City Tech, Fall 2016

Author: Johnny (Page 1 of 3)

Johnny Zapata – Reflection & Final Write Up

Recently amongst science fiction academia and aficionados, animosity towards religion has been mitigated. In the genre, the relationship between religion and science has been cyclical, with each coming out on top at different times throughout the decades. Recently however, the two ideologies have seem to have come to a stalemate, they have acquiesced that each has their merits in the world of the future. However, the clash of ideologies has fueled science fiction (SF) for over a century, many of the genre’s roots are in challenging theology. SF does not need to generate vitriol, only continue the sport, the great debate.

In literature, religion is one of the greatest antagonists of all time in SF, in not all the genres. SF has often presented religion as a necessary antagonist, as a force that prevents science from acting with impunity and careless abandonment for its actions. Without the great adversary that is religion, science becomes unchallenged. Moreover, were sciences to partake in conversation with itself, no new ideas would arise. Religion must continue acting as science’s greatest opponent within SF so that we may speculate and prepare for a universe with other forms of intelligent life, a world where we create life, and a world in which we play god. Before we revel in that future, we should ask ourselves questions that fall into the purview of religion. Neither field may provide absolute answers, but the debate between science and religion can offer catharsis and fuel imagination.

Discussed in this essay are the roles religion has played in James Blish’s A Case of Conscience, Isaac Asimov’s Reason, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Lester Del Rey’s Into Thy Hands and the poetry of Tracy K. Smith are observed through second hand sources. Retrospective looks into these SF works are provided by Robert Adam’s The History of Science Fiction , Rudy Busto’s Religion/ Science/Fiction: Beyond the Final Frontier, Kimberly Rae Connor’s The Speed of Belief: Religion and Science Fiction, Steven Hrotic’s Religion in Science Fiction: The Evolution of an Idea and the Extinction of a Genre, James McGrath’s Religion and Science Fiction, and Paul Nahin’s Holy Sci-fi!: Where Science Fiction and Religion Intersect.

 

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Class Notes for 12.15.16

Class Notes for December 15th, 2016.

Professor Belli shared with the class her favorite cookies that she had been lugging with her all day. Alex also courteously provided chocolates. Thanks again!

Reminder, please be tidy in your classrooms as some of the staff are becoming experts in small mammal coprology.

More importantly, please spread the word Professor Belli’s course next semester Paradise, Perfection, Anarchy, & apocalypse: The World-building of Utopias & Dystopias, English 3402-D602: Topics in Literature.

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Passionate peer reviews were exchanged and the drafts were discussed in groups.

Important Information

Final Draft, including the cover letter, is due on Monday, December 19th before 11:59 pm. The cover letter is an integral part of the final draft and your grade, it is not inconsequential. The assignment will be posted to OpenLab in PDF form alongside a 300 word abstract in the post. The assignment must also be submitted to Dropbox as a word document.

The final course reflection is due the next day, Tuesday December 20th by 4:00 pm. This is also part of the final assignment. It will be addressed privately to Professor Belli, so feel free to speak candidly and honestly. Comment on the course overall and use of the OpenLab website. This is to be submitted to Dropbox as a word document.

More on that here: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2016-eng2420/wrapping-up-the-semester/

Additionally, for Professor Belli’s convenience, mental fortitude, and your own grade, label the papers clearly.

E.g. Johnny Zapata, Archive Project Final Draft

Also, papers that do not have in text citation or a works cited page will not be accepted. Anyone who plagiarizes will fail the assignment. If you are uncertain how to properly cite a work, there are resources online and Professor Belli will gladly answer any questions emailed within reasonable time.

If you fail the assignment for any reason, you will fail the course.

Proposals for Science Fiction activities in City Tech!

  • I humbly proposed a Science Fiction book club in which no one would physically attend. I had good intentions.
  • Another proposal, Science Fiction versus Science Fact club.
  • Live chat in OpenLab

Professor Belli congratulated the class on their hard work, perseverance and the classes’ overall progress.

Good luck everyone!

Religion’s Role in Science Fiction

Science fiction has often presented religion as a necessary antagonist, as a force that prevents science from acting with impunity and careless abandonment for its actions. The future may grant us immense powers, such as creating life and ruling over other intelligent life forms. Before we revel in the future, we should ask ourselves questions that fall into the purview of religion when science plays God. Neither field may provide absolute answers , but the debate between science and religion can offer catharsis.

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Science Fiction’s Worthy Adversary

Sources

Steven Hrotic. Religion in Science Fiction: The Evolution of an Idea and the Extinction of a Genre

Hrotic chronologically tells the metanarrative of religion in genre science fiction. Hrotic discusses the several possible inceptions of SF and how religion played a role even then. He provides summaries of various texts and evidence for certain attitudes that were prevalent in the genre at the time they were written.

Paul J Nahin. Holy Sci-Fi! Where Science Fiction and Religion Intersect

In his text, Nahin discuses philosophical and religious questions presented by other science fiction authors. In brief sections, he discusses Religions in SF, time, time travel, Jesus Christ, omniscient gods in SF, religious robots and computers that became gods in SF.

James F. McGrath. Religion and Science Fiction

McGrath edits and presents a collection of thoughts collated by several of his peers on the various intersections of theology and science fiction, not only in literature, but in film studies, history, philosophy, cultural studies and religious studies as well. The goal of the collection of essays is to bring together the various mediums approach to similar questions and provide a cohesive collection of themes and ideas on the aforementioned topic.

Adam Roberts. The History of Science Fiction

Roberts undertakes the admittedly ambitious task of telling the history of SF, or at the very least connect the dots between the modes of thought in the literary genre throughout the centuries. More importantly, he traces the genre far back to ancient Greece and tells its SF’s story up to the twenty first century.

Rudy V. Busto Relgion/Science/Fiction: Beyond the Final Frontier

Busto presents three SF short stories that promote religious speculation, as opposed to the prevalent belief among layman that religion is an antagonist to SF. He also calls into question the boundaries between SF and religion by examining Minority Literature in the genre and writings by his own students on the topic.

Robert M. Geraci. Robots and the Sacred in Science and Science Fiction: Theological Implications of Artificial Intelligence

Geraci discusses the interesting cocktail of emotions concerning the potential advent of artificial intelligence. He discusses how SF through literature and film has elevated the man made beings to a something divine and how humans may potentially react to these man-made gods.

Introduction Draft

Recently among science fiction academia and aficionados, animosity towards religion has been mitigated. In the genre, the relationship between religion and science has been cyclical, with each coming out on top at different times throughout the decades. Recently however, the two ideologies have seem to have come to a stalemate, they have acquiesced that each has their merits in the world of the future. However, the clash of ideologies has fueled science fiction for over a century, many of the genre’s roots are in challenging theology. SF does not need to generate vitriol, only continue the sport, the great debate. In literature, religion is one of the greatest antagonists of all time in SF, in not all the genres. Without the great adversary that is religion, science becomes complacent. Religion must continue acting as science’s greatest opponent for SF so that we may speculate and prepare for a world with artificial intelligence, a world where we make gods, and we become deities.

Topic Sentences/ Questions

An antagonist isn’t necessarily a villain; it’s can be a force that works towards the same goal as the protagonist.

The best antagonist knows the protagonists weaknesses and force it to make difficult decisions that reveal its true nature.

Would the society be better off without antagonism, without conflict?

What would happen if either theology or science proved victorious in achieving all the answers, or the ultimate answer?

Ultimately, the goal of creating artificial intelligence is to create a being that is greater than us. Should we make to be gods, or should we act as imperfect gods for them?

Should religion be allowed to propagate beyond earth, should human civilization?

A Debate Spanning Decades

In delving deeper into my research of science fiction involving religion, I found a daunting rich fountain of multitudinous ideas. Narrowing down on an idea was an initially a intimidating task that I delayed by researching. What I ultimately found most interesting was the dialogue held between SF authors on the topic of religion throughout the decades.

While SF was greatly influenced by contemporary events, prevalent assumptions and schemas of the genre, attitudes toward religion are nonetheless not as homogeneous as I had believed. In the present political climate, the term echo chamber has aptly surfaced to demonstrate how certain ideas propagate within a community. SF it seems has always acted as a necessary needle for popping the aforementioned bubbles. Science fiction can help us understand something as contentious as religion and help dissolve societal assumptions, schemas within the genre, and the author’s own beliefs.

In hindsight it is easy to scoff at ideas that are clearly misguided, but contemporary assumptions are easily often overlooked. In the nineteenth century, it was widely accepted by academia that religion was obsolete and a vestigial tool of primitive cultures. Equally upsetting, if not more so, was the unchallenged belief that religion survived due to the naivety and gullibility of women. Noted female author Charlotte Perkins Gilman responded to the reductive conclusions of women and religion with her SF novel Herland (1915). Gilman depicts a female utopia without men, and without limited assumptions of female capabilities. I’ll end this thread here, don’t want to spoil anything. Not only does SF help dispel societal assumptions, it helps the authors undo their own assumptions.

Prodigious author Robert A. Heinlein has had left permanent marks in SF and society as a whole, as his works spanned the decades, his views of religion have been agile and amenable. In his novella If This Goes On – Heinlein presents a theocracy with a religious leader that abuses his power to satiate his lust. Moreover Heinlein adds a postscript in which he states that dogma should not be taught in schools at all and that religion is “a personal matter between each man and his God” (150)  Heinlein’s view of religion as an individual pursuit  is clear and unequivocal. It then shocked me when I read a synopsis of a Heinlein’s novel Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) in which he posits that religion can create the deepest communal bonds in a society. Like a master playing chess against him-self, Heinlein seems to engage in discussion with himself through his works.

I would be remiss to not mention that one of the prevalent schemas in SF is that religion is a societal tool for manipulating people and as a result is a widely held belief today. Many texts have been written in which religion is used to either sway the public to ill effect or to their benefit. Religion being an indelible part of society, should Government use religion to sway the people and make them happier, easier to manage? For such questions I’ll examine works of Roger Zelazny, H.G. Wells, and Lester Del Rey.

Sources

Hrotic, Steven. Religion in Science Fiction: The Evolution of an Idea and the Extinction of a Genre. London: Bloomsbury, 2014. Print.

Kreuziger, Frederick A. The Religion of Science Fiction. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State U Popular, 1986. Print.

Kurtz, Paul, Barry Karr, and Ranjit Sandhu. Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2003. Print.

Nahin, Paul J. Holy Sci-fi!: Where Science Fiction and Religion Intersect. New York: Springer, 2014. Print

Roberts, Adam. The History of Science Fiction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Print.

 

 

R & R

Reflection

My first proposal was noncommittal, I thought I at least one of my ideas may hold water and that I might reach some catharsis out of thin air. However, being so indecisive set me back. So first of all, I formed a topic out of rudderless musings. Admittedly, it was not the topic that I was most enamored with; however, it is definitely the most (the only) coherent one. I began my tentative research with Google scholar.

The very first result provided some pages from Carl Freedman Critical Theory and Science fiction. I recall perhaps seeing this book in Professor Belli’s collection of literature, so I thought this was a fortuitous start. I of course did not read the whole book, but the text on the whole did not prove as relevant as I would have hoped, except for one passage, “… it need not be denied that science and religion, as interpretive modes by which human beings grapple with the largest questions confronting their species, may well display points of resemblance” (99). Freedman states very matter of fact something I had not considered. As I was researching, I was uncertain of what precisely I wanted to say about the relationship between religion and science fiction. Freedman’s seemingly casual statement was what I needed to get started in the right direction.

As I found more relevant texts, I also picked up on some vernacular of the genre. Many authors also make brief mentions of other authors and their work, which are rich with information as well. As I write this, my thesis is still vague. I want to do more research but I need to be decisive and act with more alacrity. I would like to elaborate on my claim that SF allows for discussion of religion without some of the unintended vitriol. It is often seen as a faux pas or a contentious act to bring up religion in a discussion. Especially in today’s political climate, there is a lot of fear and violence surrounding people’s differing religious views. SF being marginally removed from reality allows for discussion without the venom.  Perhaps a great deal can be learned from past SF authors response to the similar, if not identical, issues. Criticizing a simulacrum situation that only exists within the novel allows for a close reading of our own societies religions. Admittedly, I feel like I am still saying something banal, and I also want to make sure I don’t inadvertently proselytize.

Revised Proposal

 

Admittedly, I am agnostic and have generally considered the division between science fiction and religion to be axiomatic. It had been in my opinion, that introducing elements of religion into a work removes it from the genre of speculative SF and moves into the realm of fantasy. However, after a brief foray into the texts that have discussed the intricate relationship between the two, the dichotomy I had imagined began to deteriorate. I would like to research and prove that theology is a corner stone of science fiction, that SF has created a safe space for potentially blasphemous questions, and that the genre allows for intelligent discussion of how religion will play a role in our future.

In my cursory investigation, I gained knowledge of one of the earliest, if not the first, tale of science fiction. I found the information in a retrospective of the genre, The History of Science Fiction by Adam Roberts. In it, Roberts brings to the reader’s attention a tale from 1532 by Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto titled Orlando Furioso (Mad Roland). The tale recalls the adventures of a knight being taken to the moon by a Saint to regain a physical manifestation of his wit. Roberts adds that the tale is not strictly speaking science fiction, “Rather, he [Ariosto] takes material Man as far as he is permitted within the theological constraints of the pre-Copernican cosmos. SF doesn’t happen in that place.” (35) Far be it for me to tell Roberts what is and isn’t science fiction, but I don’t believe Ariosto’s tale should entirely discounted. Given the beliefs of the time and the consequences of speaking against the church, I think Ariosto was quite bold for intertwining science fiction elements into his religious epic. Admittedly it is difficult to categorize the epic as paradigmatic science fiction, but on a visceral level, traveling to the moon is a one the most prevalent images of the iconography of science fiction.

Throughout the last century, SF literature has proffered profound dialectical discussions concerning all matters of life, religion not withholding.  Moreover, religion and science fiction are more alike than most would presume, as both can be tools for confronting life’s mysteries. In his text, Religion in Science Fiction, Steven Hrotic enumerates various reasons why science fiction is distinctly qualified to examine the role of religion in contemporary life and life in the future.  In fact, a great deal of critically acclaimed science fiction in the twentieth century involved religion. Hrotic states “From the mid-1920s, science fiction has evolved specifically to engaging not ‘science’ but scientific ways of viewing the world and the societal impacts of technologies. Naturally, given Western assumptions about the supposed oppositional stances of science and religion, genre authors considered the contrasting end of the hermeneutic spectrum.” (8) Much to my curiosity, Hrotic adds that each generation of authors offered different views of Religion that aren’t immediate obvious. As time progresses, science fiction authors viewed Religion with less disdain and became more amenable to its perspectives and observations.

I have often considered an idealized society to be free of Religion; in hindsight I had been unnecessarily hostile and intolerant of others by holding that point of view. Science fiction authors have had the foresight to recognize Religion is more than an “opiate” as Karl Marx cynically stated. Religion has been in invaluable to laying roots for science fiction and for acting as both an antithesis and a partner to the genre.

Sources

Hrotic, Steven. Religion in Science Fiction: The Evolution of an Idea and the Extinction of a Genre. London: Bloomsbury, 2014. Print.

Kreuziger, Frederick A. The Religion of Science Fiction. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State U Popular, 1986. Print.

Kurtz, Paul, Barry Karr, and Ranjit Sandhu. Science and Religion: Are They Compatible? Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2003. Print.

Nahin, Paul J. Holy Sci-fi!: Where Science Fiction and Religion Intersect. New York: Springer, 2014. Print

Roberts, Adam. The History of Science Fiction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Print.

Cacophony of Ideas

What is a heterotopia? I’ve read about twenty minutes’ worth of text and am no closer to understanding it? I had a couple of sentences here I deleted because I realized they were incoherent, I’m not sure where to begin unraveling that idea. Its definition seems to be very malleable or maybe I’m just not familiar enough with the argot of science fiction.

Google searches led me down a rabbit hole filled with terms like enculturation, structuralism and isotopism. I felt like I was looking for patterns in a Jackson Pollack painting. Walter Russell Mead threw me a bone with one of his analogies in his essay Trains, Planes, and Automobiles: The End of the Postmodern Moment

Heterotopias are essentially static. The differences between the passengers in an airport do not rub off; the devout Muslim woman visiting relatives is not much affected by the fashion model next to her, who is flying off to Tokyo for a shoot. As a heterotopia, an airport is a place where difference does not really make much difference; thesis and antithesis sit side by side, and there are no syntheses to be seen or had… The world’s many cultures and ideas are all jumbled together, but the differences between them will not lead to conflicts that resolve those difference. (14)

How does this tie in with science fiction? Well, I do not have a definitive answer. Granted science fiction is a genre where imagination and the mundane shake hands, but doesn’t feel like a very acute observation. Does living in a heterotopias then mean that you are not shaped by your surrounding environment and free to be whoever you want to be? Is that not a kind of utopia?

Another idea I had.

Following the class discussion on subjectivity and how only select voices get the privilege of being recorded for posterity, I wondered is comedy unworthy of close reading? I’m certain some niche people would say yes it is, but not the vast majority. Science fiction was only relatively made “cool” by people like William Gibson and George Lucas, but is still relatively niche. Putting science fiction and comedy together, and you’ll have something that people will snub their noses at. Even Shakespeare’s problem plays don’t get as much public attention as his more austere works.

A Google search lead me to a speech by Douglas Adams titled Is there an Artificial God? In which amongst his many witticism he says “So, in the end, in the absence of an intentional creator, you cannot say what life is, because it simply depends on what set of definitions you include in your overall definition. Without a god, life is only a matter of opinion.”  Adams also goes on to imagine how early man came about creating an image of god, and how in his opinion it has been the height of hubris to think that a god created all of the universe just for us. Perhaps I should look at how theology has been perceived in science fiction. Many people see science and theology as antithesis of one another. It may be interesting to see how religion has been explored in science fiction throughout the century. To see if there have been any prevailing ideas or perhaps some interesting outliers.

 

Sources

Adams, Douglas. “Is there an Artificial God?” Digital Biota 2, Cambridge U.K. September 1998.

http://www.biota.org/people/douglasadams/

Foucault, Michel. “Des Espace Autres”. Architecture, Mouvement, Continuité. October 1984.

http://foucault.info/doc/documents/heterotopia/foucault-heterotopia-en-html

Mead, Walter Russell. “Trains, Planes, and Automobiles: The End of the Postmodern Moment”. World Policy Journal. 1995–1996.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/40209444.pdf\

Adams, Douglas (September 1998). “Is there an Artificial God?”http://www.biota.org/people/douglasadams/

 

A Work In Progress

I’ve always enjoyed the intertextuality of film and literature. My foray in science fiction began with cinema and my brother’s comic book collection. References were always easier to spot in those mediums. An homage to another movie was always easy to spot, as well as one illustrator’s callback to another’s work stood out clearly to me. However, finding these connections in literature is much more challenging and rewarding. I’ve greatly enjoyed the intricate web of intertextuality presented to us in class. It’s enriched my reading of the novels, some of which I’ve read before. Moreover, as I continue to digest media in my spare time, reoccurring ideas from other works leap at me from screens and pages, much of which would have likely gone unnoticed were it not for this course. I’ve always kept in mind that all art is autobiographical and am always keeping an ear out for the author’s voice to leap out.

I remember a couple years ago, I was walking along a road, reading pages under widely spaced streetlights and heavy snow, and Charles Bukowski had stopped me in my tracks. It was a line from his semi-autobiographical novel Ham on Rye. Young Bukowski describes reading books late into the night underneath his blanket. “When someone else’s truth is the same as your truth, and he seems to be saying it just for you, that’s great.” I remember reading it for the first time and thinking “Wow!” The sentence didn’t have any flourishes that grab my attention, but It was a feeling, a truism, I’ve sensed before but hadn’t articulated. It’s felt amazing to connect with an author for a brief moment. It felt like a deep bond was created. It was a sort of eureka moment for me, that feeling was what I was seeking, it why I was reading a book in the incessant Buffalo weather half an hour past midnight.

Thus far, the literature discussed in class has given me a similar feeling of elation, a feeling of intimacy with the authors. It’s not just the texts, it’s all the elements of the class. The groups collective enthusiasm to discuss the texts, the high powered inspection provided by debate, subsequent introspection and the intensive amount of writing all let me see what could potentially be the writer’s intent. I can’t presume to know the author, but the knowledge shared in class has given the literature a more emphatic voice in my head.

As for the amateur-writer typing this, I have found writing to be the opposite to getting back on a bike. After a long hiatus of not writing, I did stumble frequently into pitfalls I should have been conscious of. You would think I am the writer I know best, but I still struggle to make my writing distinctly my own. Nonetheless, I can confidently say I’ve gotten more comfortable on my “bike” again, and I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed the places it has taken me.

Getting back into the routine of reading and writing, my appreciation for science fiction has grown. However, my beliefs have remained steadfast, if not reinforced. Perhaps I am stubborn and obstinate in my opinions, but I continue to have a cynical view of humanity. I view the texts as dark cautionary satire’s of humanity, using science fiction to reflect the worst of our traits and capabilities. Furthermore, as the definition of humanity becomes even more ambiguous, I become more convinced that life is infinitesimal and we are looking to fill a void with mystery, when really there is none. Sorry about the angst, I really am quite a happy person. I don’t know if it is possible, but I would like to read something that would make me optimistic about humanity.

On happiness, I’ve remained quite resolute on my opinion on it as well. I know that this is a purview you have exhaustive knowledge on Professor, but I think I have my happiness figured out. Sorry about the arrogance, but even if am I objectively wrong about happiness, I revel in my ignorance. I enjoy the projections that even in a world empowered by mind blowing technology, people continue to mire in ennui and stultifying lives. It reaffirms my opinion that happiness is a choice, not a destination or a goal to reach. Even the ubiquitous fake-smile in selfies gets the brain’s chemistry going, tricking the body into releasing endorphins. Happiness is easy, even if life is not.

This may not be the answer your looking for, but, I’m want to learn more about my fellow classmates during the second semester. Some people have written some really insightful things in their blogs, but sit quietly in class. During our group discussions, I tend to strong-arm the group towards my answer, but nonetheless people have provided some very salient points that have changed my mind. I think I’ll make a point of reading blogs more closely and calling people out in class to defend their view, play devil’s advocate. The class gets a little unruly, but I enjoy the contentious topics in class the most.

As the semester continues, I think it will be fair winds for this easy sailor. Sadly, however, I will likely fall off the bike again after the class ends. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe this next half semester can influence me to continue my travels. Fingers crossed.

Myopia

Ridley Scott’s futuristic noir film Blade Runner beautifully creates an alien world brimming with life. The film’s antagonists, the replicants, make a desperate and violent plea for more life; and Deckard is brought on to dole out their deaths. As Deckard carries out his task, the replicants impart him with the gifts of sight, introspection, and proffer questions about life.

Batty’s retribution for his cursed existence begins by menacingly repurposing a poem by William Blake, immediately it is evident Batty is a person of immense acuity, greater than anyone else.  He interrogates the eye designer and remarks “Chew, if only you could what I’ve seen with your eyes.” (00:28:50). It seems oddly fitting that Roy later kills Tyrell by gouging out his eye and Leon later attempting to do the same to Deckard. As though they do not merit their eyes, they are gifts being squandering. The world is blinded by perpetual darkness and ceaseless rain. Tyrell himself in fact wears immense glasses, and probably has poor vision, literally and metaphorically. Deckard on the other hand makes an occupation of staring at people’s eyes for long periods, but looking for the absence of life.

Zhora is built to be a weapon; however, she is more than the sum of her parts. She chooses to live as a human and enjoy her short life, making her retirement all the more tragic. When confronted by Deckard, she doesn’t quickly dispose of him, she flees. All the other replicants fight back, she doesn’t.  Her retirement is tragic and reeks of murder. Deckard get through the days by leaning on his sly smile, he is terse and hides behind quips. After shooting Zhora however, his countenance expresses deep sorrow and regret. A police officer inspects her lifeless face, and a drop of water rolls off her eye. (00:59:20)

Throughout the film, Roy’s hands act as harbingers of death. “Time…enough.” (00:25:14) Roy Batty whispers as he forcefully grips his hand.  His hand reminds him of his own impending death. As he toys with Deckard, his stabs his right hand to reinvigorate himself for a few more minutes of life, as well as leveling the playing field. Having broken Deckard’s fingers on his right hand, the two now share the same pain, the same stigma. Moreover, as he playfully pursues Deckard, he howls and frightens him, but never really hurting him. Deckard is now they prey, he has a taste of the replicant’s existence, a life of fear. Yet, Batty is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, playing at vulgarity when really he is quite noble. His final words are resplendent; they belie his sorrow and boundless depth. Perhaps finally Deckard understands the consequence of his actions and may lay down his arms as well.

Batty had the opportunity and all the reason to give Deckard his just deserts. However, Batty is magnanimous; he gives the executioner life in lieu of death. Deckard is freed by Batty’s action. He sees himself and the world clearly, and sees it brimming with life.

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