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An Alien Agony



Summary:
In this part of the science fiction story “An Alien Agony“, written by Harry Harrison, the reader gets to know the trader John Garth who lives on a planet called Wesker’s World in the universe. He lives there nearly alone. Only is family seems to be there and he is a trader and claims this planet for himself. One day there is another spaceship landing on his planet and he fears that this could be enemies or other traders who want to live on his planet too. Then a voice talks to him from out of the spaceship. It is a friend of Garth’s called Singh. But he himself does not want to stay there. He just sends a man who should live on Wesker’s World. Garth is not very pleased to have a stranger on his planet now and tries to convince Singh that it is impossible that another person except himself lives on Wesker’s World. They start arguing about the fact if Wesker’s World is just Garth’s planet or if somebody else could have the right to live and trade on that planet too. In the end the other man, Father Mark, enters the planet and Garth has to give up his resistance.
(205 words)
Analyze the differences between utopian and science fiction texts!
There are a lot of differences between utopian and science fiction texts. I think the most important one is that a utopia deals with an ideal society or world. The author writes it because he wants to criticize the recent conditions people have in his times. So he designs a society where all these problems are solved and everybody lives in peace and harmony, at least according to the ideas the author has. So the utopian literature expresses hope. And all that is described in those texts reflects the recent society and lots of people can identify with it.
But in my opinion science fiction texts are just commercial mass literature and should entertain people. In most cases there are nearly no realistic things in it. There is stuff like spaceships, aliens, roboters, life in space and so on. All these things are impossible to be realized at the present time. For example fuel that can bring people to planets in other galaxies. Or the spaceships are not invented yet. And furthermore there are no planets discovered that that offer conditions that make it possible to live on them.
For example the given text “An Alien Agony” represents this fact perfectly. People live on their own planet in the universe. They fly around in spaceships and trade with other people living on other planets.
Another example is Singh who brings passengers through a lock. What kind of person believes such things?
In my opinion that is one big sign that science fiction literature is just written to amuse people. And I think it is a very important type of literature for the market. Lots of people like reading this. Some because the like these stories and some because they dream of such a high developed society and technology. And there are maybe others who believe in life in outer space. So there will be always people who buy science fiction books. That is a point where there is no difference between utopian and science fiction books. People will always be interested in reading them. But the reasons why they read it are different.
Another big difference is that in my opinion there is no criticism in a science fiction story. That means that the author does not express his criticism on the recent society in his book or story. He just invents an action and the characters. In contrast to that in a utopia you can often identify the characters and find relations to real persons like politicians. And the action is just the reflection of recent events or conditions with the expression of hope.
But in science fiction stories everything is completely invented. But I think maybe the authors want to express some kind of hope. For example they dream of a high developed technology that it makes possible to travel to other planets. Or the authors would like to live in other galaxies. But it is another kind of hope that is given here. It is more futuristic I think.
For example in our given text the trader embodies someone who wants to live in peace on his own planet. So he wants to have his own land and wants to do his job to survive. This shows the wish to be independent from everything and everybody.
So, as I already said it is another kind of hope. But you can see that there is hope. Even if it is not foreseeable when it will be possible to realize it or at least to get closer to realizing dreams like that.
All in all I’ve come to the conclusion that science fiction books are a piece of entertainment and most people see it like that. And utopian literature can be read as an entertaining book too. But there is real criticism in it to think about.
I think I mentioned and explained the main differences in this short text and I hope my opinion is obvious now.
(659 words)
Juliane Friedrich, 12/2 07.06.2004
Inhalt
Summary of "An Alien Agony", written by Harry Harrison

Task: Analyze the differences between utopian and science fiction texts! (885 Wörter)
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21.11.2004 von unbekannt
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