Anthology Outline

Paula Urdaneta

University of Houston

ENGL 2330

Professor Bass

Anthology Outline

Theme: The main theme for stories presented is humanity itself and how is viewed through different perspectives, times and societies.

Introduction: Life can be observed in many ways, as meaningful or as meaningless as one can feel. In fact, humans are particularly sentient beings; with physical, emotional and mental responses to everything in their vicinity. Therefore, the thought of creation or destruction of life will always be present in nature as well of the possibility of artificial life to create an ideal or desired self.

Thesis: Despite artificial life, technological advances and virtual reality, humans by nature are able to feel empathy regardless of any situation they encounter themselves by their sacred and unique identity that acts as a tool to allow them to be real. Background information: Since humans were not created with an inherent purpose, it is natural that humans experience existential crises throughout their lifetime. Without facing these events it is impossible to truly discover or decide what meaning they wish to grant to their existence.

Main Point #1: In the works of Mary Shelley, “Frankenstein” is based on the creation of artificial life through the vast and advanced capacity of knowledge from a scientist who was desperate for greatness and success. This unleashed desire led his actions repercute against his life and the creature’s presenting negative events. Victor Frankenstein, sins he did not get his desire results, he proceeds to reject and hate his own creation.

Analysis: Due to the creator’s rejection towards the creature, this one itself develops unpleasant behaviors that make him seem “less human”. Ironically all humans when presenting rejection and lack of nurture, they naturally demonstrate unpleasant characteristics which means the creature/monster is as human as any other.

Main Point #2: The lack of empathy is present when humans do not allow themselves to feel and understand others. Rejection is the main factor that society is divided and eventually faces hardships and possible destruction. In the works of Phillip Dick, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” society is divided by real and artificial humans where the only factor that can serve to distinguish them is empathy. Even though humans in this story experience the means to be empathetic, ironically they contradict themselves by rejecting artificial life.

Analysis: In this futuristic world technological advances propasses humanity creating artificial life leading to society having to learn tolerance and acceptance.

Main Point #3: Technology has surpassed natural life by creating a dystopian futuristic world filled with a cybernetic culture. In the works of William Gibson, “Neuromancer” society is absorbed by technology and sees the value of life based on their capacity to connect to the “cyberspace”. Characters reject their natural human qualities and prefer to feel “high enough” in order to feel connected to their desired reality. To the extent of harming themselves with their lifestyle provoking dependency and addictions.

Analysis: This story resembles the harms humans can face with the imminent dangers of speeding technological advances.

Conclusion: Through paralleling a real society with a nightmarish futuristic dystopias these different stories but yet similar propose that the following traits are what determines who is a human being as a living soul who naturally develops a need for belonging. It is important to keep in mind that our own experiences and existences define and shape the views as worthy of being called a “human” despite being artificial or lost in reality.

Works Cited

Dick, Phillip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Ballantine Books, 1968.

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. 1st ed., Penguin Group, 1984.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, edited by Stanley Appelbaum and Candace Ward, Dover Publications, INC, 1994.