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Stranger in a Strange Land - Essay Example

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Name of of Lecturer Course 8 December, 2011 Stranger in a Strange Land There is hardly any other field in life that successfully walks on the threshold of both fiction and fact. These two usually mix so well in literature that at some points, there seems to be no border between them…
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Download file to see previous pages However, one attribute that repeatedly transforms science fiction from every other genre is that it is very far from everyday reality. Yet, science fiction largely has lived up to its billing of expanding the imaginative scope of the reader. This is exactly the case with Heinlein's novel, Stranger in a Strange Land. In Stranger in a Strange Land, one gets to traverse two planets: mars and earth. The major part of the novel takes place on earth, yet mars and Martians are still very central. The issues that one encounters in the novel closely affect the lives of humans. Ideas on the human condition are expressed; one also encounters talking points on religion and sex. In the novel, one is amazed at the rate at which commentary seems to be run on the human reality, using Mike, the one who unexpectedly returns from Mars to earth 25 years, as the case study. Mike finds the affairs of humans on earth strange. The irony is that the humans who have been born and bred within the system have absolutely adapted to the changes that regularly take place in their world. These humans have so conditioned to it that they no longer notice the abnormality that now reigns supreme in their midst. Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other Heinlein (28) One of the sides to human existence on earth that was played upon in the novel is that politics; and those in authority are in the habit of scoring cheap points. When the authorities realise the danger the continuous free existence of Mike on earth may portend to them, they incarcerate him, and parade another man as the man from masses. In spite of the agonizing experiences Mike is made to undergo by the authority, he gets favor from a number of people who were able to discern his plight. Mike later tries to “grok” humanity. His idea is that whenever you encounter any other grokking thing—man, woman, or stray cat…you are meeting your 'other end.' The universe is a thing we whipped up among us and agreed to forget the gag Heinlein (28) So far, it's been made clear that the story that told in Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land largely ridicules the conditions of human existence. One of the central issues raised in the novel is the ideas of ownership. This is particularly as it has to do with a group of people laying claims of ownership to something which was initially meant to be collectively owned. In the novel, this angle came forth when the reader realizes that the entire planet of Mars which includes a side of the moon may actually be owned by Mike. One can relate this to the capitalistic and imperialistic idea of ownership and possession. One of such anomalies of possession came up with the original owner of New England, now United States of America, the red Indians were cheated off what was their original belongings. The manner in which the United States these days seems to trample on the sovereignty of other nations under the guise that they are the world's most powerful country is another example. These same attributes can be found in Britain and other nations of the world that took charge of the territories of some other nations in the name of colonialism because they believe they have the capability to override the powers of others. Literature ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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