Brave New World
Posted on: Friday, July 20, 2018 8:30:55 AM EDT
Here the assignment for your last paper.
Due July 30
Art and Technology
Readings (See below)
This is an opinion based or an argumentative paper 2-3 pages long. (Not including citations)
You will need at least 2 secondary sources. I recommend using one or more of the articles I listed, unless you are discussing genetics.
All research is to be cited by MLA using Purdue OWL. The link is on the syllabus.
You can choose your own theme, or one we discussed in class, or you may choose to follow one of these prompts listed below.
You may write on one of the themes from one of the articles (essays below) and BNW. You may refer to any of the things we have talked about of looked at in class, and you may also incorporate ideas and things that you know about and wish to explore. There are so many themes; the return to the garden, mass production, male/female relationships, cloning, determination vs nature, utopia vs. apocalypse, identity, the role of government… many more.
What are we looking for and why are we unsatisfied?
“Sexuality and spirituality are two ways that we transcend our everyday physical reality. Indeed, there are links between our sexual and spiritual passions, as the ecstatic rhythmic movements associated with some varieties of spirituality experience suggest” (The Age of Spiritual Machines,Kurzweil) Connect this idea to BNW – particularly the passage where the people gather to celebrate the coming of their savoir- ‘his feet are on the stairs..’ Consider too, Marx’s statement about religion being the opiate of the people.
Develop the idea of determination (predestination and Darwinism) and free will as it pertains to the various subgroups in the book.
In Chp 13 Lenina removes her clothes and attempts to seduce the Savage by pressing herself against him. He responds violently by hitting her and calling her a whore. She locks herself in the bathroom and is bewildered by his actions. Ironically, he is relieved of this awkward moment when he receives a phone call letting him know that his mother has overdosed on soma. What do you make of this scene (their only real love scene)?
Explore the idea of knowledge and information as it pertains to machines and the society in BNW.
‘pain is a delusion’ consider this statement at the end of the book and write a paper on our incessant need to eradicate pain at every level.
These quotes may help you find your topic:
“The cyborg is a creature in a post-gender world; it has no truck with bisexuality, pre-oedipal symbiosis, unalienated labour, or other seductions to organic wholeness through a final appropriation of all the powers of the parts into a higher unity. In a sense, the cyborg has no origin story in the Western sense — a ‘final’ irony since the cyborg is also the awful apocalyptic telos of the ‘West’s’ escalating dominations of abstract individuation, an ultimate self untied at last from all dependency, a man in space.”
“I do not know of any other time in history when there was greater need for political unity to confront effectively the dominations of ‘race’, ‘gender’, ‘sexuality’, and ‘class’.”
“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.”
Additional links to incorporate into your paper:
doors of perception
Propaganda in a Democratic Society
Utopia, Thomas More, 1516
Robespierre or the “Divine Violence” of Terror •
. Slavoj Zizek
Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto
Warren Sack, Artificial Human Nature
“Cyberfeminism with a difference”
Hawthorne Rappaccini’s Daughter
Brave New World