Author Archives: mlee

Journal # 7

It’s funny how fast the “hunter” can become the “hunted”.  In the film, District 9, the main character of Winkus is a prime example of this type of character transformation.  The film starts out as Winkus receives a new job promotion.  Winkus now appears to be the man in charge.   As Winkus and his team storm District 9, looking for aliens; his character is depicted as overly enthusiastic, senseless, and above all a firm hated for the alien creatures.  The alien creatures are stuck on Earth and are living in their own filth.  In this story, the aliens are depicted as poor, pathetic creatures that are stuck in a bad situation that they can’t change.  The first half of the film is very important because it sets the tone of power “surrounding” Winkus.  This is before Winkus knows the true motives of his government and what they are really doing to the Prawns.  The second half of the film inverses the first half as the table has now turned for Winkus in the light of the revelation of his new hand.  He has now become the “hunted”.  People treat him much differently now.  He is no longer the man in charge.  Winkus is a castaway and is on the run.  To everyone chasing Winkus, he is the ultimate weapon.  With his newfound abilities, he is a man that has the ability to control the alien weaponry; a man that the government hopes to control.  The government uses and most of all abuses Winkus to the point where they don’t even look at him as human anymore.  Even Winkus’ father-in-law, someone who is close to, turns his back on him and allows the scientists to experiment on Winkus against his will. 

Journal #6

“You don’t understand us as well as you think you do.” (Lilith)

“And you don’t understand us at all, you never will really …” (creature)

            This is a great part from the end of Part Two because it just gets down to the truth of the matter.  Lilith is a “fish out of water”.  The Oankali have been studying the humans for hundreds of years by this point and have gained enough knowledge to have the upper hand at this point.  They already have the upper hand with Lilith, as she is a captive.  For Lilith to insinuate that they know nothing about humans after all this time is a direct result of why the creature essentially demeans Lilith and states an even bigger fact that she knows nothing.  She has been out for hundreds of years and has no knowledge to what may or may not be going on, on Earth; let alone the ship that they are on.  The Oankali rules Lilith and have plans for the future.  A future that she may or may not be a part of depending on how she takes to the Oankali and their way of life.  The creature lowers her down a level and puts her in her place as the captive she truly is.

Journal #5

In Octavia Butler’s Dawn, it is interesting to see how the character of Lilith jumps back and forth with her perception of the creatures that hold her captive.  Overall she has a complete discomfort with the creature; just the sight alone is too much for her at times.  There is this one moment where she is figuring out whether it is a male or female, and then as soon as she figures that out she says at least she doesn’t have to deal with the discomfort of referring to the creature as “It” and could now call it “Him”.  Another interesting part is when she tries to figure out if one of her old cell mate is still alive.  The creature confirms that her old cell mate is still alive but right after Lilith questions why she should even believe anything the creature says.  This is very interesting because it is one of the truest statements.  Why should any person being held against their will believe a word there captive says?  Throughout their conversation the creature is notoriously shady and only shedding light on the parts of the conversation and history that they choice to reveal.  For Lilith, this is a very hard situation to take in. 

Journal #4

After reading the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, it was interesting to see how animals played such a large role in the society of that world.  In the world of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, status is having a real animal.  The issue of having a real animal versus an android animal plays very heavily in the interactions of many people throughout the book.  This is interesting because in our world there are many times we hear of an animal on verge of extinction and hardly anything is being done about it.  This novel in a way provides a glimpse into what may happen in terms of animals and their future.  The novel also presents an idea that people only want what they can’t have.  Only till the point of the animals dying off and there being so few of them, does a person care about the animals.  The people in the story aren’t buying the animals for the right reasons to keep them alive but merely buying them to advance their status.  With such a view like that, it’s no wonder the animals have died off and android animals are being made to replace them. 

Journal #3: Caves of Steel

“And she was guilty?”

“She was.”

“Then why was she not stoned?”

“None of the accusers felt he could after Jesus’ statement.  The story is meant to show that there is something even higher than the justice which you have been filled with.  There is a human impulse known as mercy; a human act known as forgiveness.”

“I am not acquainted with those words, partner Elijah.”

“I know” muttered Baley. “I know.”

This is an interesting and important part of the novel from the end of chapter 14 because it just gets down to the raw issue of the whole situation.  It’s interesting in the sense that it explores Baley’s occupation as a law enforcer, while highlighting the fact that even though he obtains such a position, he still can look past the view held in that stature.  There is a line and even though Baley knows where it is, he can cross it if he needs to.  This then interjects with R. Daneel’s complete lack of understanding.  Baley has spent enough time with R. Daneel at this point to realize the gaps in knowledge that R. Daneel possesses and the fact that he only possesses certain human like qualities.  He may be able to produce a smile but concocting a thought process based on a feeling that maybe I shouldn’t do this, will not occur for R. Daneel.  He would not have been moved by Jesus’ statement and would have stoned the woman.  For him, she did the wrong thing and that’s that.  Once R. Daneel decision is made, it’s made.  So when Baley mutters, “I know.” he is just so passed the problem with R. Daneel not understanding basic human emotions and acts because he’s experienced the confusion numerous times in the novel that he’s done trying to explain, for the moment at least.  Baley just feels like he’s wasting his time explaining something that a “thing” will never understand.

Journal #2

One moment that is very interesting was the shoe store incident.  This incident is great evidence displaying R. Daneel’s short sightedness and inability to see the larger picture even while he believes he has already thought of the outcome and what he will do.  There is a giant mob currently located outside the door of the store waiting to store in and cause trouble.  R. Daneel forces the manager to open the doors.  In this instant Baley is trying to stop a massive riot from occurring while R. Daneel is focused only on the logic of the situation.  The logic here being that these robot clerks are registered and since that is so the people must be served by them.  Baley is unable to explain the situation of a human’s hatred toward robots as he is more concerned that the crowd may find out that R. Daneel is infact a robot.  This distraction allows R. Daneel to take charge of the situation and display his confidence.  Unfortunately this confidence is only based on a lack of knowledge of the hatred.  The problem is while R. Daneel posses the logic of what should be, the real issues is that people are prodomentally illogical and if they were logical like R. Daneel’s tunnel-vision in assuming that he can instantly change a person’s hatred by stating what people should be doing then they would have been served and already left the store.  R. Daneel sees the angered people that are ready to rip the place apart and allows them in based on his logic.  This is illogical.  He should be able to know the hatred that people have for robots just by seeing it first hand.  People have the ability to adapt to new situations if they choose to do so.  Does R. Daneel have the ability to adapt?  R. Daneel is so set in his plan and belief that the people must be served because there is nothing wrong with it.  This is interesting because it brings up the question of who is programming these robots and what information they are and are not being given.  This goes further as R. Daneel pulls out a gun and turns it on the crowd and orders them not to touch him or Baley as they exit.  Later R. Daneel informs Baley that he never intended to shoot anyone.  R. Daneel is so sure that he wasn’t going to shoot anyone but never took into account any variable interactions from the crowd but only his actions.  There were so many people in that room that could have easily charged him and beat him.  If that happened would he have shot?