domingo, 10 de novembro de 2013

Frankenstein: Summoning Pandora


Our attitude toward technology is one of our most striking paradoxes, which inspire countless romanticized stories and philosophical treatises that mirror anxieties and fears. Our survival as individuals and species has always been conditioned by technologies created to improve living conditions and dependence on technology has never been so strong as in our contemporary era. On the other hand we have an almost visceral fear of technology and the science behind it. New technological developments are seen as potentially opening Pandora's box, spreading untold evils and corrupting mankind . Today, when the benefits of a universal education largely raised the cultural level of most humans and wonders of science are no longer mysteries, we feel a visceral fear of technological impacts. The old fears never faded. For example, biotechnology scares us with dreams of devastating plagues or freakish modifications to the human genome. Cybertechnology is still perceived as a threat to humanity, changing our lives and our minds in unpredictable ways.

Frankenstein is one of the stronger texts addressing the dichotomy between progress and its hulking potential horrors, made ??even more valuable for its earliness. Mary Shelley wrote in the early nineteenth century, when the industrial revolution was in its infancy and the impact of science in everyday life was very low, but touched a nerve that pervaded 20th and 21st century sensibilities.

The impact of the story of a man whose hubris and blind belief in the power of science takes him beyond moral boundaries in the quest for pure progress still resonates in our contemporary concerns . Not coincidentally, the subtitle of the book is The Modern Prometheus. Cursed by hubris, Doctor Frankenstein reaps the consequences of his actions, while the nameless creation is condemned to persecution by those who mistakenly see it as evil through no fault of his own. Ultimately, knowledge terrifies the human soul. We crave it, yet punish its unrelenting search with our fears.

(Mais uma tarefa do Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World. A imagem vem da extraordinária interpretação do clássico de Shelley por Berni Wrightson.)


(Edit: atenção que vem aí autocongratulação. É giro abrir a página das avaliações do curso, deparar com uma nota simpática e ainda com comentários deste calibre: "peer 3 → Your writing was absolutely phenomenal. I could find almost no flaw in it, other than the occasional punctuation omission. You vocabulary was excellent and shows that you had a very good knowledge of literature, especially using tragedy-related words such as hubris. Your sentence structure and grammar was impeccable, and this was truly a delight to read."; "peer 2 → Very much liked your argument and especially the conclusion. The best essay I read during the evaluation. Excellent last paragraph."; peer 3 → You made very good points in your essay, and it was actually extremely insightful. My problem with your essay was that there was a lot of analysis, but virtually no analysis related to the book. It is very good to analyze the human condition, but the readers want you to analyze the book. First of all, your very first sentence, which should be your thesis, should be related to the book. The novel is not mentioned until more than halfway through your essay. Second, the following paragraphs should be arguments supporting your thesis. These should always be examples taken from the book. Finally, finish by going back to your thesis.". Nada mau para um texto martelado a partir de alguns posts antigos sobre Frankenstein no cinema e literatura, aglomerado dentro do exíguo limite de 320 palavras dos ensaios do curso. E sim, pouco analisei do livro porque o que sempre me fascinou na obra de Shelley, aliás, Mary Shelley para distinguir do namorado poeta, é precisamente a dicotomia entre o mito de Prometeu e os temores dos impactos da ciência e tecnologia espelhados no hubris do doutor que quer transcender a finitude mortal do mundo natural.)

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