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The Human and Posthuman in Edward Scissorhands - Essay Example

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The author of this essay "The Human and Posthuman in Edward Scissorhands" examines the representation of cyborg subjectivity in Edward Scissorhands. It is stated that the tension between the human and the posthuman can be felt on many levels in Tim Burton’s 1990 film Edward Scissorhands. …
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The Human and Posthuman in Edward Scissorhands
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Download file to see previous pages Computers have become so intelligent that they now have the ability to perform calculations at a rate their creators could never dream of matching. She predicts that sometime in the very near future computers will also be able to match the human brain’s ability to store and process information. When that breakthrough occurs, computers gain the ability to respond to environmental stimuli in exactly the same way that humans do. In other words, humans will soon be able to create machines with human consciousness. This situation has resulted in what Hayles calls the posthuman, an entity that blurs the line between human and machine, between a physical brain and a virtual one. She also identifies all living human beings of the modern age as posthuman.
To see ourselves as posthuman is a compelling new way of interpreting the world. Literature students may find the rationale behind the idea of the posthuman rather familiar, and with good reason. As Bartlett and Byers (2003) note, the demise of the assumption that a human being can be clearly defined is in keeping with the postmodernist trend of Western literature in the twentieth century. They also cite Haraway’s (1985) conception of the cyborg as the most well-known image of posthumanism in modern society. It is precisely this image of a half-human, half-machine that encapsulates humanity’s greatest fears about technology (Clark, 2003). To put it simply, humanity is afraid of being surpassed. Anyone with a passing familiarity with modern advances in science knows that cyborgs going to become a reality within the next few decades, if not the next few years. Anyone with a passing familiarity with the principles of robotics will also recognize that these future cyborgs will be superior to regular humans by virtue of not only their intelligence but also because of their more efficient, more long-lasting bodies. Edward is a cyborg. He is a combination of several very odd parts (including a cookie heart), but he is programmed to have very human traits. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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