9/4/2018 Class Notes by Vishal Naraine


  • If you hadn’t printed and read “The Machine Stops,” E.M. Forster, 1909, do it before Thursday’s class.
  • Our first blog post is due before Thursday’s class as well. As stated in class, Professor Belli DOES NOT WANT A SUMMARY. You will instead want to interpret the reading and explain your thoughts.
  • Lastly, is the Class Discussion #1: Moon Tourism. Drop your thoughts in the comment section, try to respond to a classmate’s response, or leave some resources/texts about space exploration. Everyone should make at least one comment before Thursday’s class.

Recap on What is Science Fiction?

  • A genre, also known as a category.
  • Explains the outcomes of what could go wrong.
  • Authors write about what if or what could.
  • Extrapolation- which is taking something known in the real world to a logical conclusion. 


  • Subjective(adj)- based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
  • Subjunctive(adj.)- relating to or denoting a mood of verbs expressing what is imagined or wished or possible. 
  • Objective(adj.)- something that is not influenced by a person’s feeling or opinions but is based on facts.
  • Text(noun)- anything that can be interpreted.
  • Analysis(noun)- breaking something down and understanding its nature.
  • Synthesis(noun)- the combination of ideas to form a theory or a final thought.
  • Argument(noun)- a coherent series of reasons, statements, or facts intended to support or establish a claim.
  • Claim(verb)- to state something that you believe to be true but have not shown any proof or fact.
  • Evidence(noun)- the facts or information that is used to help support your claim.
  • Implicit(adj.)- something that is implied and not openly stated.
  • Explicit(adj.)- something that is stated openly and clearly.
  • Interpret(verb)- to describe or explain something.
  • Thesis(noun)- an argument you want to make including evidence as your support.
  • Signify(verb)- something of an indication.
  • Symbolize(verb)- to assign something a deeper meaning.
  • Evoke(verb)- to recall or bring up.
  • Juxtaposition(noun)- to compare and contrast two things side by side.
  • Idealogical(adj.)- relating to or concerned with ideas.
  • Noun(noun)- a person, place or thing.
  • Verb(noun)- an action, or to do something.
  • Adjective(noun)- describes a noun.
  • Adverb(noun)- describes an adjective, a verb or another adverb, and usually ends in ly.
  • Cognitive estrangement(noun)- a way of making a world that is unfamiliar.
  • Cyborg(noun)- a cybernetic organism.
  • Prosthesis(noun)- an artificial body part.
  • Personification(noun)- giving inanimate things human qualities.
  • Anthropomorphic(adj.) the characterization of animals, inanimate objects or natural phenomena.

Things we notice from this image:

  • clouds
  • a woman in white cloth- a central character, a symbol of purity, meant to be seen as an angel.
  • trees
  • horses and carriages
  • boats
  • bridge
  • railroad
  • migration
  • darkness/light–> good/evil
  • industrialization
  • a book–> interpretation: knowledge
  • a powerline
  • enlightenment
  • an example of Colonization
  • Native Americans

Some Historical Facts:

  • Industrial Revolution- a huge shift in industrialization. ie- machines, transportation, etc.
  • Manifest Destiny- the belief that expansion of the U.S through the American continents was inevitable.

Thoughts of ‘A Trip to the Moon’:

  • weird
  • strange
  • science
  • dream-like
  • aliens
  • illogical
  • unrealistic

Scenes We Observed/Analyzed in ‘A Trip to the Moon’:

Link to ‘A Trip to the Moon: https://youtu.be/_pfdQ_ftHQs

  • At 1:16, we noted that the appearance of the astronomers was a bit weird. They were dressed as wizards. We also look at the instruments they were using aka the telescopes.
  • At 6:08, we looked at the face of the moon. We discussed the personification of the moon, and how the face resembled a man’s face.
  • At 7:44, we analyzed the seven stars. It was odd to see the stars have such an anthropomorphic face.
  • At 8:56, we described the environment inside the moon’s crater. There were mushrooms everywhere. One of the astronomers’ umbrella transformed into a mushroom.
  • At 9:44, we characterize the selenites. The Selenites are the inhabitants of the moon. The Selenites wear armor, they are agile, use spears as weapons and are a secluded species. They also turn into dust when they are attacked.
  • At 12:04, we learn that the astronomers return back home and they receive a celebration. They bring back a selenite for research and observation. We learn that the astronomers’ visit to the moon is an example of colonization, whereas they invaded the land and brought back something to their home.


4 thoughts on “9/4/2018 Class Notes by Vishal Naraine

  1. Jill Belli

    Thanks Vishal for these notes (and especially with swapping with Erik last-minute!). They are really well-organized and thorough, except for the discussion of “Le Voyage dans la Lune,” which is at the end. We had discussed a number of scenes, and did some observations/analysis of the text. You have captured your classmates’ initial “emotional” responses to watching the film, which we started the conversation with, but then everything after that (when we moved to a close reading of the text) is not represented here. Could you edit to fill in that part?


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