Science Fiction Is The Search For A Definition Of Man And His Status In The Universe Which Will Stand On Our Advanced But Confused State Of Knowledge

4990 words - 20 pages

Science fiction is the search for a definition of man and his status in the universe which will stand on our advanced but confused state of knowledge .At first glance this topic could seem rather irrelevant having in mind that the two works are separated by more than a century. During this lapse of time, humanity has witnessed profound changes at a breath-taking speed. The partly Gothic and partly Romantic world of Mary Shelley is quite different from the reality Gibson predicts. We could not say, however, that there are no links between the two. Shelley's work could be viewed as the apprehension of the new-born fear in regard to technical invention and Gibson's work as the divination of the consequences of technological development and sophistication. In both cases the essence of human nature has barely changed. It is what lies behind the destructive human strife for more, more at any price that has led to the despondent conclusions of both works.Indispensable to understanding the complexity of the problem of technology, in both Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and William Gibson's Neuromancer, is the historical context in which the two were written. Whereas Frankenstein was written in a period of dramatic change - that of the Industrial revolution, in Neuromancer, Gibson echoes the opinion of economists who believe that we are currently experiencing the beginning of a profound economic revolution, due to the breakthroughs in information and communication technology, and which some believe is equal in magnitude to the industrial revolution. The second leitmotif of my research is that of nature in reference to technology. Here I describe the relation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to technology and some of the crucial issues concerning technology in relation to human life, and exploration of the dangerous implications of human acts of creation. It is interesting to mention that Shelley's novel is our first and still one of our best cautionary tales about scientific research. Subsequently and similarly , I examine Gibson's Neuromancer and compare it to the ideas presented in Frankenstein, for however different in nature they might seem, the issues raised by Neuromancer are strikingly identical. I look at the motives lying behind artificial creation as I did in regard to Shelley's work. Afterwards, I make a comparison between the "hideous" creature of Mary Shelley and the powerful Artificial Intelligence of Gibson and finally Istress on the foresight of both authors who have been able to predict clearly the consequences of immoral technological utilization.In associating the two works it is useful to understand the historical context in which they were written. Frankenstein is distinctly related to the revolutionary period of 1780 to 1830 or the period of the first industrial revolution. There was a strong conviction in England, in the early Victorian times, that rapid future changes would take place and there were wide differences of view about the...

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