Author Archives: Vishal Naraine

Metropolis: A Film Beyond Its Time

The movie “Metropolis” directed by Fritz Lang, tells the story of two different societies. The first society being underground, working hard. And the second society, living freely and not breaking a sweat. These two societies resemble different social classes. The first class is the workers, living underneath the city, where they work to keep the city from shutting down. The second class is the higher class, where they live in the city of Metropolis. Throughout the movie, you can spot out the differences between where the higher class lives and the workers live. Within the city, there is a location called the “Club of the Sons”. Within this place holds lecture halls, libraries, theaters, and stadiums. There is also a place called the “Eternal Gardens”. It is a difficult place to describe but I would say that it is a place to go for pleasure. But deep below, where the workers live there is no such place. There is nothing fancy down below.

Even the architecture in the city of Metropolis is better than the architecture down below. At 24:14-24:32, there is a glimpse at the city of Metropolis. It is very futuristic in size, length, and shape. For a movie, that was made during that time it shows a realistic future our society could be heading towards. There were tall buildings, quick transportation, multiple highways, and flying planes. Some would say the above is a utopia, where everything is perfect and down below is a dystopia, where everything is horrible.

One thing I found interesting was the mention of the phrase, “God is the world and its Creator! And great is Man!” When I read this phrase over and over again I understood it. To me, it means that Man is so powerful and special that they have the ability to create a city like Metropolis. A city like Metropolis is a serious accomplishment. The character Joh Fredersen, who is the Master of Metropolis did a great job at creating a futuristic city. Although it is wrong that he keeps people down below, working them to their death. Also, it means to me that since God has created this world, we have been using his creation as a way to provide mankind a way of survival.

Another thing I found interesting was the inclusion of the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are gluttony, wrath, pride, lust, envy, anger, and sloth. One of the deadly sins that are used in the film is lust. At 1:32:32, the men can be seen as sex craven. It is the way they behave resembles the deadly sin, lust. They act like wild animals when they see a woman dancing. Another deadly sin that is use is wrath. At 2:15:45, the workers down below seek revenge on the fake Maria by burning her body. The workers are angry because they believe that their children have died down below. Since the fake Maria told the workers to rebel and destroy the Machines a water activation was activation and the streets where the workers lived were flooded with water.

Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang is an enjoyable film. The themes and the biblical references play a huge part in the film’s plot. The use of a robot or machine-men were uncommon back in his time. But Lang made a great film. A film that has a combination of technology and religion.

Reading Response #2: The Star

“The Star” is a short story written by H.G. Wells. It depicts a catastrophic event that nearly destroys Earth completely. By the third day of the New Year, this phenomenon was visible with any instrument. An instrument, in that case, would be a telescope. Newspapers described it as “new planet”, and thought that it would cross paths with Neptune. But it was more than that, it was some form of cosmic matter, it was a giant, bright star. And it was coming closer to Earth. “Brighter it was than any star in our skies; brighter than the evening star at its brightest.” (Wells 2). In this quote, Wells describes the giant star as a star so bright that it outshines all the other star. “And where science has not reached, men stared and feared, telling one another of the wars and pestilences that are foreshadowed by these fiery signs in the Heavens”(Wells 2). In this line, people were afraid of what this star could bring. They were worried about the destruction it can cause.

One thing that I noticed throughout the story, is that Wells is good at describing people’s reactions and feelings towards the coming of the star. Wells writes, “It hurried along wakening streets, it was shouted down the frost-stilled ways of quiet villages; men who had read these things from the throbbing tape stood in yellow-lit doorways shouting the news to the passerby”(pg.2). In the line, people are spreading the word about the star inching closer to the Earth. Some would view the star as a disaster but other viewed as a sign of new beginnings. A master mathematician was calculating the amount of time until Earth’s untimely demise. People were in complete fear. Wells states, “It was the tolling of the bells in a million belfry towers and steeples, summoning people to sleep no more, to sin no more, but to gather in their churches and pray”(pg.4). Since the star was inching its way closer, people soon became worried about their lives that they turned to the churches and decided to pray. It was predicted that a series of natural disasters would affect the planet, Earth. “Earthquakes, volcanic outbreaks, cyclones, sea waves, floods, and a steady rise in temperature to I know what limit”(Wells 4).

“The star–it grew with a terrible steadiness hour after hour, a little larger each hour, a little nearer the midnight zenith, and brighter and brighter, until it had turned night into a second day”(Wells 5). In this quote, Wells describes the star as a being so powerful that night is no longer there. Once that star arrived on Earth, disastrous events started to occur. The temperature rose, floods began, lava spewed from volcanoes and earthquakes tore across continents. It was the end and no one could prepare for it. “Once again men set their eyes upon old constellation they had counted lost to them forever”(Wells 6). In this line, people were looking up at the star knowing that it would be their last night.

The star had destroyed everything in its path. There was devastation everywhere. But soon the star passed and mankind survived somehow. Wells writes, “All the familiar continental markings and the masses of the seas remain intact, and indeed the only difference seems to be a shrinkage of the white discoloration (supposed to be frozen water) round either pole”(pg.7). The ending was a bit confusing. Wells described that star as the ending of Earth. But it seems that all the star did be a little collateral damage. I was expecting that the entire Earth would be destroyed, wiping out the entire human race.

Ultimately, Wells proved a some of the important points. While this star was inching its way closer, no one decided to do anything. People carried on with their lives, people prayed to the heavens and some just gave up. No one thought of a way to get off Earth. People just waited on their impending doom and it came.



Reading Response #1- The Machine Stops: Blog Post

“The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forster, tells the story of a future where human civilization seems to rely on a ‘machine’ to help them function and survive. People have seemed to rely on the ‘machine’ because Earth has become a wasteland. In this future, there are these rooms that have all these buttons that relay a function. Forster writes, “There were buttons and switches everywhere– buttons to call for food for music, for clothing” (pg.3). In these rooms, there was some sort of screen or panel that can be used for communication. In all, the ‘machine’ had eliminated human contact. It seems that since human contact has been eliminated, people have become distant and obnoxious when meeting face to face.

Apparently, the ‘machine’ was built to advance human civilization. The ‘machine’ was there to create a better future for mankind. People worshipped the ‘machine’ since there was no religion. It was as if God was no more and that the ‘machine’ had become the highest being. The ‘machine’ had its own type of bible. People would turn to the book if they were faced with any situations. Forster writes, “This was the Book of the Machine. In it were instructions against every possible contingency” (pg.4). So because there was no longer any type of religion people worshipped the ‘machine’.

The two protagonists, Vashti and her son Kuno. Vashti was more receptive to the ‘machine’. She believed it was mankind’s greatest creation. Kuno, on the other hand, disliked the machine. Kuno had lived on the northern hemisphere, separated from his mother. The ‘machine’ had created separate rooms for families. Forster states, ” “Parents, duties of,” said the book of the Machine, “cease at the moment of birth” (pg.6). It is insane that a machine built by humans would think that the separation of families will help the human civilization survive. Forster states, “People never touched one another. The custom had become obsolete, owing to the Machine” (pg.9).  Since the invention of the ‘machine’, people have become isolated from one another because of the separate rooms they would live in.

Kuno wants his mother to visit him and have a face to face conversation. At first, Vashti does not want to do it because she hates the idea of space travel. You would think that a mother would want to see her son but no that’s not the case. She eventually agrees to visit him. Her journey is an uneventful one. She dislikes the sun and the people she meets. She learns the Kuno is being threatened with Homelessness. Forster says, “Homelessness means death. The victim is exposed to the air, which kills him”(pg.10). This suggests that if a person would disobey the machine in any kind of way then a person is sent to the surface of the Earth to die. Later, Kuno explains to his mother that he has been to the surface of the Earth and has survived. So probably, the committee or whoever is in charge of the ‘machine’ thinks that those that choose to disobey the rule of the ‘machine’ will be banished to live on Earth.

Forster notes, “We created the Machine, to do our will, but we cannot make it do our will now. It has robbed us of the sense of space and of the sense of touch, it has blurred every human relation and narrowed down love to a carnal act, it has paralyzed our bodies and our wills, now it compels us to worship it. The Machine develops–but not on our line. The Machine proceeds–but not to our goal” (pg.150. In this quote, Kuno gives his mother a taste of the truth. The ‘machine’ is destroying mankind and no one seems to notice.

Ultimately, this text has provided me with a visualization of what Earth could become. Our people are already relying on technology to advance us into the future. As humans, we must decide where the line is drawn. We must not let technology get the better of us and separate us. For we are the creators and that is how it is meant to be. Nothing more–nothing less.

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:

  • 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.


Vishal’s Introduction.

Hi. I am a 19-year-old college student. This is my second year at the New York City College of Technology. As of now, my major is currently Liberal Arts and Sciences. After my second year, I will finally have my Associates in Liberal Arts and Sciences. After this year, I plan on applying to the nursing program.

I have a variety of interests. I enjoy reading. My favorite books are The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. I also enjoy watching movies, especially the oldies. My favorite movies are The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles both by John Hughes. I also love the Harry Potter movie franchise as well as the books.

In my leisure time, I tend to use it wisely. When I’m not reading or watching something I often dabble in photoshop. Some people have a platform they can use to help express themselves. I have been photoshopping since I was a junior in high school. I don’t know why but when I am photoshopping I just feel calm. Other than that, I play video games like your common teenager. My favorite game to play is the Assasin’s Creed Franchise

Over the summer, I visited the Museum of Modern Art. It was a great trip. I got to see a lot of amazing modern art. I also attended one of my cousin’s wedding. It was a beautiful event. I also went camping with my family. It was my fourth camping experience. It was at the Lake and Shore RV Resort. We did all the camping things. We slept in tents, we made our breakfast and lunch right over the fire pit. We even got to make smores. Over the winter, I have no plans as of yet. But who knows what could happen?

This the suit I wore for my high school prom. Very classy indeed.

In my previous English classes, I was often found to be a great reader. While I would read a text of any sort, I would make small notes in margins and question the text. If I found anything I did not understand I would underline it and bring it up in the next classes. I enjoy reading the most because I feel that the more times you read something the better you understand. I dislike reading boring texts. I enjoy a text that has an interesting plot, character development, and an ending. As a writer, I have a great organization but I tend to drag my explanations. I have worked hard to cut down. I enjoy explaining myself thoroughly. As I would explain a text, I feel that there always more than one answer to what the author wants you to think. There is nothing really that I dislike about writing, I feel that writing helps you express yourself and explain your ideas to other. As a thinker, I choose to make observations and draw conclusions. When it comes to critical thinking I enjoy ideas that I come up with and the ideas my fellow peers come up with so that I can learn how others think. I dislike questions that make you think long and hard but in the end, it’s an obvious answer.

I used Openlab in one of my previous classes. It was a Films from Literature class. In the class, we used as a way for the class to discuss films and texts that we read in class. I have a few favorite genres of literature. They include fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, and horror.

I first experienced Science Fiction, when I was younger I saw an episode of the Twilight Zone. The essence of the episode was just so bizarre but interesting that it just pulled me in. My favorite sci-fi book is Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Honestly, taking this course will offer me a variety of new things to read and watch. I expect to develop a better understanding of Science Fiction and how it relates to the real world.