Science Fiction in Film and Literature
A paper which explores of the way science fiction is presented in film and literary form.
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The paper explores the theme of science fiction in film and literature since its beginnings with Jules Verne’s writings at the end of the nineteenth century. The paper shows how the best science fiction, both literary and filmic, explores issues of the individual in society, the nature of what it means to be human, and the morality of human decision making. While science fiction may be set in the future, it speaks to its contemporary audience about their problems and concerns. Science fiction works studied in this paper include Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, George Orwell’s 1984, Fritz Lang’s 1920s film “Metropolis” and the film “Blade Runner”, directed by Ridley Scott.
“Novels like Brave New World and 1984 were written in reaction to totalitarian regimes of the time and so used a possible future to comment on a real present. In his novel 1984, George Orwell warned of the seductions of government thought control as he saw them developing in the Soviet Union and elsewhere because of the tensions after World War II, and while the world never reached the state of control seen in that book, it did tend in that direction in response to threats, real and perceived. Huxley extended ideas about government control and psychological testing from his time into the future. Evgeny Zamiatin’s We is another novel about a totalitarian regime, a reaction to the same political realities of the 1930s and 1940s.”