August 7 , ENG237H1
2 Hours. Only the lectures and readings from 15 July to 12 August.
Part A: Definitions and Identifications (30marks/ 10x3)
10 questions, 3 marks, define terms and concepts, passage identifications; point-
form answers are acceptable.
- Define and describe characteristics of [x]
- Passage, identify author, title, pov characters/speakers: [passage]
Choose 1 of the topic. Comparative Essay
Text assigned from 15 July to 12 August. Two of the texts must be Gibson and
Butler, third text is your choice (Swirsky, Watts, or Wilson)
Topics are designed from class.
Demonstrate that you can discuss in specific terms a particular event, significance,
particular about evidence. More specific. Risk of writing too little. Thorough essay.
Watt’s “The Things”
“I am being Blair. I escape out othe black as the world comes in through the front.
I am being Copper. I am rising from the dead.
I am being Childs. I am guarding the main entrance.” (PDF 1)
Tradition. Values that we have. What it means to be human, and significance of this.
Alien narrative. Concrete novum. Generate cognitive estrangement. Alien contact
invasion, primary outcomes: represent that encounter with difference.
Representation of the other. Exploring the nature of this encounter. Many of the
alien contact, result in and produce transformative experience to those who
encounter. Encountering the alien changes us in a profound way.
Purely fictional. Relatively rare. Humans perspective. Told from alien’s pov.
Very first word is “I”. First person narrative. Expectation? Identification with the
narrator. Only his perspective. Biased. Encourage with identifying with that point of
view. No establishing gender, no foreign. “being” not always. Something else.
Reliable and trustworthy? Fallible. Not all information is possible. Potential for
restricted and limited. Plays with assumptions and expectations. Steadily start to
realize that the narrator is not human and could be alien.
“being”. Asserts 3 different people. Implies that maybe the narrator’s identity is
unstable, plural. Scifi narratives employ language in specific ways. Normal expect
beings of words can give new and significant re-purpose. How can they be so many
people at the same time? What does being mean? A state of existence. A choice?
Potential ambiguity sentence structure. Not first language. Peculiar.
“I see myself through the window, loping through the storm, wearing Blair… I am
BlairChilds, exchanging news of the world.” (PDF1)
Merge clothing. Tendrils and faces. First real sense of physically different.
Something other than human. Humans are the other. Implication? Subjectivity and consciousness. We learn about the narrator’s perspective through language. Word
and idea such as communion is important. Using this “communion”. Bringing things
- mutual participation. Sharing, religious fellowship or converse,
“I was so much more, before the crash… took communion: the fit reshaped the
unfit… I was the very hand by which Creation perfects itself.” (PDF 1)
Constitutes produces violence between the narrator. Sees the colonialists. We don’t
see the entire humanity as the other.
“Adaptation is fitness, adaptation is survival… axiomatic… pleasurable… this world
doesn’t want to change.” (PDF 2-3)
“This is what the world taguth me: that adaptation is provocation. Adaptation is
incitement to violence…”
Permits survival. Fitness. Sex. Basic fundamental. Question assumptions. Positive
and proper, natural pleasurable thing.
“The snow tapers off and I remember an impossible test that stripped me naked…
Parasite. Monster. Disease. Thing… You soul-stealing, shit-eating rapist.” Child’s
language. Empathize with the narrator.
“But [MacReady] does care. He must… Not parts of a greater thing; these are things.
They are plural.” (PDF 6)
These are things. Humans are things remain isolated. Singular and inflexible and
frozen. Humans are unable to participate in a greater hole and unity. Why might
things be so appropriate? Sense of isolation.
“These poor savage things will never embrace salvation.
I will have to rape it into them.” (PDF 10)
Force communion. Help evolution. Relief humanity. More fit. Relate to status.
Another person or place, strange, foreign, different from, inconsistent with, nature
repugnant, adverse, opposed to, not naturalized.
Alien invasion/ contact narratives
Origins in fantastic voyage stories (1400s, 1500s)
Commentary on and critique of social/political context and human society
A defamiliarizing perspective on human culture and society
Allegories of the threat or paranoia of invasion by enemi