The essay requires a minimum of 2000 words (approx. 4 pages) and using at least two films/stories from the course.
You must choose one of these three options:
Option # 1: Write about the concept “Science Fiction stories are often about where man encounters his uncivilised double”
This is about encountering a human (or maybe what looks like a human) that looks normal on the outside, but is not a normal human on the ‘inside’ — this typically means ‘how they think’ or ‘how they behave’ — this being considered as ‘uncivilised’ – certainly, something about them that is not normal from our own cultural perspective … yes, something like encountering the ‘other’ in a human form.
Left Hand of DarknessThis is a story where the central character (Genly Ai – from the Earth) meets the inhabitants of the planet Gethen. The ‘Gethenians’ are not male of female, but ‘intersex’. They live on a planet that is entirely cold (a permanent winter) and find it strange that Genly is a ‘male only’. To get a feel for this type of story, I would suggest that you look at the Star Trek episode (G: Drive – Week 11 folder) entitled “The Outcast”. To get an idea of what ‘intersex’ is about, check out (in the same folder) the ABC Hungry Beast short documentary “Intersex”.
Invasion of the Body SnatchersThis is a story about alien pods which replicate humans into ‘vegetable’ humans who behave differently from normal humans by obeying a collective mind or ‘hive’ mind. The story is actually an allegory of the communist threat … basically believing that the communists don’t think for themselves, but obey, without question, any order from their leader. So, even though the pod people look human, they don’t behave like humans — individual thoughts, activities like sports, a sense of ‘self’ and ‘self destiny’, emotions, creativity in the arts, music, literature etc.
Alien ResurrectionThis is a story about the central character – Ripley – now a hybrid human/alien. She looks human but is now a very powerful human (almost ‘predator-like’). She has been cloned using technology and has human characteristics (a sense of ‘self’ and her past and feeling emotionally attached to help other humans), and alien attributes (strength, agility, speed and highly-tuned senses) where she responds to the alien queen calling her. Call is the female android who seeks to destroy Ripley and the impregnated alien, but she is too late. Call is more human-like than her real-human counterparts. The real humans in this film are depicted as greedy, brutish, self-centered, violent etc, but Call is religious (she carries a bible) and is humane … a seeminly contradiction to what she really is … a non-human android. Both Ripley and Call look human but are not.