19 October 2009
Anti-Technological Ideas in Michael Crichton’s Westworld
Michael Crichton’s Westworld is a comparatively modern science fiction movie released in 1977. It displays the existence as well as the eventual collapse of a futuristic theme park inhabited by robots. Overall, the movie features an anti-technological message which serves as a warning for humanity rather than functioning exclusively in order to provoke action, suspense and general entertainment. This hypothesis will be discussed by considering Crichton’s understanding of technology’s role in human life and by examining particular features of the actual film. Eventually, Westworld will be put in context with other works of Crichton as well as with further contemporary movies addressing the same subject.
In Electronic Life , Crichton expressed his thoughts about the increased use of computers and the modern technology of the early 1980s and his concerns about its future development. Preceding the actual discussion, he lists various basic notions including that “People are more important than computers” as well as that “Computers can actually be a lot of fun” (Crichton 3). These two statements address precisely the central conflict between advantages and disadvantages of technology expressed in much of Crichton’s work and other contemporary and more recent science fiction films.
Crichton’s introduction to Electronic Life mainly points out the risks and dangers of modern technology and computers in particular. He critically approaches industrial revolutions such as the first moon landing which he perceives as “the first giant step in the systematic militarization of space” (4) and refers to the contemporary American controversy on nuclear power. Furthermore, Crichton considers the virtues of technology as “hyped” (4) and warns that individuals may underestimate their power concerning the development of the computer technology (5). According to him, a great risk lies in corporations and governmental institutions since the effect of their particular actions has often been unintended and, therefore, might cause serious problems (7-8). Such risks and potential dangers of technology constitute the groundwork for the anti-technological ideas used in the plot of Westworld
- Quote paper
- Nico Reiher (Author), 2009, Anti-Technological Ideas in Michael Crichton’s "Westworld", Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/154850