Wednesday, August 21, 2019
The effects of war and technology on the apocalyptic genre Essay Example for Free
The effects of war and technology on the apocalyptic genre Essay The apocalyptic genre centers on theme of prediction of disaster or warning of havoc in future, involving widespread destruction and devastation. Global warming can be a good example of apocalyptic scenario. In fact man is afraid of himself and more so what he has created. War is a disaster of manÃ¢â¬â¢s actions that has always had devastating effects on his life. With advancement of technology, war has taken a notch higher and so is the destructive effects which are to be accounted by sophisticated weapons used. This is compared to the fear of gods as in the Greek culture of 5th century in Athens (Ford 72). In those time one could not defy the gods and succeed in his or her endeavors because guided by hubris, one met fate he or she was destined, as depicted in the classical literary works. Supernatural forces The gods represented the divine powers controlling fate of man. Sophocles presents these powers of the gods in dramatized play in the story of a man unwitting moving closer to the unhappy fate he has been all along struggling mightily to avoid. The child Oedipus is born to a royal couple, Jocasta and Laius but a grim prophesy deprive this child the royal upbringing. Outcasted to be killed Oedipus is rescued and brought up by Corinth King. As he grows up the issue of his real parents comes up and Oedipus seeks the oracles to know the truth about his parents (Markantonatos 26). The quest to know his real parents in Corinth takes him to oracle Delphi who told him he would kill his father and sleep with his mother. Oedipus leaves Corinth but on the way kills a stranger-his father because of his pride and ignorance. Had he been conscious of what the oracle had told him? He should have avoided all confrontations like that at the crossroads and would not have succumbed to killing. His investigation to know the killer of King Laius exemplifies the height of his ignorance as he accuses Tiresias of lying on behalf of Creon, his great opponent for kingship of Thebes (Markantonatos 39). Oedipus rebukes Tiresias for his lack of sight but it turns out, he himself is blind to the truth. When the truth dawns on him he is so angry that he gouges out his eyes. The hubris and hamartia are achieved is this play as Oedipus, through his pride and ignorance, guided royalty to know the truth leads to his fate, and draws the readers sympathy. Although the divine powers are blamed for what happened to Oedipus much of his ignorance is attributed to hubris which brings him the catastrophe that befalls on him. In Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles depicts the end of the tragic heroÃ¢â¬â¢s life and his mythic implication for Athens. Oedipus undergoes the transformation from an abject beggar, outcasted from his city because of his deeds, into a personality of enormous power, proficient of extending divine blessings. Markantonatos (39) reminds us that the play expresses the Greek mythology belief of supernatural forces that define the destiny of man. Oedipus and Antigone seek refuge in Athens after they are banished from Thebes. A conflict arises in Thebes where Creon and Eteocles, OedipusÃ¢â¬â¢ son want Oedipus to return in Thebes to bless them to avoid a curse foretold by the oracle. Oedipus greets Polynices with the curse of mutual fratricidal murder. As the play ends the curse has been fulfilled for Polynices and Eteocles are engaged in battle where the prophesy of the curse is fulfilled as they kill each other (Ford 51). The effects of war in this case led to the death of brothers and curse finishes the whole family. According to Ford (59) the gods in ancient Greek culture of 5th century B. C were feared because of the influence over the lives of the people for destiny could be shaped in the punishment of ones sins and the punishment came on ones life and mostly at the height of success which was more embarrassing. On responding to the lives of the characters in Oedipus at Colonus shows war has on brought disastrous effects on the life of man. Due to his war-like attitudes, Oedipus kills his father and the curse is fulfilled in his life where he moves from grace to grass and his lineage also falls because of war. This although point on the supernatural forces at work, war has been brought by the characters hubris and hamartia which contributes to devastating effects on their lives in fulfillment of the predictions of the oracles. War and the supernatural forces in apocalyptic genre have generally contributed to the catastrophes that affected the Greek society. Man can only marvel at the wonders and fears brought by the divine forces at work but war is his creation and can be avoided by opting to solve the issues at hand amicably. Had Oedipus been patient after the oracleÃ¢â¬â¢s Delphi prophesy, he would have found the truth that the assumed parents in Corinth were not his real parents. His anger at the crossroads made him kill his real father despite the fact that it had been prophesied that he kill his father (Markantonatos 60). Had he controlled his anger would he have avoided the fulfillment of the prophesy on him? Much is blamed on the gods of manÃ¢â¬â¢s destiny but what is clear is man leads himself to his fate. Is it belief that leads man to his destruction or is it entirely on the part of the supernatural forces? Man can on his part prevent what is happening to him by exercising caution and trying control his actions that bring disaster to him. Effects of war and technology The effects of war and technology in the world of literature are dramatized in science fiction which makes man afraid of his own creation. In the world today many wars are being experienced that have devastating effects on the lives of people. According to Wells and MacAdam (37) the technology of man has led to the manufacture of the most sophisticated weapons the world has ever witnessed. Cases of these weapons used against mankind have produced disastrous and mass deaths that have shocked the world and might take many years to forget the Holocaust of Jews and the Hiroshima. In actual representation of these effects in apocalyptic genre has left man guessing what the technology and war can bring to man: mass deaths and effects that threaten manÃ¢â¬â¢s existence. This has been exemplified science fiction novels and produced in movies that have been very touching and arousing to the psychic of man. The War of the Worlds H. G. WellsÃ¢â¬â¢ The War of the World is a masterpiece literary work detailing the effects of technology and war on man. The book evokes details of the British countryside and a city under siege and Wells succeeds in the way he depicts the sequence of events in the melodrama tragedy which is fun but leaves the reader with something to think about. The novel recounts the meaning of invasion and in this case alien from other planets. The aliens are more armed than people could have imagined with lethal weapons that threaten life on earth. Arrogance is to blame for more aliens land on earth and more havoc increases caused by the aliens (Wells and MacAdam 40). The image depicted by the narrator of people fleeing the city is really shocking for it points to the effects of war which are projected to cause displacement of people and destruction of properties. Due to activities of war sanity is lost and the world goes mad over the effects hovering on land. Everything is in frenzy as people try to fight off the menace threatening peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s lives, and fortunately the aliens succumb to exposure to common terrestrial bacteria. Interpretation of The War of the Worlds In apocalyptic genre, the work predicts the outcome of future incidences that have disastrous effects on lives of the people. The War of the Worlds predicts the use of sophisticated weapons that can cause mass deaths as depicted by the invasion. It may not happen as predicted but the continued advancement of technology on weapons we may in future experience wars that employ these weapons, bringing havoc to the same people who made the same weapons (Wells and MacAdam 28). For this reason man has to be worried not of the ancient gods and the supernatural forces as depicted in the classical Greek plays, but because of his actions to create weapons via the advanced technology. Supranational agreements on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are today being tightened to avoid the wars these weapons may be used. But for how long shall these agreement hold before defaulters emerge and these weapons reach the hands of terrorists? How long before nations start rising against each other? These are the fears man has of weapons he has created and what effects they can have to the world. In the Greek culture, man worried about the gods and how they affected his life, but man today is more worried of the wars and technology that has enabled him create weapons which have devastating effects on life (Wyndham and Francis 98). Not to say that gods do not influence his life but mainly because he has understood his actions are to blame for the pathos and bathos befalling on him. The Day of the Triffids John Wyndham science fiction depicts a world where man has to struggle against the odds to brave the reality that is phasing out humans into extinction. A plague is out to wipe the human race and only two people are remaining sane on the world: Bill and Josella. The community is being devoured to extinction by combination of the triffids which are carnivorous man made plants that can walk, talk and are in revolution to take up the world from man. In fact the seeds of the plants have scattered around the world after a plot to steal them from Russian laboratory (Wyndham and Francis 81). Bill finally meets Josella whom they had been separated but have to fight off the triffids which are proving to be resilient. Wyndham novel is about what might be explained as the impeding doom of human race after the Cold War. Reflections on the novel fit in apocalyptic genre where the humanity may slip-off the agreements on nuclear weapons in to an abyss of nuclear holocaust. Overpopulation and inadequate resources are posed to be the sources of wars that may at one time find the biological and nuclear bombs being unleashed into the world so that some nations may have control over the world and gain access to these scarce resources (Wells and MacAdam 34). Interpretation of The Day of the Triffids It is not a joke when it is said that resources are diminishing at a fast rate. The effects have been felt on the environment, and when scientists talk of global warming we should believe every word. With every nation being polarized on the issue to ensure that its large population gets the basic resources we may find ourselves in a kind of war like activities to get these resources at whatever costs. Wyndham and Francis speculate that greed may take over many nations and invasions to get these resources rise bringing wars fought using all sorts of weapons (86). That biological weapons and virus are being manufactured in labs is not new. In fact most viral infections that are adversely affecting the world at large are as a result of lab processes that go wrong resulting to mutations forming deadly virus that are a threat to the world. There are those who spent sleepless night trying to come up with the most lethal biological weapon that can upon use wipe a whole nation. Although most of what we read is fiction work, nations and terrorists organizations are upbeat in their act to harm mankind in every way using the latest technology. The novel is a thoughtful reflection on morality, where the devil is in man (Ford 65). Wyndham and Francis (92) argue that every scary part reveals the triffids were eventually conquered and destroyed but technology is in action today and many tests in experiment. Wars are brewing everywhere and the threat remains great and the relentless militancy of man still lurks underneath. Biological weapons remain a great threat to the world because it is the most undetectable unlike other weapons which is not a speculation as it has been experienced in the world and many world hate. This serves as an eye-opener to the thinking man and there is need to worry over what might happen if the hell broke loose. In Greek tragedy plays worry was eminent and people took caution not to rub the gods the wrong way because something bad may happen to their lives (Wells and MacAdam 37). Today man has his worry pegged on wars and technology, his own creation, which are proving to bear their toll by causing mass deaths. Conclusion The apocalyptic genre has most of themes projected on prediction to future disastrous effects on manÃ¢â¬â¢s life. The Greek culture had the fear of gods which brought the tragedy to the hero in the play and mostly the people had to seek the oracles (supernatural forces) to know their fate which they could not change due to hubris. Man today is afraid of his own creation, wars and technology, which are bringing devastating effects. The apocalyptic genre in this case predicts the volatile situation we are living in amid the nuclear weapons which if reach in wrong hands like terrorists can be hazardous to humanity. Work cited Ford, James E. Rationalist criticism of Greek tragedy: the nature, history, and influence of a critical revolution. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005. Markantonatos, Andreas. Oedipus at Colonus: Sophocles, Athens, and the world. Berlin; New York: De Gruyter, 2007. Wells, H. G and MacAdam, Alfred J. The War of the Worlds (Barnes Noble Classics Series). New York: Barnes and Noble classics, 2004. Wyndham, John and Francis, Pauline. The Day of the Triffids. London: Evans, 2003.