Presentation on theme: "An Introduction Original Cover Art to Brave New World."— Presentation transcript:
An Introduction Original Cover Art to Brave New World
Outline Science Fiction Dystopian Literature Approaches to Reading Science Fiction Approaches to Reading Dystopian Literature Brave New World – Areas of Focus
Science Fiction Science Fiction (also Scifi, SF) A genre of literature in which works are set in the future, or in a present time setting disrupted by a plot device (a new invention, an alien being). Science Fiction is also called speculative fiction, because it supposes what life might be like in the future or in an alternate past. In general, Science Fiction has the following characteristics: o Respects the limits of scientific or pseudoscientific possibility o Has a moral or ethical message o Tries to discern humanity’s role in the universe The value of Science Fiction lies in its ability to foresee tomorrow’s crises, to dramatize human implications and consequences, and to act out alternatives.
Types of Science Fiction Common topics: Utopia/Dystopia Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic Time Travel Extraterrestrial Invasion/Contact Humanity versus Technology Other Creatures/Other Worlds Subgenres of Science Fiction include: Hard Science Fiction Cyberpunk Dystopian Alternate Universe Space Opera
Science Fiction – History prior to Brave New World Scholars consider Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) the first work of science fiction Late 19 th Century: Jules Verne (1828-1905) – Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1869) H.G. Wells (1866-1946) – The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The War of the Worlds (1898) 1900-1936: The first magazines to feature science fiction - Amazing Stories (1926)and Weird Tales First use of the word “robot”: Karl Čapek’s RUR (1921) First film set in the future: Metropolis (1926) 1930s comic strips: Superman, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers helped spread science fiction to a wider audience. 1936: Aldous Huxley publishes Brave New World Front-page illustration to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Theodore Von Holst http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/gothicnightmares/rooms/room2_works.htm
Dystopian Literature Dystopian (sometimes “anti-utopian”) fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction. The word dystopia derives from combining the prefix dys- ; Latin for “bad” with the Greek topos “place”
Dystopia - Derivation The word “dystopia” developed as a contrast to Utopia - a word coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 work of the same name. Greek ou- “no/not” Greek eu- “good” In modern English, utopia came to mean “a perfect place.” Illustration from Sir Thomas More’s Utopia http://www.hughpearman.com/illustrations3/utopiaold.jpg
Dystopian Literature In dystopian fiction, the futuristic society featured is incredibly imperfect. The purpose of dystopian works is didactic. -Often written in reaction against movements -Propaganda that “points fearfully” at the future “for a change of attitude in the present” (The Science Fiction Encyclopedia) Dystopias often feature: A totalitarian regime oppressing members of the society Societal rejection of the past Strict conformity A character or group of characters hoping to reform the society Radically different technology
Dystopian Novels The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1898) We by Yevgeny Zamiatin (1920) Anthem by Ayn Rand 1984 by George Orwell (1948) Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (1952) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953) A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968) The Running Man by Richard Bachman (1982) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985) The Children of Men by P.D. James (1992) The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993) – Newbery Medal Winner Feed by M.T. Anderson (2002) Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (2003) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005) First edition cover of The Time Machine. First edition dust jacket from A Clockwork Orange.
Dystopian Films Metropolis (1927) THX 1138 (1971) Soylent Green (1973) Mad Max (1979) Blade Runner (1982) Brazil (1985) Akira (1988) The City of Lost Children (1995) Twelve Monkeys (1995) Ghost in the Shell (1995) Gattaca (1997) The Matrix (1999) Minority Report (2002) V for Vendetta (2005) Album Cover Art for Aldous Huxley’s BBC narration of Brave New World
Approaches to Reading Science Fiction Strategies to keep in mind. Be Patient: You may have to read several pages before you start “getting it.” Suspend Your Disbelief: Accept the universe the author presents. Reread: If you’re confused, acknowledge it and reread the challenging sections of text. Build your Vocabulary Skills: Rely on contextual clues for unfamiliar terminology. Synthesize: You have to remember content across numerous passages in order to make meaning out of the entire work.
Approaches to Reading Dystopian Novels In addition to applying the strategies for reading SF, the following ideas should help: Author’s Purpose – What lesson is being taught? Conventions – How does the work fit or differ from the conventions of the subgenre? Prepare to Be Offended – The ideas presented in dystopian literature are not pleasant
Brave New World: Tips for Reading Keep in mind that Huxley’s objective is to make the reader think about his own world. There will be many words you don’t recognize, and you won’t find them in a dictionary. The Complete Works of Shakespeare influences much of what John Savage says, does and thinks. Keep in mind that he is parroting words that he doesn’t necessarily fully understand and he’s taking those words out of context. Aldous Huxley, reading despite his near-blindness. The London Times http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_a nd_entertainment/film/article3602725.ece
Brave New World: Areas of Focus Structure of the Society: Keep track of the caste system Figuring out not just Who’s Who, but Who’s Important… Word Games: Look out for allusions, mottoes, cliches, and neologisms adapted from familiar English words and phrases