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Advancing In The Field Of Literature: A Gift To Society Or A Dose Of A Lethal Substance To The Human Race?

1045 words - 4 pages

Advancing in the field of literature:A gift to society or a dose of a lethal substance to the human race?We live in a world that has been consumed by computers and continues to be invaded by new technology every day. In a futuristic world, the ways of literacy may change drastically from this new technology. A movie that could make you feel every sensation the actors feel, an interactive novel that lets you play your favorite character. These are just some of the possibilities that the future could hold for literacy. The question is if these new forms of literacy are a good thing for literacy and the generations of people to come. In many ways these new forms of literacy would take away everything that literacy is today and has been for thousands of years.There are examples of futuristic literacy technology from books and television. A few examples of these can be found in a chapter called Lord Burleigh's Kiss by Janet Murray. One is the example of the "holodeck" from Star Trek. The crew can go to the "holodeck" and play a character and actually interact and feel everything, as part of a novel. Another example is one from the novel called Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It's a society where books are banned, all children are produced by test tubes, love and parenthood does not exist. The movies are in a form called the "feely". The actors and actresses look and feel more real on the screen then they would in real life. You are able to feel the actors every senses. When they kiss, you can feel the kiss. If either of these forms of storytelling and entertainment ways were real, some believe we would lose a sense of control, a sense of who we are.One person who believes this is Sven Birkets, a professor of literature at Mt. Holyoke College has written an entire book on the downfalls of modern technology. The chapter of "The Gutenberg Elegies" which specifically deals with interactive technology is titled Perseus Unbound. Murray, the author of "Hamlet on the Holodeck" and professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology has many opposing views from Birkets on the subject. Birkets thinks technology almost altogether has only brought down our educational system. This may be going too far in the ways of critiquing technology, but he has many valid points. He believes that advanced technology in literacy is taking out what storytelling is made of, which is soul. In a debate with Murray, Birkets argues, "What functions does storytelling have now, in our premillennial moment, and how will digital media serve these? I mean in a deeper way, beyond entertainment, in a way that speaks to what's left of the soul." Storytelling is meant to make you feel part of the story through words, through literature. Movies that make you feel physically part of the movie would be taking away what storytelling is meant to do.Murray feels that technology can only help to develop literacy even further, rather than destroy it. She also feels that it would not take away from...

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