User:Brebre143/HUMN 4472 Journal

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August 18, 2019: Science Fiction

Science fiction is a type of literature or film that usually has imaginative details. This can include time travel, fictional worlds, parallel universes, etc. Some of the most common science fiction is Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Star trek. The most well known television station that is dedicated to science fiction films is the SyFy network.

Hi Brebre143! I'm a fellow student in this class. Still figuring Wikipedia out, so I hope this works. I like that you mentioned parallel universes in your post--that's a favorite trope of mine too. Good luck in the class! --MorganAtMGA (talk) 00:33, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

August 20, 2019: What I learned about Sci-Fiction

While reading some of the articles and watching videos about Science Fiction, I learned that there are various ways that people define what Science Fiction is. Ursula Le Guin describe science fiction as "a literary tradition, a genre of fiction like realism".[1] Another thing that I learned from watching the video "The Truth about Science Fiction" is that many of the things that were predicted and written about in Science Fiction novels have actually come true such as Robots and Airplanes.[2] Lastly, I learned that Science Fiction became popular in the 1920s, thanks to "the genre’s principal advocates, the American publisher Hugo Gernsback"[3] This led to the Hugo Awards, where achievements are given to Science Fiction writers, directors, films, etc.

@Brebre143: But Le Guin shows how sf goes beyond realism. How? (I would suggest this is the important part.) —Grlucas (talk) 08:05, 31 August 2019 (EDT)
@Brebre143: Hello, I enjoyed reading your post. I have never heard of the Hugo Awards. I will have to check it out. I liked how your post was structured and flowed seamlessly. I will have to agree on science fiction becoming real life. For example, the vacuums that move around on their own to clean. No one would have thought about that if it wasn't for movies putting the idea out there. TSmith2020 (talk) 00:57, 7 September 2019 (EDT)
@Brebre143: After through all the definitions, which one resonated with you the most? 21:58, 8 September 2019 (EDT)

August 30, 2019:Journal about "The Swimmer"

With this journal entry, I've decided to look at some aspects from John Cheever's "The Swimmer". One thing that stood out to me in this short story was the theme of time passing. At the beginning of the story we are introduced to the protagonist that goes by the name of Neddy Meril. He is described as a man who is slender and exudes youth though being far from it. He is depicted to be cheery and habitually sliding down his banister for a swim daily. He sees himself as an explorer, making it his mission to swim in all of his neighbors pools while he sees it as a travel across the country. As he begins to make his pit stops, alcohol always seems to be involved at every stop. First he is offered a drink, but then each stop turns into him asking for a drink. A few drinks in, he realizes that one of his neighbor's house is completely empty, which leads him to ponder of when they left as he could've sworn he had just heard from them recently. This continues to happen with every pool he takes a dip in. I started to notice that each time he made a stop to get a drink the more things in his environment would change, and his neighbors started to respond differently. The one that stuck out to me the most was when he stopped by Mrs. Halloran's house,

"We've been terribly sorry to hear about all your misfortunes, Neddy."

My misfortunes?" Ned asked. I don't know what you mean."

"Why we heard that you'd sold the house and that your poor children ... . "

"I don't recall having sold the house," Ned said, /and the girls are at home."

Yes" Mrs. Halloran sighed. "Yes .... " Her voice filled the air with an unseasonable melancholy."[4]

This shows that there has been time that has passed that the protagonist doesn't seem to remember. At the beginning of the story it is noted that he slid down the banister of his home, and now the neighbor is speaking about how his home was sold and mentioning an event that happened involving his children.

It is also worthy to mention that each time he gets out of someones pool, he progressively has a harder time getting out, signifying time passing and him getting older. The ending really pulls the whole story together when Neddy at last goes to his mistresses house asking for a drink in which he is denied. In this moment is where you see true emotion from Neddy "It was probably the first time in his adult life that he had ever cried, certainly the first time in his life that he had ever felt so miserable, cold, tired, and bewildered." (9)[5] He stumbled to the driveway of what was once his home, and realizes that his wife and children are gone, his bed is gone, the garage to had rusted, and the doors were locked. He finally realizes that his home is empty and he has nothing left. The article that I found did a great job of going into detail with the themes and motives that were being portrayed in the short story. The article touched on the theme of the passage of time and stated "Neddy lives in a world of denial and his act of repressing painful events has led him to lose track of time. But as we all know, time eventually catches up with us, and throws reality into our faces when we least expect it. This is seen through the quick changing of the seasons and the seemingly sudden aging you see in Neddy."[6]

@Brebre143: Neddy Merrill can also be described as "childlike" or "immature" because of his carefree attitude. He spends the majority of his time with friends, drinking alcohol, and swimming. Neddy is living in this alternate reality where the events have already taken place, but he is still living in the past. I do not see Neddy as aging every time he gets out of the pool. I think the times passing by every time he gets out of the pool is the alcohol wearing out of his system. With the alcohol wearing out, he is becoming more coherent to his surroundings. Cheever mentions Neddy on the highway being ridiculed with him wearing only swim trunks in the autumn standing in the median. The changing weather and the missing neighbors brings him into a bit of sobriety causing him to realize that his alcoholism has destroyed his reputation, social life, wealth, family, health, and sanity. MarinChristina (talk) 19:07, 1 September 2019 (EDT)
@Brebre143: For this journal, I did not focus on "The Swimmer," but I found your response on the story to be very interesting. I did not interpret Neddy's struggle getting out of the pool as time passing and him getting older, yet that makes so much sense. You really critically analyzed the story, which makes me want to read the story again.--Daisja30 (talk) 18:48, 8 September 2019 (EDT)
@Brebre143: Some thoughtful observations here. You needn't use parenthetical citations if you footnote. I fixed some formatting issues here. Be sure to proofread, and it would be nice to respond to your comments. —Grlucas (talk) 16:01, 9 September 2019 (EDT)

September 3, 2019: Journal Post 4

When reading "The Swimmer", I felt that it was little easier to follow and figure out what the themes were in the story. With La Jette, it was a little more difficult to follow which resulted in me having to watch it again and read some analyses of it. When I grasped a better understanding of the film I realized that the one thing that the short story and the film both had in common was the theme of time and change. In The Swimmer, the theme of time and change took place in the fact that Neddy had so much alcohol in his system that he was not aware of the things that were taking place, and how fast time was moving from the time he came down his stairs to get coffee at the beginning of the story to him standing in his house window to see that it was empty at the end of the story. In La Jetee, time and change is taking place when the protagonist's jailers send him to the past to meet the woman he always remembered and when was visited by the people of the future who offered to help him escape to their time.

Both the film and the short story did a great job in immersing the reader in the mind of the protagonists. La Jetee did so in a way that was best described in an article that I found stating "The film consists almost exclusively of still photographs which are used to animate this short film. This photo-roman technique combined with the narrator’s sparse monologue creates an ethereal atmosphere within the film."[7] The film also had background noises of the jailers speaking and you could also hear the heartbeat of the protagonist while he was being sent into the different time realm, giving the true feeling of what taking place during that time. In "The Swimmer", we are able to feel what the protagonist is feeling by the vivid descriptions of what was taking place and what he was feeling at all time. This helped really show the theme of time and change in this short story.

@Brebre143: It should be "The Swimmer" and La Jetée. Please review "Writing in the Liberal Arts." —Grlucas (talk) 16:04, 9 September 2019 (EDT)

September 11, 2019: Journal Post 5 "Blink"

In the Doctor Who episode "Blink", the theme of time travel was very prevalent. There were some things regarding time travel that stuck out to me, such as how everything in the episode was connected to each other somehow. Another aspect that stuck out to me was how the fourth wall was broken in this episode, which I'll continue to discuss these matters below.

Time is connected

The entire episode "Blink" was based around how Sally Sparrow was chosen to stop the Angels from getting to the time travel box and gaining more power from it. Each character played a role in being the puzzle piece to help Sally, but there was one character that stuck out to me the most, and that was Billy Shipton. When Billy came in his older self to tell Sally how to stop the Angels, Billy mentioned that he married a girl whose name was also Sally. This stuck out to me, because when Sally's friend Kathy wrote her letter to Sally, she mentioned that she named her daughter after her. This came across as it could be Kathy's daughter Sally who Billy was married to. One thing that supports this was that The Doctor kept mentioning how time was all connected and time was not linear, and since both Kathy and Billy had some type of connection to the Wester Drumlins house, this could be possible the Kathy and Billy's Sally are the same person since time is all connected.

Fourth Wall

The next aspect that stuck out to me was how the fourth wall was broken throughout this episode. The Doctor made it very clear that when you are in the presence of the statues, it is vital not to blink and not to turn your back. The audience is connected to this warning as well. Each scene that the Angels are visible to the audience they are still and usually in the weeping position, indicating that they are trying not to look at you because we are looking at them. When Kathy's brother and Sally are back in the Wester Drumlins house, the Angels that are not in our view are shown moving around in the next room from their shadows. This is also seen when the Angels are following them to the time travel box, and every time the light turns on the statues are still and in a different position than previously.

@Brebre143: I think you make a good point about the fourth wall being broken in the episode. It's probably part of why it's so popular with fans. The last few seconds of the episode seemed to be less focused on The Doctor and more about influencing the audience's perception of statues in the real world. I hadn't watched the show before, but I've heard fans of it say "Don't blink." Now I know what they were talking about. -MorganAtMGA (talk) 16:29, 15 September 2019 (EDT)
@MorganAtMGA: I hadn't watch the show either, but after this episode I think I'll give it a try. Brebre143 (talk) 21:32, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
@Brebre143: Some great observations here. Did you look at any secondary criticism? —Grlucas (talk) 12:27, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
@Grlucas: For this journal post I did not look at any secondary criticisms, although I did look at some for journal post 6. Brebre143 (talk) 21:32, 16 September 2019 (EDT)

September 13, 2019:Journal Post 6 "Blink" & "The Gernsback Continuum"

One thing that "Blink" and William Gibson's "The Gernsback Continuum" have in common is the idea of a 'continumm'. According to Dr. Andrew Wood's criticism of "The Gernsback Continuum, "The 'continuum' refers to a conceptual space, an alternative universe that exists alongside our own - and occasionally intersects with our 'real' world. " [8]. With the understanding of what a continuum represents, I realized that Dr Who's "Blink" could also be described as a continuum. In "The Gernsback Continuum", the narrators continuum is this view of a futuristic world. He never noticed these images until he spoke to Dialta Downes, who spoke about how she likes to view architecture for her photography. Ever since their conversation, the narrator started having images that tied into his daily life "And looked up to see a twelve-engined thing like a bloated boomerang, all wing, thrumming its way east with an elephantine grace, so low that I could count the rivets in its dull silver skin, and hear-maybe-the echo of jazz." [9]. The images of a futuristic world that the narrator was seeing was the alternate universe of what America would be like if the futuristic goals were fulfilled.

The idea of a 'continuum' was seen in the episode "Blink" during Sally Sparrow's mission to stop the Weeping Angels. Her version of a continuum was the constant time travel that took place between The Doctor, Billy Shipton, & Kathy Nightingale. They all had some contact with Sally in her present reality, while they were still in the past and or future. The time travel existed alongside her own reality to help her get the clues to stop the Weeping Angels. The best example of this was seen at the ending scene of the episode where Sally see's her reality of 'present day' The Doctor, while when The Doctor see's Sally his 'present day' is actually the past which is why he does not recognize Sally when she confronts him. Even though both works of art were different examples of a continuum could be, they both give insight of how this idea can take place.

@Brebre143: Wood’s idea of the continuum can most definitely be seen in the episode “Blink.” A lot of its interactions dealt with these alternate universes coinciding and being impacted simultaneously as they exist alongside Sally’s view of the ‘real’ world in which she is currently living. -Atallent (talk) 13:06, 15 September 2019 (EDT)
@Brebre143: I agree with the statement you made about two worlds being parallel and sometimes intersecting. I felt that was one of the themes from both of these stories. I feel that two parallel worlds is also the basis of time travel and why time travel is so widely used in sf. Ambersmith5 (talk) 09:26, 16 September 2019 (EDT)

September 20, 2019: Journal Post 7- Themes in "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale"

The short story, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick, has many plot twist pertaining to Douglas Quail's memory implants. He had a memory implant to suppress his memories of being an Interplan agent and later wanted one that fulfilled his childhood fantasy, only to find out that it was actually true and had just been suppressed as well. Considering the fact that Doug had many memory implants, I gathered that all of his possible memory implants all involved him having some significance to the situation, giving the idea that he is unhappy with his life and just wants to feel significant to society.

At the beginning of the story, it is immediately known that Doug does not enjoy his job, "A miserable little salaried employee, he said to himself with bitterness." [10] He would much rather travel to Mars, only to find out that he already has and had a job as an assassin. Toward the end of the story, all Doug wants is to have his daydreams to be fulfilled to get rid of his actual memories of being on Mars. This daydream involves him being the most important person on Earth who saves humanity from aliens, which can be seen as a pretty arrogant wish, this turns out to be true and is also suppressed.

This leads me to the idea that Doug has the want to be relevant. An article that I found helps support this idea, "In his deepest fantasy he is someone who matters, the complete opposite of his life on Earth." [11] In reality, Doug is completely relevant considering the fact that his existence is saving the whole Earth from the return of aliens. The problem with this is that he is not consciously aware of this, making him dissatisfied, "That fact that he really does matter is less significant than the fact that he wants to be conscious of his significance." [12] His one true want is to feel like he has some value to society and he does not get that with his everyday job.

I did not think to take a psychoanalytic standpoint with this story. However your analysis of Douglas Quail is interesting. The idea that a mans desire to important is in fact a difficulty for those around him try to suppress his memories but ultimately the erasing of his memory do not work due to the over all power of his conscious. However maybe elaborate more on your point of why he feels this way. --D.Sams96 (talk) 21:28, 20 September 2019 (EDT)

September 20, 2019- "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" & "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" Similar Themes

While watching The X-Files episode, "Jose Chung's From Outer Space", I noticed the many aspects that the episode and "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" had in common. The two main themes that I saw in both stories was the theme of false memory and memory manipulation.

The best example of this can be seen in the character Chrissy in The X-Files episode. False memory can be seen when Chrissy goes in for her hypnosis, her story changes each time "The stories appear to reflect the most recent version of the story she has heard from someone else, not the truth of the event that happened to her."[13]. One minute her story is that both her and Blaine we taken captive by the aliens and being examined and the next minute, her story is that she was surrounded by the C.I.A and the Air force. This idea of false memory can also be seen in "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale". Doug wants a false memory implantation to satisfy his urge to go to Mars. Similarly to Chrissy's scenario, he can't determined what events actually took place "By God, I think I went." After a pause he added, And simultaneously I think I didn't go." [14]

The next theme that was oddly similar in the way it took place was memory manipulation. In both stories, Chrissy and Doug had encounters with the military, which ultimately resulted in their memories being wiped. In "Jose Chung's From Outer Space, during Chrissy's second hypnosis, she stated that she was surrounded by the C.I.A and the Air Force while they were talking about her and asking her about the alien spaceship. This ended with them saying "this is all for the good of the country" [15], and erased her memory. This is very similar to Doug's scenario where when he is under sedation he reveals that his wanted false memory was actually true, 'Someone, probably at a government military-sciences lab, erased his conscious memories". [16] Both characters had their supposed run ins with the military resulting in their memories being erased.

@Brebre143: I similarly talked about the similarity within this week's material. I agree with what you have written about the hypnosis and how the government wanted the characters to not remember what they had seen or been through. I think that the government keeping secrets is what creates the want to explore and find out more information. I the government had been truthful with them it would have eventually been second nature to the citizens. I think our government does the same thing until we have a leak in information to the public then it becomes mass media. They need to learn that there is a conflict of interest because it is always best, to be honest with the people who elect you into positions but to me, politics is nothing but a melting pot of lies.--TSmith2020 (talk) 02:47, 22 September 2019 (EDT)


  1. Le Guin, Ursula (1993). The Norton Book of Science Fiction. New York and London: Norton and Company. p. 21.
  2. "The Truth about Science Fiction". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  3. Bruce Sterling. "Science Fiction". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  4. Cheever, John (1964). The Swimmer. Boston: Bedford/St.Martins. p. 7.
  5. Cheever, John (1964). The Swimmer. Boston: Bedford/St.Martins. p. 9.
  6. Rashmi Sunder. ""The Swimmer" by John Cheever: Summary and Analysis". Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  7. Chris Marker. "Andy's Anachronisms - Time Travel Movie Reviews". Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  8. Dr. Andrew Wood. "Making Sense of the Gernsback Continuum". Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  9. Gibson, William (1981). Ursula K. Le Guin & Brian Attebury (ed.). The Gernsback Continuum. New York: W.W Norton & Company 1993. p. 460.
  10. Dick, Philip K. (1966). We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. Mercury Press. pp. 35–52.
  11. B., Chris. "The X-Files: Jose Chung's "From Outer Space"". Retrieved September 19, 2019. The stories appear to reflect the most recent version of the story she has heard from someone else, not the truth of the event that happened to her.
  12. Dick, Philip K. (1966). We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. Mercury Press. pp. 35–52.
  13. "Jose Chung's From Outer Space".
  14. Dick, Philip K. (1966). We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. Mercury Press. pp. 35–52.

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  • unknown, unknown (May 30, 2014). "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale". Philip K. Dick Reviews. Retrieved September 18, 2019. In his deepest fantasy he is someone who matters, the complete opposite of his life on Earth." & "That fact that he really does matter is less significant than the fact that he wants to be conscious of his significance.