Burroughs Not Marinetti's Futurist Essay

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The potentials of the new technology created in the early twentieth century created a variety of reactions with in society. Some people embraced the changes, others resisted the developments, and still others fell somewhere in between. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s piece, “The Futurist Manifesto”, embraces the rapid transformation of society. His world is composed of fast, powerful machines and strong, young citizens. The Manifesto also depicts an aggressive, violent, and unjust world that is devoid of any morals. Edgar Rice Burroughs is another author whose work, A Princess of Mars, addresses the future and its possibilities. It is the story of John Carter, an American Civil War Veteran, who is mysteriously transported to Mars or Barsoom…show more content…
He says, “When we are forty let younger and stronger men than we throw us in the waste paper basket like useless manuscripts” (4). Just as significant as Carter’s significant prowess is his courageous, fearless, and violent demeanor. All of these traits are highly valued in Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto. Nonetheless, this initial glance of Burroughs’ work is highly deceptive. Though John Carter is violent, he only fights in self- defense or in the defense of his dependents like his Martian watchdog, Woola, and his love interest, Dejah Thoris. He exhibits a sense of morals and justice that Marinetti clearly rejects in his manifesto. Burroughs’ stress on the value of morality is further solidified by the comparison between the Tharks, the green Martians, and the red Martians of Helium. The green Martians are warlike, uncultured, and unjust, which contributes to their backwardness. On the other hand, the red Martians are highly civilized because they show fairness, lawfulness, and love. (transition) Marinetti even states in the “Manifesto of Futurism” that, “Beauty exists only in the struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character.” This suits Marinetti’s own piece because of the raw, violent, and sexual imagery used to describe the machinery in the future. For example, the reader is confronted with “rogue locomotives” and “hungry, roaring automobiles”. Furthermore, Marinetti says that the Futurists “want to glorify war because it is the

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