Class Notes 9/27 “The Star” and Metropolis discussion


The last blog posted will be graded first as it is the one most relevant to our class discussions.Grades for the blogs can be viewed on the individual blog its self and you can view all your grades on the dashboard. All past work will be graded by the end of the week. 


Professor’s pick winner is Christopher Navarrete and Tyler Yuen. Reasons being showed clear and consist work as well as was able to properly referrer to other works while still primarily focusing on the text at hand. 

Tips for assignments: 

  • When referencing  other content/texts make it minimal and bring the focus back to content/text at hand. 

The Star:

  • previous class discussion on “The Star” left on the topic of the Martines 

Focal points for this class discussion:

  • We focused on the ending of the story


  • In the end the narrator makes it clear they weren’t going to discuss the aftermath on earth after the Star hit. 
  • The narrator for the first time directs the audience at the end of page 4. “But you must not imagine because I have spoken of people praying…”(4) 

The Mathematician: 

  • Thoughts  on the Mathematician: seems kind of mad, might be under the influence of drugs that prevent him from sleeping, has come to terms with death. 
  • First introduced in page 3 paragraph 3 
  • Predicts the estimated arrival of the star but is not the fist person to figure out that the star is arriving. On the top of page 3 the school boy is shown actually figuring out that the star is arriving first. 
  • In paragraph 5 page 4 the Mathematician is seen challenging nature “Earthquakes, volcanic outbreaks, cyclones, sea waves, floods, and a steady rise in temperature to I know not what limit”—so prophesied the master mathematician.”
  • Important lines he states:
  • “Circumstances have arisen—circumstances beyond my control,”(4) 

These lines show how the situation is of the control of man. 

  • “Man has lived in vain”(4). These lines show the pointlessness of their existence

as well as the development of the apocalyptic terms. 

The Stars impact in the story:

  • The disastrous impact of the Star are starting to be seen in pages 4-6 
  • In page 4 paragraph 2 show the beginnings of humanity truly impacted by the stars approach “And everywhere the world was awake” 
  • People in the story have started to turn to religion for answers to problems This closely relating to “The Machine Stops” were when their demise is undeniable they turn to any sort of religion.
  • The way the Martines describe the destruction happening on Earth suggest that they’ve seen worse devastation. Class theorized that they might be comparing it to the devastation that happened to Neptune. 
  • The way the Martines view the devastation is similar to the way humans viewed the devastation in Neptune putting into perspective how vast and spars the galaxy really is.   
  • In page 5 paragraph 2 we see the destruction happening is parallel with global warming in the real world with the ocean levels rising and sporadic weather only in the story it is at a much more accelerated rate. 
  • The five stages of grief are also seen throughout the entirety of the story and are promptly developed. 
  • Denial 
  • Anger 
  • Bargaining 
  • Depression 
  • Acceptance 

Side Notes:

  • The apocalyptic story beyond the 40’s truly started to develop because after the world wars people started to create story that dealt with the technology we created having the potential of killing us. 
  • In science fiction the importance of the science being accurate doesn’t have as much importance as consequences of the science its self. 
  • All the students in the story are male showing depths of gender inequality at this time in history. 


Background information:

Directer Fritz Lang visited New York to draw ideas from the New York City skyline. This developing the Art Deco style used throughout the film which can be seen in buildings like the Chrysler building. The movie which was created in 1927 was done in the style of German expressionism.The movie was given to the Americans because of fear of it being seen as subversive, which most of science fiction is but given that it was closely released to both world wars would send a negative message. The film is also done in black and white and is the first full length feature film lasting 2 hours and 33 minutes. 


  • Freder: Father 
  • Maria: saint, speaks hopes to workers, belongs to worker city 
  • Multiple Maria’s 
  • Fake Maria: causes destruction and uprising 
  • Grot: Leader of workers 

Thoughts on Movie: 

  • The movie was thought to drag and be predictable, at times was boring. Its positives was its style (art deco) as well as its depiction of human nature, slavery, class devisions and rebellion which was not only represented in the people but also in the style. 
  • The opening were the city is shown was thought to have similarities to the world shown in Futurama where everything looks shiny and new as well as industrial. 

Aspects of the movie:

  • Two worlds are depicted one which is the worker city and is all the way below the city and Metropolis which is for the elite and is thought of as a paradise, busy and full of action and fast moving technology. 
  • The two worlds connects to the painting we saw which depicted moving progress 
  • we only see these two worlds collide in the scene were the world above is pierced by the world below 
  • The shift change shows depression and robotic movement amongst the people as well as their lack of freedom. Showing personification of the machine its self. 
  • The clock only shows 20 hours which shows that the workers life is structured around work unlike the world above. 


  • Rudderless: Lacking a rudder, no movement 
  • Art Deco: the predominant decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colors, and used most notably in household objects and in architecture.
  • German Expressionism: German Expressionism consisted of a number of related creative movements in Germany before the First World War that reached a peak in Berlin during the 1920s. 
  • Subversive:seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution.

Homework and other information :

  • No blog this week, but there is a short video and text that must be viewed and read in preparation for Thursday. The text should be taken from the link provided so that all pages concur with everyone els.
  • Their might be a test 
  • Bring in a scene to discuss about Metropolis 
  • Google/familiarize yourself with Marry shelly author of Frankenstein  which is thought to be the first form of science fiction. A lot of similarities can be seen through the movie and the book. 

One thought on “Class Notes 9/27 “The Star” and Metropolis discussion

  1. Jill Belli

    Thanks Karen for these thorough notes. Two quick corrections:

    1. (under “Announcements,” towards the beginning of these notes): the “Professor’s Pick” for Metropolis was Chris, for his strong comparative analysis of the film and “The Machine Stops” (I did mention Tyler’s post as being also very good, though I only chose one official featured blog for that week)

    2. for the HW, you listed what is due for Th 10/4, but not for the next class (Tu 10/2). There was an article (about the development of the science fiction genre, over the 20th century) to read/print/annotate for that class.


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