Racism is a big part of this book. It shows the absurdity of what people thought back then, which is an important lesson. It is important for us to learn what people’s views used to be, and how important it is not to go back to that mindset.
What makes speculative fiction believable is that it sounds realistic when the author is writing it.
Fiction is a powerful genre. In McMahon’s “The Function of Fiction: The Heuristic Value of Homer.” She says “(F)iction gives individuals the opportunity to explore a greater range of experiences than are actually available.” This is true on so many levels, fiction can take us to another world or realm or it can alter our reality here on earth. Fiction can pull you out of your day to day and put you somewhere more enjoyable, more exciting, more exotic than that of the four boring white walls of your dark apartment. In films and literature writers take us on adventures to millions of places, they take us to the Wild West for an exhilarating quick draw gunfight, they take us to lush rainforests filled with snakes, apes, and jaguars to find hidden treasures, they can even take us to a faraway castle where we can learn magic and go on ridiculous adventures to fight off an evil dark wizard named Voldemort. These are some situations that we are most likely never going to experience in real life ourselves but we are able to because of fiction. A favorite fiction of roughly 400 million people is the Harry Potter books and movies. This series prompts its readers to live in a world that is much like our own but with a little twist, Magic.
Without fiction our imaginations will never be achieved, everything will be boring and too real.
Much of the appeal surrounding science fiction is the fact that a lot of the genre exists far from what we experience in our own world, and far from what exists within our own imagination. The phrase, “cognitive estrangement” has been used to describe the way that a lot of science fiction makes us feel. In his essay, “Estrangement and Cognition,” Darko Suvin describes cognitive estrangement and its relationship with Science fiction as a genre. He writes, “Thus it is not only the basic human and humanizing curiosity that gives birth to SF. Beyond an indirect inquisitiveness, which makes for a semantic game without clear referent, this genre has always been wedded to a hope of finding in the unknown the ideal environment, tribe, state, intelligence, or other aspect of the Supreme Good (or to a fear of and revulsion from its contrary). At all events, the possibility of other strange, covariant coordinate systems and semantic fields is assumed,” which explains that the strange is what drives interest in Science Fiction. He emphasizes that it’s the weird that sets science fiction apart from other genres, including fantasy. This sentiment has been echoed by many other writers. In the same essay, Suvin writes, “The effect of such factual reporting of fictions is one of confronting a set normative system—a Ptolemaic-type closed world picture—with a point of view or look implying a new set of norms; in literary theory this is known as the attitude of estrangement.” This statement
Ever since the invention of language, humans have been obsessed and intrigued with the aspect of storytelling. Each story, whether written or spoken, holds an important theme within its creative words and exciting plot. While each story is special and unique, over the course of history, different periods of literature have formed where authors tend to focus on similar themes and messages. One of which was the American Romantic era, where authors used their stories to challenge the boundaries of society, and delve deeper into what makes people inherently human, both the flaws and perfections. Some of America’s greatest works of literature were born in this period, like those of Poe, and Hawthorne. A very common literary theme during the romantic period was that of good versus evil, in both individual characters and society as a whole; this theme is especially evident in works such as The Tell Tale Heart, The Raven, and Young Goodman Brown.
As new genres in the world of novels fade out of the public eye, new ones arise just as fast. A genre that has taken the world by storm is the dystopian trope. Many new young adult novels have this new genre incorporated into the story, often weaving in themes of sadness or conformity being overcome by rebelliousness and hope. It is one of the newest genres, yet one of the most widely varied compared to older ones. Even novels from 70 years ago, such as Ayn Rand’s Anthem share similarities with the same types of stories from only 20 years ago, like The Giver by Lois Lowry.
Within the texts racism is highlighted by the major characters, by impacting the spirit of the communities and exploring injustice.
Literature is important to allow readers to escape reality within the pages of a book, and also to preserve the past by reading about personal experiences and understanding the norms of different time periods. It is beneficial to provide a new world for the reader, but it shows our history and how it has changed over the years. Many fiction writers hint at real-world experiences or topics and it is up to the reader to interpret the theme of the literature. Authors write to preserve our past and to show a common theme as well as open the door to allow the reader to delve into the words on the page.
In these novels the theme I chose was racial prejudice, were it also gives a message racism and how far it could go. Further into “From An Ordinary” it's
As a black man, Samuel Delany has experienced discrimination and racism in a number of settings. However, as a Science Fiction writer he mostly explores racism in that community. Samuel Delany’s, “Racism and Science Fiction” explores how “Racism is a system. As such, it is fueled as much by chance as by hostile intentions and equally the best intentions as well. It is whatever systematically acclimates people, of all colors, to become comfortable with the isolation and segregation of the races, on a visual, social, or economic level”(31). Delany blames social traditions, and material and economic conditions for supporting the system. And not actual individuals. Delany supports his argument by giving three examples of when he has experienced racism in science fiction. The issue of racism in science fiction is presented by Delany when he tells his readers of an encounter with Isaac Asimov, his convention book signing partner, and his habitual panel placement with a fellow writer.
In 2014, growth has been made but there are new hindrances that stand in the way of Black representation. One problem is in the use of ethnic recasting, make normally white characters and casting them as people of color, which works in theory but has downsides in practice. Another is a form is representation that is not truly representation. Now, instead of creating stories that have black heroes, many stories have biracial characters. Others have characters whose race is not easily clear, or purposefully left undefinable. These characters are then called a
Through a number of important essays, Marleen Barr’s “Afro-Futurism” opens up a conversation about racial autonomy and collective agency in a literary space that seems to have been reluctant to even whisper about such things: namely, Science Fiction. Maybe that is not all that surprising given the genre’s predominantly white(ned?) literary categorization that, while it has no outright barred people-of-color, has not in turn seemed to make any meaningful space for them, either . Indeed, there is such an implicit racial claim of science fiction by White Culture that when a person-of-color is cast in one of the starring roles of a major Science Fiction production – oh, let’s say “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – that there is a massive outcry and calls for boycott and existential fears of white erasure.
Issues of racism, women discrimination and the corruption of power used to be subtly touched upon or ignored. However they were also viewed differently depending on the era it was brought up in. Yet as time passed by, it seems these issues have become common discussion. This change of significance in how the audience responds and view texts that carry the notions of marginalization can be seen by Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ and Arundhati Roy’s
Fiction is, and has always been a mirror for the real life. Therefore, literature, as the artistic tool used to deliver works of fiction, has been parallel to history from past to present. As the ideas evolved, the cultures evolved, and as the cultures evolved, literature evolved. However, there have been times when this evolution had help. In its core, this is what happened in the Renaissance era. As people rediscovered the ideas and cultures of the past civilisations, Middle Ages, in which the evolution of thinking was going backwards, came to an end with a leap in thinking style. People realised they have been stuck at one point because of twisted religion and blind violence between people, and learned to look through individual glasses. These new individual glasses gave huge importance to human, rather than vast kingdoms and large groups, and focused on the core. They moved on from their one-sided viewpoint in life, which was giving the ultimate importance to the afterlife, and gave themselves to discovering