Science Fiction: A Vehicle For Social Criticism

712 words - 3 pages

As creator of a literary work, the author is presented the opportunity to share his or her opinions with the reader. Typically, these views are in regards to past, present or future issues within society. Science fiction however, offers a unique way to present these observations. It opens up endless ways to convey a point using scientific and technological creations of the author's imagination. It welcomes the use of realities that often would not work in any genre other than science fiction.
A wonderfully clear example of this is found in James Tiptree Jr's The Girl Who Was Plugged In. This clearly portrays Tiptree's criticisms of what society deems normal or socially acceptable, as well ...view middle of the document...

This is often done without her knowing. Nothing is coincidental and they treat her as a second class citizen. The men do not view Anne's life as being as important as theirs, they have no respect for her and she is treated as their live puppet.
Additionally, the audience idolizes Anne's celebrity status, thinking nothing of what she must endure as their constant entertainment. The audience's love for living vicariously through Anne only encourages the poor treatment of her by the men, and the creation of more outrageous experiences for her to portray to her audience.
Finally, we see what could be considered Ursula LeGuin's judgements in reference to social inequality in her short story, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. In Omelas, there lies a perfect utopia. Everyone is happy, well adjusted, educated and living a nice life. This is a possible nod towards the upper class and wealthier in modern times. Eventually, the truth is exposed and the citizens find out a child must suffer in order to keep their comfortable life as it is. This is feasibly a...

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