Themes in Science Fiction Essay

Themes in Science Fiction Essay

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Over the many years of English literature and various forms of media, the ideals of the times and of the creators of these works have changed; some drastically, some possibly not as much. The genre of science fiction is no exception. Take, for example, two of the most widely-known science fiction novels in the history of English literature: The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, written in the late 1800s in Victorian England by H.G. Wells—novels which, quite arguably, revolutionized the science fiction genre—and their modern theatrical counterparts. While it may be more beneficial to compare two works of the same medium, the differences in themes and style are still evident. The former two reflect Wells’ own views in society and his comments on them using allegories, while the latter two tend to appeal to a more general audience and appear to have a theme based on emotions, family and more recent world issues. The modern films The Time Machine and War of the Worlds directed by Simon Wells and Steven Spielberg respectively are indeed adaptations of the original novels. Obvious differences in the storylines aside, the films tend to introduce aspects that would appeal to a broader audience today, such as more action, fighting, adventure and romance than was in the books, helping to develop some of the themes. The ideas and themes that appear in media are often based on events that occurred during the time in which the work was created, as well as the creator’s own ideals. As a result, through the comparison of the original novels by Wells and their film adaptations, it is possible to see how society as a whole has changed over a century’s time, and how the themes present in these works of science fiction have changed as ...


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...sses of the earth. In the future to which the time traveller travels, people are shown to be living on the moon, and as a result of an experiment gone horribly wrong, the moon splits into two pieces and the earth is engulfed in flames, causing most of the earth’s population to be wiped out. This shows how we must be careful in our rapid exploration of the universe and in our attempts at scientific progress today. A simple miscalculation could cause the whole experiment to backfire and cause the whole world to be destroyed, which could potentially happen given the amount of research going in to many development projects. What could be another message is to conserve the natural resources which remain on this earth. While progress is positive, it is meaningless if the population cannot sustain itself due to the amount of resources being used by the new technology.

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