Abstract or Introduction
This essay aims at calling attention to the ravages of power relationships, which drive disaster and subsequently the ascendance of dystopian/post-apocalyptic worlds in the texts chosen.
“All responsible writers have become involuntary criers of doom, because doom is in the wind; but science fiction more so, since science fiction has always been a protest medium” , the renowned author Philip K. Dick commented on the purpose of writing science fiction. Science fiction offers writers a platform to emphasise and magnify social inequalities, target issues, identify victims and encourage change. The texts discussed in this essay include: Ray Bradbury’s short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” which tells of a technically elaborate house that seems to be the lone ‘survivor’ after an atomic blast; Philip K. Dick’s novel The Man in the High Castle that imagines a world in which the Axis powers triumph over the Allies and totalitarianism is established as the prevailing governmental system; and third, Raccoona Sheldon’s short story “The Screwfly Solution” which describes the devastating effects of a pandemic that causes men to kill off womankind.
First, the terminology relevant to this essay will be established in order to provide a better understanding of the terms used. As the function of this essay is to analyse how and to what effect science fiction texts imagine disaster, the main part will be divided into two sections. In the first section, the portrayal of disasters in the three texts will be explored by looking into the power relations which inform the conflicts. In the second part, the effect of the emergence of dystopia will be discussed by reflecting about the texts’ intentions. The main ideas will be summarised in a final conclusion.
- Quote paper
- Anonymous, 2018, How and to what Effect Do Science Fiction Texts Imagine Disaster?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/539317