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A Critique Of Arthur C. Clarke’s The Star

879 words - 4 pages

In The Star by Arthur C. Clarke (Clarke 44-49), an astrophysicist and Jesuit priest’s faith is challenged when he and his crew discover the remaining artifacts of a destroyed civilization. He learns that the advanced civilization lived on an earth-like planet in another solar system, and they spent their final years building a vault (filled with their achievements and artifacts) on their outermost planet, which was distant enough to survive the supernova. After the discovery of the dead race’s artifacts, the Jesuit priest finds himself questioning God. The story ends with an ironic twist, as the main character realizes that the beacon that shined above Bethlehem when Jesus was born was the ...view middle of the document...

In the story, the Jesuit priest explains that he would often have interactions with a crew member, Dr. Chandler. He describes a scene where Dr. Chandler taunts him with questions of his faith and asks him, “. . . how can you believe that Something has a special interest in us and our miserable little world . . .” (Clarke 44-49). Dr. Chandler is the only other character that is introduced. There is no description of the character, which is slightly frustrating.
In my opinion, the story only had a few minor weaknesses. For example, throughout the story the Jesuit priest has minor interaction with other characters, which left us in the character’s head for most of the time. There was only one scene of actual dialogue, and while the surroundings are described in great detail, the main character is faceless and nameless. When another character was introduced, he was also faceless. I think more dialogue and description of the characters would have made this story an even better read.
Clarke’s descriptions of the extinct race’s artifacts and photographs are vivid, for example: “Curious whip-like trees line the shore . . .” (Clarke 44-49). There was strong imagery throughout the story, and it added to the nice flow and rhythm. At some points, his sentences held together like a poem. He also used a strong vocabulary, which also added to the flow of the sentences.
His main character is realistic and the plot was clear, believable and well thought...

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