Science fiction can be described as the genre of speculative fiction that deals with not only the imaginative concepts but futuristic concepts as well. It has been observed that science fiction novels, movies, and books question the reader's ability to think rationally regarding the importance of human life. Science fiction sheds light on this issue by a combined exploration of the technological and psychosocial aspects regarding the way people might think and interact. Several Sci-Fi books and even films are made to depict the importance of human life. This paper will discuss why each science fiction novel emphasizes a lot on what it means to be human and what lessons it teaches us about humanity concerning the real world. This essay will discuss the aforementioned thesis statement in the texts, The Island of Doctor Moreau and Annihilation or Spin.
In The Island of Doctor Moreau, Wells has described the horrors of using animals for experimenting purposes, for instance, the plot extensively deals with the accounts of creatures who are half animals and half-humans. It signifies the practice of vivisection in England before Darwin gave his famous theory of Evolution. Similarly, it shows the superiority of humans over animals since they are treated as humanized slaves and they are made to serve humanity. Since they cannot describe their pain and cannot pose any opposition against their inhumane treatment. In the novel, Dr. Moreau can be seen as curious about this procedure because it allows him to make beast men in comparison to human men. Similarly, he feels like a powerful entity since these mad experiments make him feel like a demigod. In the novel, Wells has employed the symbolic terms of “travesties” and “mockery” to define the nature of Beast men. Similarly, it explores another significant point that being human does not give the man permission to destroy the natural ecosystem of the other species. Moreover, animals cannot develop the physical attributes of humans because they have their own biological needs and behavioral traits. Humanity is a higher attribute of human beings and it should remain their distinctive quality since the idea of empathy sets them apart from being ruthless. The unrest found in the behavioral patterns displayed by the Beast men signifies that they cannot fully develop themselves as natural human beings. This novel reflects on man's obsession with science and how he exploits the positive aspects of science to achieve the status of a demigod and disrupts the natural order. Besides, the ability to think and reciprocate is only given to human beings and not the other species.
Men cannot play God because it destroys the natural balance and man is ambitious by nature, similarly, the experiments of Prendick symbolize the poor execution of his ambitious ideas. His experiments ascribe to Darwin’s idea of “survival of the fittest” because now these animals have both the traits of a human and an animal. The disgust described by the tone of the narrator reveals it to the readers that this idea can never be normalized and it gives an eerie feeling. Similarly, it places man as a supreme creation over animals and he violates all sense of morals and ethics to create hegemonic superiority over the rest. It also raises questions at the identical sense of animals because they add beauty in the face of this earth and such practices can endanger many species. Wells also predicts the practice of cloning and poaching that is quite common these days and prove fatal to multiple rare species such as tigers. This state of chaos gets uncontrolled and Prendick cannot differentiate Beast men from real men at the end of the plot. Both species shave to coexist together in this world which includes diverse ecological systems and habitats. Unfortunately, man does not respect the boundaries set by the divine order and encourages the practices of deforestation and experimentation on animals. For instance, in the novel, tamed and once peaceful animals become untamed and start attacking each other. Likewise, they possess the intellectual abilities of human beings and physical superiority over them. In this scenario, they know about every possible hiding of human beings and they are thirsty for their blood. They have taken over the human world where they encourage mass killing and are soothed by sedatives to forget their pain.
Similarly, in the other text, Annihilation scientific advancements are seen to jeopardize man’s ability to use this technology for the benefits of a shared ecosystem. The biologists and the psychologists find the remnants of cursive writings when they explore their surroundings in a jungle. The protagonist finds herself among people belonging from some other species who possess speaking and writing abilities. They inquire about her whereabouts and native land because they never encountered an outsider in their habitat. In this adverse situation, her other peers cannot make it to the basecamp and she gets abducted by the other species. However, in this novel, humans cannot be seen experimenting with science like the above-discussed novel. The plotline starts when as a result of man's invasions in the earth, a lot of damage has already been caused to mother nature. In a setting of Area X, the biologist is left stranded to find the answers because she cannot associate the connection between the past and the present events. The wandering tone of the narrator symbolizes the meaning behind the lot purpose of man and his ruthless actions performed in the face of the earth to gain a sense of superiority. The elements of hostile nature further add into the bleak picture of nature such as abandoned village and a lighthouse which is not in order. Some creatures howl in the distance but they never come out, besides, this area attracts the attention of many tourists and scientists. They either do not make it alive or even if they get successful in coming out alive, their psychological state deteriorates. The narrator finds the relics from decades ago in the form of old photographs which indicates that there was life before in Area X. Moreover, the deteriorated psychological state causes the survivors to commit suicide. In this version of human experiences, life cannot be found in all its might with the bounties of nature and animals adding beauty in the natural ecosystems. This book discusses the aftermath of human invasion in the forests and Area X has crumbled because of it without any sign of living.
Science fiction points to the significance of science in the thought process of man and how he perceives his surroundings. Likewise, literature narrates the human experiences and different phenomena that pervade his life. this genre specifically serves as a reminder to the readers that science has many positive aspects that cannot be denied. However, man perceives scientific advancements and technology as a short way to gain superiority over God and disrupt the natural order. The stories in this genre, generally deal with the aspects of man and his mad ambition through which he wants to take over the world. In both these novels, the aspect of mass destruction and experimentation on animals is suggestive of this sad reality that man is adamant to treat the submissive creatures ruthlessly. Similarly, the dystopian element present in Annihilation shows the remains of this world as a result of man and his selfish ways to achieve superiority through science. Likewise, Wells, through the character of Prendick symbolizes that when man disrupts the natural order, he has to bear its consequences which unfortunately do not result in good tidings. Moreover, this genre extensively deals with the idea of man and his uncertain quest for ambition which never stops. This genre shows humanity in both its powerful and vulnerable state because he corrupts the essence of humanity through the practices of mass destruction in the world. Humanity can be seen as crumbling in this genre because man no longer views kindness and empathy as great virtues. It shows a man in multiple emotions of anger, disdain and resentment, similarly, when man destroys everything, he realizes the importance of religion and God. Since it is with religion and morality, that he can be tamed in a way but this genre, man tries to take up the responsibilities of God by becoming a demigod. Through this aspect of storytelling, readers get to view the resentment modern man shows towards the concept of law and order. Human relationships with one another can be seen as ill at odds as well because ambition can drive anyone insane and they violate the emotions of love and kinship in their way to achieving supremacy and eternity. Moreover, in literature the idea of humanity has seen many transitions, in the early genres of classical literature, man can be seen finding the meaning of his life. then in the era of romanticism, he develops a strong association with the objects of nature and becomes its pagan lover. Lastly, in the age of modernism and postmodernism, the technological takeover can be seen prevalent in literature as well because it has modified man and his way of living as well.
VanderMeer, Jeff. Annihilation. Au diable Vauvert, 2016.
Wells, Herbert George, and Jim Roberts. Island of Dr. Moreau. Fictionwise, Incorporated, 2000.
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