem, have are a bit off from those human actions. By the fact that they are not human, they do indeed end up being the most ‘alien’ part of Lilith’s new world, both figuratively and literally.
I found it hard to choose any one page to have more significance than the others, but for my blog post I will go with page 66 of the Deluxe Edition of We3. It’s the page where the train has just been destoryed, and the cat and dog have fallen into the water. The dog spends his time pulling a man out of the water, telling himself ‘good dog, help man’. This seemed particularly important to me, because it accentuates the fact that the animals used in the testing really were just normal house pets. A dog is supposed to be man’s best friend, and it’s the dog who goes to help the man. Although the man is already dead, as shown on the next page, the dog still tries to save him. Meanwhile, the cat is off in the background hissing at the dog. This also seems true to the way animals act; cats love you when they feel like it, but are very independent creatures. The art also helps the reader to feel like the characters are not much more than just pets, shoved into unfortunate circumstances. By drawing a panel showing underwater the dog pulling the man to shore, you can see how much he is having to struggle to do so. Afterwards, the dog stands over the man, almost protectively. He compliments himself on helping, something most dogs have the sense to do for their owners. In this case, even though it’s the humans who have put the animals through horrific trials, and who then decide to get rid of them, the dog still wants to help out the men. This makes it more emotional for the reader, when the same humans the dog wants to save continue to try and kill him.
My initial difficulty upon beginning Neuromancer was the author’s style of writing. I realize he is making you think about the world you’re being tossed into, but personally that is one of my biggest peeves when reading. I feel like if an author is going to create another world for you, (s)he should explain that world, thus making the reading more enjoyable. As it is, I feel like he’s trying too hard to pull off the ‘hard-boiled’ vibe, and it makes the reading significantly less pleasurable and much more of a chore. I was also slightly perturbed with his use of Japan- Yes, it is a technological hub, but I felt like he just threw out locations at random, and had no real basis for why he was using those locations. I also felt that for those souls whom are unfamiliar with the Japanese language, putting words like gaijin alone would make the book all the more confusing. Mostly, my difficulties with this novel lie in his word choice. Reading through it was like swimming against a current of pudding, but significantly less tasty. I feel like his writing only caters to one audience. After struggling almost halfway through the book, I’ve come to the conclusion that it might be interesting, as well as probably make a good movie, if not for his wording. I could struggle through the novel, explanations or not, if it was written in a style that was appealing to me, but unfortunately: It isn’t.
My first impression upon reading ‘Darkwater’ was an instant reminder of the movie ’28 Days Later’. In fact, I think the basic beginning- waking up to a world now dead- is similar for most zombie flicks. Even ‘The Walking Dead’ begins with this scene. However, unlike in the zombie genre, tis story does not bring the dead back to life. It does; however, encompass one general rule: Survival. Written in a time of segregation and racism, the story plays at the basic human instinct to survive. Amongst a city of dead people, two survivors of opposite ends of the social structure find each other. It does not occur to either of them that they are black or white, just that they are two surviving humans. Tragedy brings people together. As illustrated again by zombie movies, it’s always an unlikely band of people with different backgrounds and skills who brave the apocalypse together, for the sole purpose of self-preservation. Although at the end ‘Darkwater’ clearly shows the extent of discrimination- the survivors wanting to kill the black man for surviving- It paints the black and white of society at that time.
After looking through the differences between the 1818 version and the 1831 version of Frankenstein, I was a bit shocked at the changes. Some changes were minor rewordings, although they seem quite pointless, but I can’t begin to comprehend the need to change something that has already been written and published. I understand the times were different, and certain views of Shelley were attempted to be erased; however, it changes the entire meaning of a novel. Take, for instance, the bible. I apologize if this comes off as offensive- But some people hang on every phrase within the bible as if it is an exact quote from the writings of Jesus’ time. Unfortunately, that, too, has been changed over time. Even through translation the bible loses some of it’s meaning, as not all words and phrases are directly translated from one language to another. That being said, Frankenstein loses some of its meaning by being changed. Perhaps the changes were made to make the reading easier on the peoples of the time. The text changes provided online show minimal changes; however, it has been noted in class that there are more major changes that cause the story to lose value. Perhaps Mr. M.K. Joseph, whose edition is quoted, wanted to feel like he had had his own hand in creating Frankenstein.
My copy of Frankenstein comes with a brief timeline of the life of Mary Shelley. Upon reading the creation of the monster, I’m reminded of the phenomena of postpartum depression. After bringing new life into this world- albeit in the form of a hideous creature- Frankenstein initially focuses only on the negative facts about the monster. It’s ugliness, it’s inability to communicate, as well as the mere unnatural circumstances surrounding its existence cause Frankenstein to reject the monster. Having read Frankenstein in the past, I know Shelley writes the monster character as a child: uneducated and seeking acceptance from it’s parent. Looking back at the timeline, Shelley had experienced a miscarriage that almost killed her before giving birth to a son. Both pregnancies were prior to her writing Frankenstein, and it occurs to me it could be possible she suffered through some form of postpartum depression, and is drawing from experience. During her relationship with future husband Percy Shelley, Mary had to cope with being his mistress, as he was already married. The year before Shelley completed Frankenstein, her half-sister committed suicide, and as well Percy Shelley’s wife, Harriet, was found drowned. The amount of stress in Mary Shelley’s life leads me to believe she may have also used Frankenstein as an outlet for said stress, and as such the story took on a dark theme. I believe that Frankenstein mirrors the difficulties in Shelley’s life at the time of writing.