The Collective Rather Than The Individual Hero

1514 WordsSep 25, 20167 Pages
Joanna Russ argues that science fiction is didactic and that it focuses on the collective rather than the individual hero while, Samuel R. Delany argues that science fiction is a distortion of the present. However, they both argue that science fiction must be learned, interpreted, and critiqued differently than other literary texts because it has its own unique conventions. Joanna Russ’s argument that science fiction in didactic and that it focuses on the collective rather than the hero is in a plethora of works from Delany to H.G Wells. When specifically focusing on the idea that science fiction is didactic one can look at Einstein Intersection which, like most of Delany’s novels, teaches us about racial/ethnic differences but, within this novel one could even go as far as to say that it teaches us about the cruel treatment of prisoners and the mentally insane. This is evident throughout the book when Delany describes the treatment of these “nonfunctionals” who are kaged under lower living conditions. The argument that science fiction is didactic is also seen in H.G. Well’s The Star, which teaches us that human skepticism and arrogance will inevitably be our doom. In the story we are introduced to a mathematician who knows exactly what will happen when the comet gets to Earth, “He looked at it as one might look into the eyes of a brave enemy. ‘You may kill me,’ he said after silence. ‘But I can hold you-and all of the universe for that matter-in the grip of this little
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