Short essay – Ursula K. Le Guin

I decided to publish my short essays on the readings from the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course syllabus. The course started on the 1st of June and finished on the 14th of August. The essays were supposed to be around 270-320 words a piece. Today, I publish the essay that I wrote after reading Ursula K. Le Guin‘s The Left Hand of Darkness.

* These are my views and interpretations only

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It’s no wonder that Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness is cited having a very strong impact on the science fiction genre. It was Le Guin’s chance to truly explore the idea of a sexless and genderless society, something that had never been done like that before. Continue reading

Short essay – Ray Bradbury

I decided to publish my short essays on the readings from the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course syllabus. The course started on the 1st of June and finished on the 14th of August. The essays were supposed to be around 270-320 words a piece. Today, I publish the essay that I wrote after reading Ray Bradbury‘s The Martian Chronicles.

* These are my views and interpretations only

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If there’s one thing that became clear after finishing Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, it’s that we humans should stay far, far away from Mars. And not just because it’s a dangerous place for humans to be (as evidenced by the first few rocket landings and the fates that befell those crews), but mostly because humans would ruin Mars. Continue reading

Short essay – Edgar Rice Burroughs & Charlotte Perkins Gilman

I decided to publish my short essays on the readings from the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course syllabus. The course started on the 1st of June and finished on the 14th of August. The essays were supposed to be around 270-320 words a piece. Today, I publish the essay that I wrote after reading Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ A Princess of Mars and Charlotte Perkins Gilman‘s Herland.

* These are my views and interpretations only

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A Princess of Mars felt quite like the usual story of a Princess being saved by a ‘white knight’ – in this case the narrator John Carter himself – and Herland was more to my liking. Though both stories are narrated by men, and both men try to explain their surroundings to their audience, the similarities end there. Continue reading

Short essay – H.G. Wells

I decided to publish my short essays on the readings from the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course syllabus. The course started on the 1st of June and finished on the 14th of August. The essays were supposed to be around 270-320 words a piece. Today, I publish the essay that I wrote after reading H.G. WellsThe Island of Dr. Moreau, The Star, The Invisible Man and The Country of the Blind.

* These are my views and interpretations only

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As I read The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man and The Star by H.G. Wells, I was struck by the similarity of those works to the chuanqi. Continue reading

Short essay – Nathaniel Hawthorne & Edgar Allan Poe

I decided to publish my short essays on the readings from the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course syllabus. The course started on the 1st of June and finished on the 14th of August. The essays were supposed to be around 270-320 words a piece. Today, I publish the essay that I wrote after reading Hawthorne‘s The Birthmark, Rappaccini’s Daughter, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, and The Artist of the Beautiful and Poe‘s The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, The Oval Portrait, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, The Bells, The Raven, and Annabel Lee. * These are my views and interpretations only index2 In my mind, the assigned readings from Hawthorne and Poe all revolved around a few central themes. The biggest of those was Death. Death features very prominently in all of the stories; many of them actually ending in death (The Birthmark, The Fall of the House of Usher, Annabel Lee, etc.) or featuring a murder (Rappaccini’s Daughter, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, etc.) It isn’t very surprising per se: death is a constant. Death is the end of the line for everyone. It’s the one thing everyone has in common: we all die eventually. Continue reading

Short essay – Mary Shelley

I decided to publish my short essays on the readings from the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course syllabus. The course started on the 1st of June and finished on the 14th of August. The essays were supposed to be around 270-320 words a piece. Today, I publish the essay that I wrote after reading Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein – or the Modern Prometheus.

* These are my views and interpretations only

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is, to me, an example of the inversion of the well-known ‘ugly means evil’ trope. Continue reading

Short essay – Bram Stoker

I decided to publish my short essays on the readings from the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course syllabus. The course started on the 1st of June and finished on the 14th of August. The essays were supposed to be around 270-320 words a piece. Today, I publish the essay that I wrote after reading Bram Stoker‘s Dracula.

* These are my views and interpretations only

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula seems to focus on “the other” both in form and content. When I say “the other” I refer to a concept explained to me in my first year Area Studies lectures: “one defines him or herself by comparing oneself to another.” Continue reading