In his essay, “The Pessimism of Many Germanic Stories,” A. Kent Hieatt says of the poem Beowulf:
The ethical life of the poem, then, depends upon the propositions that evil. . . that is part of this life is too much for the preeminent man. . . . that after all our efforts doom is there for all of us” (48).
In Part I of Beowulf the poet establishes Beowulf as an incomparable superman and celebrates his greatness. The occasion for this was the unfortunate situation which Grendel had created in the court of King Hrothgar, Heorot, where there was considerable sorrow due to the uncontrollable ravaging of the monster:
So Healfdene’s son brooded continually
over his sorrows; the wise men could not
ward off the trouble. The strife was too great,
hateful, long-lasting, that had come to the nation,
cruel spirit’s envy, gigantic night-evil.(189-93)
The pessimism of the poor Danes was palpable. They had even despaired of appealing to the Christian God and had reverted to offering sacrifice to their heathen idols. Grendel had killed 30 warriors the first night and had taken even more the next night. But their pessimism is dispelled by one Beowulf who is ready and willing to sacrifice himself to repay the debt of Ecgtheow, Beowulf’s father, to Hrothgar. This Geat warrior possesses almost miraculous qualities: “He was the strongest of men a…
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…lation, edited by Joseph F. Tuso. New York, W.W.Norton and Co.: 1975.
Hieatt, A. Kent. “The Pessimism of Many Germanic Stories.” In Readings on Beowulf, edited by Stephen P. Thompson. San Diego: Greenhaven Press,1998.
Rebsamen, Frederick R.. in “Beowulf – A Personal Elegy.” Beowulf: The Donaldson Translation, edited by Joseph F. Tuso. New York, W.W.Norton and Co.: 1975
Robinson, Fred C. “Apposed Word Meanings and Religious Perspectives.” In Beowulf – Modern Critical Interpretations, edited by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.
Tolkien, J.R.R.. “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics.” In Beowulf – Modern Critical Interpretations, edited by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.
Wright, David. “The Digressions in Beowulf.” In Readings on Beowulf, edited by Stephen P. Thompson. San Diego: Greenhaven Press,1998.
Free Essays – William Gibson’s Neuromancer
Neuromancer revolutionized the way people look at technology. Many people were scared of “cyberspace”. They felt it would change the way the world was run. Some even thought that meals would begin to be served in pill form, and the world be ruled by darn dirty primates. Throughout Neuromancer we see a very vivid dystopia.
We see our first sign of the dystopia in chapter one. It begins with Case, whose name fits him very appropriately. He treats his body as an object. He uses it just to log onto cyberspace. Case has been injected with a poison that keeps him from surfing through cyberspace. This has created a dystopia within Case. He used to make his living through cyberspace. He now injects himself with drugs in an attempt to try and find a cure. Another way we see the dystopia through Case is the room he lives in. They are called coffins, which is a very appropriate name. These rooms are extremely small.
Another sign of dystopia is when Case goes to Japan in hopes of finding a cure on Japan’s black market. They have a big supplier of organs there. This demonstrates the struggle in Japan. In Case’s time there is such a high demand for organs that they will sell them illegally over the black market. The black market most of the time represents the scum of society. There crime runs rampant. People will get killed for their organs, just so someone can make a few extra dollars.
The next sign of this book being a dystopia is Ratz. He is supposed to represent the experiments that society is playing on the people. His body is composed of mostly artificial goods. Gibson named him Ratz too, because he represents the “lab rat” of the book. He is supposed to represent what society will do to you if you give in to it. He has no control over what he has become, just like the little “lab rat”.
Another sign of dystopia is the way the computers have changed everything. The computers run people’s lives in Neuromancer. It seems no matter where Case goes there is always someone watching him. Wintermute has the phones ring one time when Case walks by. This demonstrates the power that the Ai’s have in Neuromancer.
The artificial intelligence is another example of the dystopia in Neuromancer.