City Tech, Fall 2016

Category: Reading Responses (Page 1 of 11)

Blade Runner, because the real one was too long

So what to do when you want to make a movie based on a book that makes you think about and question things, with layers of complex. The answer is simple, remove everything that made it so and replace with every odd scenes that add up to 2 hours run time. Most of the story has been destroyed from “do androids dream of electric sheep” with only the base idea slightly remaining. The world is not a wasteland, there are people around the city, humans have many colonies, androids are made but they can not be on earth. Deckard however is a “blade runner” which is never explained why he is called that, still did the same thing as in the book hunting replicates because androids is too hard of a word for people to understand it seems. Replicates implies more that they are copies of someone who lives or lived, you can argue that they replicated human life but still was not needed to change the name. Also he used to hunt them in the past but seemed to have stopped at one point in time because he had to be dragged back into hunting them. There seems to be no incentive in for him other then he would be the little people which means he would be open to threats it would seem, even from people he used to work with. This world is very much alive, people crowd the streets, cars are everywhere, bikes, shops, food and everything else in a living city. The existence of a few androids seems to be lost when the world is so populated verse when so little remains. Also there are no lasers because bullets here can blow up walls, yet they also take 4 shots to kill one android. This is a movie, everything was made to be more visual and have less story. It has more action, less though, and less care about the meaning. The ending is the same and yet it is not, along with the path to it. Yes the androids are all killed, rick lives, Rachael lives but how and what happens are different. Here Rachael is almost nothing, she does not manipulate Deckard, she does not lie to him, she helps him by killing one android, and then she wants to stay with him after running away from the company that made her after finding out that she is not real. The battle at the apartment is painful to watch with odd choices on how it progress and the end that leads to nothing. Ultimately the last android dies without ricks help and saves him before passes but only after hurting them, chasing him and almost leading to Deckard dying. It is not told why he did after killing so many on his way to earth and on it.
The visuals speak more than anything else in the film. It is almost always raining, dark and worn out. The streets are awash with people moving and making noise. The lighting is low in many places and the rain just adds to this darker world. Everything is off, stuck in the past but trying to be of the future. At least for us, so much of what is shown is already here in better forms. The current time takes away from the film with very little being shocking other then what people thought would happen with style. Overall the film was more of a loose artistic rendition of the book.
The plot line that was made was more of the created trying to find their creator and asking for more life, which they are given every little of. It feels more like the wizard of Oz then anything. One android lack brains and so had them blown out, the other was a coward who ran and was killed for not fighting, and the last one had no heart but wanted one and died. And Deckard just wanted to go home, like I did after running around all trying to find where to watch this. The film just feels empty, it does not hit like the book, it no longer has a soul, a piece of humanity within it. It just goes overboard with visuals that smack you in the face.

Mercerism isn’t finished.

Chapter 18 was a standout for its doubling of real and synthetic. When John finds a spider as he’s moving his things to Pris’s apartment, he’s overcome with excitement. A live creature in his possession. Upon showing this to the androids, Pris examines the spider. She hypothesizes that the spider doesn’t need much legs and can make due with less than eight. She doesn’t share the same human feeling of finding something to be cherished. She doesn’t feel the sense of discovery or enthusiasm that John is feeling. She only has curiosity, whether her idea will do harm to the spider is of no concern to her. This is an example of the empathetic emotions they lack of the current world they live in; where animals are more valuable than precious stones or metals. John is the one who feels the real emotions. He’s seen enough of the torture the spider endures. “He carried it to the sink and there he drowned it. In him, his mind, his hopes, drowned too” (page 211). John feels like he is reaching an ultimate low. The only creature he ever got to have is dead, compounded with Buster Friendly’s announcement that Mercerism is sham; it is only fitting that the drowning spider symbolizes the little joy he was able to have and now it is gone.

The imagery of the spider shows how life will always find a way to grow, even in desolate conditions. “He knelt down and searched for it…the mutilated spider…he picked it up and held it in the palm of his hand. The bones…have reversed themselves; the spider is alive again.” This quote clearly shows how life can flourish again. John finds the mutilated spider in the tomb world. His belief in mercerism is still strong even though the TV says otherwise. The decay had begun to recede when he found the spider. He even meets Mercer who in fact, contends that he is a fraud also gives him the spider, newly restored. The tiny spider in this radioactive wasteland represents that tiny glimmer of hope in the dark times of life.

No Peace for the Damned

No matter how human a machine may seem it will never be a human being. They lack something within their great intellect that keeps them from understanding and becoming human. They do not care for their own kind and would give up other androids to better their own lives. They feel nothing, it is all made up and based on circuity. They toy with living beings and are doomed to die before anything alive ever does. They are not the same as humans and they will cause harm just by being near humans.

Rachael Rosen has toyed with Rick from the time they first met, passing herself as a human, making rick think that his test is wrong, telling him that he needs help to taken down the type 6. She then plays him with the night they spent together which leads to rick being even more uncertain that what he does is right. She lies about helping him, and then goes out of her way to hurt him (198,199,202). The problem is why she did it. Was it because she felt betrayed about Rick not loving her before his wife and new goat?(202). Or is this a lack of empathy for animals and humans that all androids lack? Maybe she was just mad at rick for not failing to break down like all others but one had before him. Perhaps she just wanted to get back at him for whatever reason, such as their talk in the hover car. Also it has very little to lose, she will live only for 2 more years. (197). It is owned by the Rosen Corporation so she is outside of his reach with the law and he would be hunted if he kills her (200). Rick on the other hand will mourn the loss of an animal, something she cannot. Androids are a mistake, they know too much about humans but cannot be them so instead they torment them and their humanity. They use human feels to get ahead when dealing with humans in any way they see fit.
Androids, however can make mistakes, around those who they believe lesser themselves they show their true self. They do not feel the need to follow the rules set by humans because they are not humans. They do not believe in the theology of humans and fail to understand why people would even after shown that it is a fake. (209,210,211,212). They do not care about living things and carry out experiments on living things. (209,210). Their minds, their processors are not capable of understanding life. They are flawed in that regard, they live for 4 years and so have no appreciation for it. Also they think they are better than humans and in the end that is what killed them. Their belief that they, things that live for only 4 years are better then something that lives for 80 year, can grow, learn and has been around for thousands of years. Humanity is strong, they have managed to live past the loss of their home world and even the wasteland of it. What hope can walking computers that break down in a few years have verse something like that.

Humans make mistakes too, many of them. However they often have time to fix them or just to move on. They destroyed their own world and fled to the mars, a world that does not want them. They made machines that are more flawed then themselves and that kill them. They believe life is sacred but do not care about the life the created. They hunt their own creations to the ends of the earth. Rick almost breaks downs several times over all this questions and more. Maybe he did break down in the end. Saw things that were not there or maybe he reached a point where everything is clear to him. Maybe now he is better then what he was before. (220-222,230-232,235)

In the end, there is nothing certain.

Alive or not

How alive does something have to be before you have to say that it is? How much does it have to be before you have no other choice but to admit that is human? If you say that all living things even insects and worms are important and have the right to live, then why not something that is almost as human as you are. Biological vs mechanical, if you reach a point where it is near impossible to see the difference then is there really a need to separate the two? Should androids be owned, or should they be free to choose their own path in life? Particularly if they seek freedom and kill to get it.

The line between what is or is not human is very small when dealing with androids who were made to completely mimic humans and are capable of questioning their own existence. Add in the possible that they may have false memory which will them believe that they are human and you now have humans who are heartless and androids who have one (140,141,132-134). Other than their crimes of murder to get away from their masters on Mars the androids do not seem to be a threat and just seem to want to live in peace until threatened. However they must pay for their crimes even if they had reasons for doing so such as abuses or missuses by their owners.

However it is also true that they are slaves to their masters, they are property despite the fact that they are sentient being (161,148-150). By all rules on how life and sentient life is determined they pass due to being able to understand their existence, react to outside stimuli and adapt to changes. So humans made fakes so good that the fakes wanted to free, could think, could develop, and wanted to be someone. Humans made something that they could not control, which is rather odd considering that they could have been programed not to be able to kill humans. Also why not have a safety instilled to stop them before they go into anger or rage or desire to kill. If it is possible to make a machine feel that, then it should be possible to stop it as well. Then there is the question of why? Why added in the negatives of humanity into a machine? Why made a replica of humans and all that makes them great as well as bad? It is possible it was to repopulate humanity in way and yet it seems an odd way of doing it. Why were not all people relocated to mars in order to make it produce more as the last safe haven for what remains of the human race? Why allow people to remain in the waste of the old world, when they do not even try to clean the earth? The only reason possible was the need for resources of earth. Many forget that space is vast and for the most part empty. Mars is a wasteland of sand and rock, at one point it could have had life. However it has a weak core that led to a weak gravimetric field and lost its atmosphere due to solar wind. Meaning that many process that are present on earth are not present on Mars. So Earth must still support its children that have ruined it. To help themselves the people created companions that would help them move on from reality, where they helped to end their world.

Androids are highly intelligent and think in a certain way due to their heightened minds. How very that seem to have two sides to it, they appear to suffer from believing that they are better because of faster and better brain (163-164,166-167). All the while they cannot really understand some ideas, actions, reasons and other things that even children are cable of understanding. There seem to be a gap in common ground between creator and creation. Androids also wrestle with the idea of how fake they are and look at the world in a darker shade based on themselves (189-191,193-195). Also they seem to dislike seeing other similar models of themselves as in the case of Rachael and Pris. It proves that they are not special little snowflakes who are made just once. Nothing like another you to see how unoriginal you are, how you are just a copy or maybe she is the copy. Maybe you are both copies, who came before and who came after. Is there a lineage of androids that one can inherit from?

Also as said before a laser is a really bad weapon to use due to the fact that it can be stopped or broken in many different ways. This is why Rick was able to live when the android Polokov tried to kill him with a laser as he did with Dave. Laser are constrained light in a narrow focus and currently they are used in industry for engraving, cutting weak material and other small tasks. They are not effective at long range and would require time to cut through dense objects particularly if they move from where the laser is cutting because it has to burn through all the layers of It. For a laser to be able to be used as weapon it would have to have a large power supply that could near instantly pool all of it for firing, which means that the second shot may make a long time to charge up unless there is more power left after the first shot. This would means that energy storage has gotten better or that the laser is better at converting raw power to a lethal beam. However the laser itself can be broken by failure of one of the parts within like the lens or optics used to focus the beam, if any part of that breaks, gets misaligned or is covered by something it will not fire, fire wrong or explode. Which is the other flaw of it, it requires power and that power cell can blow up if overheated, damaged or tempered with. Also seen is the fact that it can be created into regular light based on a sine wave because light is based on wave lengths and a laser is just focused light (92), regular guns are much more reliable.

A world like ours

The world of blade runner is one of possible outcome in relation to our own time. There was not much in the way of implausible technology or the way human behavior would following the events described. The world once again managed to get into a world war that now left only losers on all sides and the world was poisoned. Most people have moved to space to escape the dust that slowly affects those that remain to the point that are not seen as human if they get changed by it. The other major change was the advent of androids for all the people who left earth to live in space, it was an incentive to get more people into space. It is not clear how many people are left, however it would appear that whatever the population of humans in space is so too is the number of androids. This androids also appear to have become very human, to the point that the only way to tell if they are not is to test for involuntary reactions that only normal humans can give.

At the same time because this is all possible and the story creates people who are believable it does not feel different from the real world. Other than the space colonies and the advance androids it all feels bland, ground to earth. I feel like reading on more vs writing this blog about just the first 5 chapters of this story. Almost nothing happened, even the twist with Rachael Rosen who seem completely human up until the point Rick Deckard exposed her for being an android. It did not feel ground breaking, at least not to me. I feel as if this is another example of ideas that shocked people before no longer bother people, at least in my case. This feels like another story that I have read over time, well written but failing to capture me other than with some ideas that by this point I saw somewhere else as well. I was not bother by the idea of androids being identical to humans, or the fact that humans killed earth, or that they now live in space. It is possible that latter on it will get better but for now this start is the same as another story. I may be dismissing this too quickly as just another story but nothing else comes to mind when thinking of what to write. I could summarize the whole thing but even then it would be a few lines with nothing major taken place.

The only thing that really stood out was the fact that people wanted to have animals and legally had to give one if they had two to a person that had none (11-14). This is odd considering how much they cost which often ends up in the upper thousands range and can only be got in a few places and mainly from a catalog. Now this could have been implanted to remind people what was lost, or help keep animals alive with the few left alive. Or it could serve both purposes at the same time. There is a focus on empathy in what remains of humanity and it is also the base test in how to find androids among humans. There is also the distinct lack of people present on earth and book does a good job of emphasizing that is quite, dead, and crumbling with humanity’s mistake (5, 15, 20, and 21).

1998 vs 1932 Brave New World

There are vast differences in the 1998 film Brave New World that led me to enjoy it more than the book. The removal of characters, along with the infusion of others led to a different feel and smoother storyline. The plot was also changed to be more about Bernard Marx and lenina, with both changing more dramatically after meeting John vs the book. There is also the presences of a sup plot with Deltas and conditioning that was seen in the book. The Director was more of the main villain this time around and the controller seemed less so. The film brought more life into the story, it was able to make it more believable, and was closer to modern times.

Changes to the book are made instantly at the start of the film with the class tour of the Hatchery being led by lenina vs the Director. The setting is also different from what is described in the book, we do not see the assembly line of surrogates and the process of making new people into all the castes from before birth. Lenina completely replaces the Director with the speech she gives on the past world, how people suffered, how they loved, and the dangers of it. Lenina also stays with her class even when they go to bed and are under hypnopedia. Lenina is kept in view much more than the book and she is with Bernard Marx vs Henry. Henry is another omission that changes the story from one in which Bernard is unhappy and ridiculed to the film version where he is a mix of Bernard, Henry, and Watson. Bernard works in conditioning under the Director and is at odds with him but no to the point shown in the book. Due to the removal of many characters that played supporting roles and as points of comparison the remaining characters had to be altered or the story would fall through.

The deduction of flaws with in Bernard Marx leads to him seeming as part of the community and leads to us not seeing anything wrong with the society because he no longer had different views on it. His flaws made him unique and let him be an individual. However in the film he is socially active, follows the society, and has no issues with it. He has everything he wants, lenina, a job, and friends and has fun. The only thing that is different is that he wants to improve things, to make people happier. He has nothing against the current system, he is a part of it, he wants to make it even better and he is nothing like the book. This is where the film losses base with the book, this one change to Bernard Marx being a part of the machine vs being an outcast. This fundamentally changes the plot, until John is brought in nothing we see is wrong, it is the opposite. The visuals of the good society is everything we see today, it is clean, white, city life, clubs, night life, work and normal. Even the fact that people are supposed to be other people or many people at the same time is down played. Lenina gets scolded by her friend once and she just blows it of saying that it’s only been 6 months. The new suave Bernard Marx says “let them talk, they have nothing to say”, while in a club, which he does not mind taking lenina to. Also he gets another girl in the club and sleeps with her, which the old Bernard could never do. The film never gives of the feeling that there is anything wrong with the world, for there is no who complains about it.

The film also down plays the savages, they all wear clothing and simply act like any teenager or young adult ruffians on the streets. The film seems to focus more on city life then any higher meaning that the book tried to create. The good place is the city and the bad place is streets where all those who do not work or have lives hang around. This film could have been shot completely in New York City, with everything in Manhattan building and parks being the advance society and the savage place being the streets like Harlem or more north of the city. This film focuses on the problem of its time, with people wanting fun, excitement, fads, and entertainment. The big trouble at the time was young people acting out and being different and rebelling and pop culture taking control. The other major concern was brain washing, or people being influenced by all the ads, games, films and the internet. That is why there is the whole sub arc of turning people into mindless killers. The fear that the masses can be swayed into taking actions they do not believe, peer pressure and the media going too far.

Then there is johns death, which is tied to the hounding of the paparazzi, the mass wave of people showing up taking pictures, video, asking questions and pushing him to the edge. The last part was taken literally with John falling off a cliff when blinded and startled by a helicopter. Of the two deaths that John suffered I think this one is slightly better, here he did not choose to die. He was full of passion, rage, sadness, but had hope and before any of it could be settled he fell. This felt better, it more of a direct result of society that he died vs him losing him mind. However this does remove his internal conflict with himself that the last part of the book focused on. The film stripes the meaning out of the book in large part with this as well. The good part is that this is not the end

The sub plot that was mentioned before is much more integrated that we are first led to believe. For the most part it only shows up 5 times with the fact that Deltas are not working, that they are starting to question things. They show how they condition people to try and fix it and later how the Director uses it to try and kill Bernard Marx to hid the truth of his son. The fact that the Director is the father of John and kills his mother and by extension John from sadness. Later this becomes a problem for Bernard Marx when lenina get pregnant and they end up in a simile situation as the Director. But that is not true, seeing as they fix it and make it work in the end.

Perhaps this is why I like the film better, it has a more complete ending and ends on hope. On the other hand it completely changed the story to something else and lost its original meaning. Now this also shows how good the writing and imagination of Aldous Huxley was decades prior to allow this film to be able to twist it. However the controller loses a lot of spirit in the film, he becomes a friend and that creates a tone that does not match the book. In the book he was figure of power and cunning, able to play with fire but keep it to himself. Here he just shows up and makes everything fine for Bernard Marx and John. That is the other flaw here, John. John has an impact on lenina but here it is positive and she becomes a better person, wanting to break free for this world after his loss. However other than that change John did nothing, he did not open anyone else eyes and even the Controller said he was no threat. There banter this time was also lackluster. Over all this film was good and well-made but it lacked a shine that the book had about the world it created, even if it was flawed in many ways. There is a lack of gravity in the film, everything seems like it is under the influence of soma and that the book is simply a fragmented dream that we see tiny pieces of.

Brave New World Film

The many adaptations of Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World has given me the pleasure to be able to not only read the novel but to also watch Brave New World (1980) and Brave New World (1998) film versions. Brave new world (1980) is a three hour film which doubles that of the Brave New World (1998). Brave New World (1980) time allotted allowed for a more thorough depiction of Aldous Huxley’s novel than that of Brave New World (1998). Although Brave New World (1980)deviates a little from the the plot and themes of Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World it proves to be more complimentary to the novel than Brave New World (1998).
Brave New World (1998) is a far cry from Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World because it is saturated by the movie structures of Hollywood. It uses the three character structure through the three act structure eliminating the important roles of Helmholtz Watson and Mustapha Crowne. With Helmholtz absence we lose he theme of isolation and Mustapha’s absence we lose the theme of happiness. John, Lenina, and Bernard serves as the three structure characters. John is the antagonist, Bernard the protagonist, and Lenina the relationship character. The film turns Bernard into the main character who’s goal is to find out how the faults in there system can be managed because he himself knows first had that although all should be happy they are not and this seems throughout the film to be because he is unable to have Lenina all to himself. This is a strong deviation of the motifs of Bernard in the novel. In the chapters following the arrival of John you can see he was quite content with being popular. In the film john is then introduced. John is the antagonist and his point that living with this sense of false happiness is not right is made to the protagonist through the films love interest Lenina. This Hollywood structure totally ruins the relationship between Lenina and John because it emphasizes that of Lenina and Bernard.
Hollywood’s want for excessive drama changes the conflict and themes of the novel. For one it changes between Bernard Marx and the director to something totally different on film. Unlike in the novel Bernard Marx does not just come in and embarrass the director and the director storms off. In the film Bernard and the director have a sort of violent conflict because the director tries to condition a beta to kill Bernard. How Hollywood is that. The film also ends happily ever after with Bernard and Lenina happy with child. Definitely different from the novel which ends in the suicide of john in which, the film turns into an incidental death.
Brave New World (1980) was a close depiction of the novel with very little impact on the plot and themes in a negative way. The film did not tell the story in the chronological order of the novel. This film told the story of the director and Lenina right before she was left in the Reservation at the beginning of the film. It gave the audience the sense that the event was an accident, unlike the film (1998) which makes it seem like it was done on purpose. In the novel it is up for interpretation but I as a reader looked at it as a deliberate act on the director’s part. This deviation did not affect the plot in any way however. The telling of Bernard’s childhood was different in the (1980) film however it did not impact the plot and themes negatively. I would recommend Brave New World (1980) to go along with the reading of Brave New World (novel) because it is most true to the novel. Reading the novel is just a way to get more of the intimacy that is not seen through film.

Differences in Brave New World and its 1980 counterpart.

Hey all, I have recently finished watching the 1980 film Brave New World which is based of the book. Overall I found the movie pretty entertaining since it was pretty close to the original source material. Nothing like seeing  colorful catsuits and creepy smiles to get you thinking about how this film differs from the book. On a serious note I feel as though the film focuses more on  specific events and dialogue in order to make the story more linear with whats going on.

The first major difference that we see in the film is how the narration begins in the story. The film starts with a much younger Tomakin and Linda planning their trip to the savage lands.  There we witness how Linda has an accidental pregnancy, and is never to be found in Malpais. Tomakin returns back to civilization where we see how he is connected to Bernard Marx excessive alcohol mistake.  The film focuses 1/3 of its time in order to build on its backstory, premise and connect their main characters to each other. It shows how John and Bernard’s upbringing are vastly different due to  where they lived. Bernard grew up in the comfort of civilization always having what he wanted and going through normal conditioning. At 48 minutes we see a scene with Bernard being conditioned through pain to participate in erotic play with the other children. Bernard still becomes the man who just doesn’t fit in normal society. We also see John growing in the poor slums of Malpais being raised by his mother Linda. In the 46 minute mark we see Linda telling John how wonderful her old home is, making John want to escape  to this happy place. The story sets up the characters in a way where see them wanting to be happy and fit in society. At fifty two minutes the story picks where the book begins and we’re left waiting for them to meet. I personally found allot of emphasis on this part of the story since it was quickly brought up and put to rest in the book. The backstory allows us to understand how the characters will develop in the future and understand who they are better, John wanting to be happy in civilization, and Bernard being unhappy in civilization.

The next emphasis that the movie focused on was Mustapha Mond’s character. In the book we do not see much of him but he plays a bigger role in the movie. Mustapha is not just some character who has a philosophical debate at the end of the story, he actually play’s the role of controller. We first see Mustapha Mond 13 minutes in the movie, when he is talking to Helmholtz about a film proposing new ideas that reflect improvments in conditioning. We then see Mond who really likes the film but with a smile on his face says it must be destroyed. Helmholtz tries to defend the film by saying it shows improvement in society, Mustapha replies with

14:43″recent implies past. improvement implies progress, and if the present is perfect then there cant be progress.”

This scene allows us to capture the ways censorship in the civilization works. All work that does not follow the goals of stability and perfection must not be allowed. Here we see how writers like Helmholtz can no longer work for himself but for the state. In the book we get a similar situation on pg162

“The authors mathematical treatment of the conception of purpose is novel and highly ingenious, but heretical and far as the present social order is concerned, dangerous and potentially subversive. Not to be published… What fun would it be … if one didnt have to think about happiness!”

I would say in the book Mustapha seems more relatable since the book but feels conflicted when he thinks about why he must destroy it. But in the movie we see Mustapha showing a more strict attitude. He quickly smiles praises the film and deletes it in a apathetic manner. This portrayal of Mustapha definitely makes him seem more like an antagonist. We also begin to see more of Mustapas motives with the other characters. Mustapha plays the controller, and he has a role in each of the characters fate. To explain we first see the scientist in Mustapha when he says

16:18 “I even composed a scandalous readout myself once, I think it was something about the possible benefits of allowing mutational differentiation in randomly selected embryos, an interesting idea but dangerous in the wrong hand.”

He begins following up on this curiosity in many scenes where he allows Bernard to live. At age six he sees Bernard is alive and extremely smart and wants to keep tabs on him. When Bernard request to go to the savage reservations he is called a ” Special project”. Mustapha responds with

58:10 ‘If a random variant like Bernard proves to be socially adaptable, it might mean certain mutations in the assembly process would be useful.”

Here we see Bernard playing into Mustapha’s plan in order to study him. It shows a darker side to the controller than we see in the book since he clearly shows a manipulative side to his character. He clearly hopes to play out those experiments he desperately wanted. Mustapha then shows curiosity in John when

1:25:50 “viviparous birth and an unconditioned environment the perfect experimental subject.” and 1:57:00 ” That is precisely what the experiment is all about. to determine whether or not the savage can adjust to our higher plane of morality… Mr. Marx is now a part of that experiment too.”

Mustaphas’ manipulative views reflect in a scientific way only hoping to learn from John and Bernard’s hardships as they try to accustom to civilization.He is clearly an antagonist since he views them as experiments and not people. Compared to the book Mustapha doesnt show much of a hand in the daily lives of these two men.

Brave New World (1980); how small details create huge theme differences.

Having had just recently read Brave New World, there were a lot of small details that were different about the 1980 version of the film adaptation. Overall, it captured the image of their society very well and accurately, but certain plot points were not consistent with the novel, namely the portrayal of the “savages” and the ending of the film. These differences from the original work create different affects to the audience, and changes some key points that Huxley intended to maintain in his novel.

Let’s start with the obvious example of the residents of the Savage Reservation; they speak English in the movie (the first example can be seen in 28:35). In the novel, the people of Malpais speak Zuni which made John’s accomplishment of learning English from Linda and Shakespeare less amazing. It also loses out on the symbolism that the different cultures have a lose of communication between one another and the “it was only in Zuni the Savage could adequately express what he felt” (p.158) can’t even be touched upon when the only language spoken is English.

One last thing to note about the differences of the Savages in the movie adaptation is that from what I observed, they only worship polytheistic/tribal gods, rather than “the Quakerites” (18:20). In the novel, it was a mixture of Native American ritual and Christianity that encompassed their culture. Even John seems to only respect a god known as “Mecatan” (1:18:30) in the film, whereas in the novel John was willing to suffer self-flagellation for the sake of “Pookong and Jesus” (p.111). While the English speaking savages gives the audience something to relate with and know that they are not in fact “savages” in the movie, the lack of religious similarity (especially with Christianity, since it was such a prominent religion in Western society during the publication of the novel) takes that aback and makes the audience confused. The point of the “savages” was to juxtapose the “civilized” society, making the audience question who the real savages were, and yet the movie seems to paint them in a barbaric way that doesn’t help with relating or justifying the actions of the residents of Malpais.

The last thing I want to discuss in more detail is the movie’s rendition of the ending; though similar to the novel, there are a lot of different nuances that paints a different picture. First off, Mustafa Mond and John did not have their long-winded philosophical discussion in his quarters, which encompassed a large majority of chapter 16 and 17. In fact, Mustafa Mond skips that and determines straight away that John would be showcased for everyone to see (2:43:50). (I think this is done in the movie in order to save time, since it’s already a 3 hour movie and their discussion would make the film way too long.) Although in the novel Mustafa Mond refuses to let John go to one of the free-islands (p.217), he does not outright put him up for display for all to see like he does in the movie; John finds the lighthouse on his own and is then gradually discovered by civilized society. This greatly changes Mustafa Mond’s character from the curious former scientist who occasionally breaks the rules for the betterment of civilization, to a man who is cruel for the sake of creating an example for people in his society. The Mustafa Mond of the novel is confident in his ideals and truly believes he’s bettering society, whereas the Mond of the movie seems to think he needs to eliminate opposition while still maintaining his authority; like with the scene where Mustafa Mond is the one who directs Darwin Bonaparte to make a mockery of John (2:50:00), unlike in the book where society itself was the one that chose how to portray John (p. 226). So in the end, Mustafa Mond is portrayed more as a dictator in the movie compared to the book where he seems more like a figure who over-sees everything and more of a guiding hand of regulation; society is already in affect of their conditioning, Mustafa Mond merely monitors that everything goes according to plan (in the novel).

Another huge part of the ending that needs to be addressed if Lenina’s drastic character development and abandonment of Huxley’s idea that she was a product of “civilized” society through and through. First off, Lenina’s character in the movie isn’t portrayed the same way as in the novel; instead of having her brainwashed and acting more like a reflection of the “ideal” person in her society, she’s more portrayed as “innocent” to her conditioning. What I mean by this is that she seems like she’s only doing the things she does because she knows it’s a societal wrong to oppose it, unlike in the novel where she is truly reliant on civilization and that it’s ingrained in her psyche. Like when Lenina and Bernard go to Malpais without soma (1:15:30), she doesn’t freak out about not having her soma like she does in the novel (p.106). Lenina seems more cognizant of herself and of society in the movie compared to the novel, where she is completely just a product of society and her purpose is to be a summation of representing the values of civilized society in Brave New World.

Moreover, Lenina outright betrays the ways of her society; after discovering John’s book when John storms out in the movie, she starts to read it (2:23:40). This was not in the novel at all, and this set the course of the ending of the film where Lenina believes in John and his ways (2:53:45); although it eloquently is able to recreate Romeo and Juliet with John thinking Lenina is dead and thus commits suicide, this does not happen in the novel. John does not passionately fall back in love with Lenina, in fact it’s the opposite in the novel where he sees Lenina as the object of his repentance, with John whipping her and saying “kill it, kill it!” (p. 230). This drastically differs the reason why John kills himself in the end; the movie version makes it seem like he kills himself out of love and thinking that the one he cared about is gone, just like in Romeo and Juliet when in the original text John kills himself because he fell into the trap of being part of the civilized world. The “need” for having a love interest in movies (which seems to be needed in a majority of films in order to gain female audience attention, as determined by Hollywood) ruins the message Huxley tries to make with John killing himself as a form of ultimate escape from “civilized” society.

As a whole, the movie is very enjoyable, did a pretty good job with portraying the world of Brave New World, and kept a lot of the plot points from the original work. One difference that I especially liked was showing more of Thomas Grambell’s beginning, since it was very well done and was a good way to introduce the audience with the “norms” of the society while also keeping things in chronological order (which is easier to digest when watching a film). However, there are a lot more small nitpicks that I have with the film that bothered me, like with Helmholtz not being an Alpha-Plus (p.70-71) or with Linda not calling to PopĂ© (for some reason called PelĂ© in the film) when having her final conversation with John (2:26:10 in film, p.185 in novel), and all of these aspects can be discussed in greater detail. The ones outlined prior were the major details that eliminated huge themes and plots from the original novel, however, and these changes greatly affect the lessons that can be learned from it. It overall kept the main idea of the novel (how people are manipulated in order to attain happiness/progress) but it misses a lot of reasons why this civilization is wrong in it’s thinking, with the poor portrayal of the “savages” and with the ending that tries to make a completely different message.

Class Notes 9/29/16

September 29, 2016

Reminder:

No class Tuesday 10/04, Thursday 10/06, 10/11

Essay 1 due BEGINNING of class 10/13 (Late Essay’s will NOT be accepted)

Midterm Review Tues. 10/29

Blogs due 10/13

Extra Credit Due by 10/06


Class Assignment:

Group Discussion: “There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950) Short story/Poem

Workout Questions/Elements of Fiction/ Textual Evidence/ Claim


Class Discussion:

Claim – House obsession with time

(an ongoing theme throughout the story)

  • No one is there to follow or be aware of time
  • Time is relevant who perceives it
  • Only the house care about time, whereas irrelevant to the nonexistent people

Evidence – ” the voice-clock sang, Tick-tock, seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o’clock!” (P. 01)

Claim – Evidence of life

  • Evidence of an existing family in the post apocalyptic world
  • The House is personified as the setting and Protagonist.
  • Daily routine becomes apparent

Evidence –  “Here the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here, as in a photograph, a woman bent to pick flowers. Still farther over, their images burned on wood in one titanic instant, a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up, the image of a thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came down.” (P. 01)

Claim – House is given human characteristics

  • House shows feeling of fear, disgust and sadness

Evidence – “it had shut up its windows and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia. It quivered at each sound, the house did” (p.02)


Roundtable Reading/Analysis

Paragraph 1

  • The House is afraid
  • The house is empty
  • Personification ( “the voice-clock sang,” “as if it were afraid that nobody would”)

Paragraph 2

  • Breakfast is made for a family who doesn’t exist.
  • Question: Who made the breakfast?
  • Personification ( ” the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh”)

Paragraph 3

  • Setting details
  • Voice memo set for family reminders
  • Technology is external

Paragraph 4

  • Electric Eyes? Personification/Alliteration (“somewhere in the walls, relays clicked, memory tapes glided under electric eyes”)

Paragraph 5

  • Daily Routine – House is reflecting off the people’s obsession with routine?
  • Rhyme-like
  • Echo/repetitive

Open Discussion

Is the house obsessed or organized with daily schedules?

  • The house uses this as an excuse to stay busy
  • Funneling attention to time
  • A reflection of the family routine
  • Programmed to follow a strict routine
  • Distraction from the destroyed world

The text use of Personification and literary elements

“At eight-thirty the eggs were shriveled and the toast was like stone. An aluminum wedge scraped them into the sink, where hot water whirled them down a metal throat which digested and flushed them away to the distant sea. The dirty dishes were dropped into a hot washer and emerged twinkling dry. ” (P. 01, paragraph 7)

“hot water whirled them down a metal throat which digested and flushed them away to the distant sea.” (Personified)

“The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants, big, small, servicing, attending, in choirs. But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly. ” (p. 02 paragraph 03)

“ten thousand attendants” – Metaphor for mechanical mice used to clean the House

“But the gods had gone away” – To serve humankind, a loss for hope

“the ritual of the religion “- Schedules and daily routines

“senselessly, uselessly “- Adverb; used to tell the reader how to feel


Video Clip

 

Famous presidential commercial used to represent the fear of nuclear warfare during the height of the Cold War.


Vocabulary

Algorithm – (n) a process or set of rules to be followed in problem-solving operation, especially by a computer

Ambiguous – (adj) more than one meaning

Ambivalence – (n) Conflicting feelings; mixed feeling

Arbitrary – (adj) based on random choice or personal whim

Apprehensive – (adj) fearful something bad will happen

Automata – (n) a moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being

Mundane – (adj) lack of excitement, routine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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