Melissa Miltz: Infinity

Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear (action figure)

The first thing that I thought of for this assignment is associating “infinity” with the ever-popular catchphrase from the movie Toy Story. The quote “To infinity… and beyond!” was made famous by the  character called Buzz Lightyear(pictured), who was inspired by the Apllo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Buzz’s character (a toy space ranger), actually believes that he is a space ranger capable of incredible feats. Here, infinity can be understood in terms of the bounds of the universe (there are none?), which Buzz intends to travel.

In this context, infinity seems to have a relatively similar meaning as it does in mathematics. It represents all we can fathom and quantify (be it numbers or planets), and everything beyond that.

However, I think there can also be another take on the implication of infinity in this movie; an underlying lesson, perhaps. Buzz’s character dreams big- infinitely big. I think this can make an interesting parallel to how infinity can be conceptualized in our daily lives. That is, many of us are urged from childhood by our adoring parents that our potential to succeed is infinite. While that may not be entirely true, I think the concept of having the opportunity to dream and know that there are infinite possibilities in life does play an important role in society. Buzz’s faith in limitless potential (see an excerpt from the movie here– until about 1:45) earned him the hero title in Toy Story. In a similar way, believing in some kind of infinite possibility has helped evolve many technologies and discoveries into their modern, current-day, successors.

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