Category Archives: Science and humanities

Trying to talk to you–communication in a Super Sad True Love Story

I’ll start by saying: all art is in one way or another about communication. When honestly done, this makes art one of the most special things we as human beings achieve. No other species, as far as I can tell, acts on their imagination as much as us. And literature, writing, whether it be poetry […] Continue reading

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Thinking in “Speculative Fiction”

Children of Men: We began our discussion of Oryx and Crake with a background on the author, Margaret Atwood. Despite writing what most people would consider “science fiction,” Atwood, in many instances, has been known to correct this improper categorization of her works to speculative fiction[1]. Speculative fiction, as Atwood describes it, is fact within […] Continue reading

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Lying and Religion

Max’s post “Religion of the Crakers” brought to my mind the cynicism towards religious ideas in both Oryx and Crake and in other various forms of media. One excerpt particularly struck me in the book about concepts of immortality. “‘Immortality,’ said Crake, ‘is a concept. If you take ‘mortality’ as being, not death, but the […] Continue reading

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A Happy Saturday

Ian McEwan in Saturday explores the nature and significance of happiness neither dismissively nor cynically, but rather as a fundamental goal of human life. As the protagonist, Henry Perowne, notes, “for the professors in the Academy, in the humanities generally, misery is more amenable to analysis: happiness is a harder nut to crack.” Saturday functions as a portrait of a […] Continue reading

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The Tension of Time

  I wrote my last blog post on the structure of “Cloud Atlas”. The story jumps in time, setting, and cast of characters. The stories overlap and carry themes over a very long period of time. Since “Cloud Atlas”, we have read and discussed James Watson’s “The Double Helix”, Ian McEwan’s “Saturday”, and Margaret Atwood’s […] Continue reading

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Genetic Modification as Creation?

One of the aspects of Oryx and Crake that has stuck out to me thus far in reading it is how Snowman deifies the titular characters.  He paints Oryx and Crake as the creators of the people that live around him in his post-apocalyptic world and says that he speaks to them, that he is their […] Continue reading

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On page 94, Perowne takes a look at Baxter and assumes that what he sees is all he needs to know.  “Here’s biological determinism in its purest form.  More than forty repeats of that one little codon, and you’re doomed.  Your future is fixed and easily foretold.”  When I read this passage, I thought to […] Continue reading

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Who’s Right?

A common element I found in Saturday that I brought up in class is there are constantly arguments over who’s right. After further analysis I noticed they are all debates in which neither person can win. Baxter and Perowne exchange a few words when they get in an accident. Baxtor says, “The Tottenham Court Road’s […] Continue reading

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Film v. Literature

I find it interesting to think about how far film has come as our day and age’s major artistic medium—now, I can make no generalization, but it at least seems like a good number of people especially from our generation spend more time watching a screen than reading a book (although that does include television […] Continue reading

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Slavery in Cloud Atlas

There are numerous themes that permeate David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas – reincarnation, connectedness, trust, and human nature are just a few. But often overlooked is the allusion to slavery, which, while explicit in some sections, remains much more subtle in others. In Adam Ewing’s story this theme is quite clear. Autua, the African slave who […] Continue reading

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