Shelley's Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus

Shelley's Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is one of the most outstanding books in world literature. A remarkable excerpt is the one where Victor Frankenstein refuses to make a girlfriend for the monster he created. It is an extremely hard decision because he understands that the monster would revenge, and his family would be in a danger. A scientist created a living being with thoughts, feelings and emotions. Victor Frankenstein faces a dilemma whether to lose his family and save mankind, or create a girlfriend for the monster without knowing the consequences. The title of the story is Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. This is the allusion to Prometheus, the hero of Greek mythology. Prometheus helped people and his sufferings were the price for it. Victor Frankenstein breathed life into a person who ruined his life completely. As well as Prometheus, Frankenstein was punished for the attempt to help humanity.

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I have read the whole book before the class. The text is written in a modern manner. The book excites deep feelings and emotions. The readers sympathize with the monster and also hate him. I saw the film adaptation of the Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus , which was released in 1994.  Deprived of horror, the story of Frankenstein turned into a brilliant drama that was played out by talented people. Some of the films depict the great novel as a horror, some as a drama; it all depends on the actors involved. Victor Frankenstein is a real monster. Guided by his own vanity, he created a person who was not adapted to life. Scientists should be responsible for their creations, but Frankenstein pushed the monster. Victor Frankenstein is totally guilty of all the murders.

The story “Liar” was included in the collection “I, Robot” consisting of science fiction stories by Isaac Asimov. In this story the author tells the readers about the robot Herbie which was created by people. The progress in science made it possible for the robot to read human thoughts. The robot has to carry out any orders and devote himself to his creators. People created robots to ease their lives, and thus, the robot must conform to their commands provided that these orders do not contradict the First Fundamental Law. The robots have to protect their existence so long as this protection does not contravene the First and the Second Law. The First Law of Robotics is that the robot must not injure a person or allow him to come to harm. The main problem is that very often there does not exist a distinct boundary between the things that can benefit people and those that can harm them. The lie of Herbie hurts feelings of a woman very much and she makes him face an unsolvable dilemma. Susan Calvin sets a task for a robot to tell people the truth without hurting them. In fact, she gives him an illogical task, implementation of which would lead to conflicts of laws. The robot Herbie is a liar but he lied in order to please the people, not to harm them.  After clarification of the truth Susan Calvin utters the word “liar”. The robot hurts her pure feelings of love by his lie. Ultimately, the artificial life is dangerous in this story. The conclusion is that a person chooses the way of conduct guided by his own feelings and emotions, while a machine uses only logical operations.

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The main personages of the story are Susan Calvin, Milton Ashe, Peter Bogert, and Alfred Lanning.  Asimov is not a sexist, but there are some prejudices concerning the role of a woman in science in his story. For example, sometimes Bogert calls Susan Calvin the old girl and crazy, and men often interrupt her. The fact that there is only one woman among the scientists is conspicuous.

The short story written by Philip Dick “Second Variety” shows the readers the futuristic view on a common life of people and robots. Americans create the robotics to win the war, but ironically they have to protect themselves from their creatures. People begin the war against robots, but it is highly probable that the robots will get the victory. The irony of the title is that the second variety of robots resembles people so much that the protagonist cannot distinguish the robot Tasso from real woman. The second variety is a special type of robots. This species is the most similar to humans, and the irony is that people are probably also the second variety. The last thought of Hendricks is that robots begin to create weapons to kill each other sounds ironically.

In his work, Phillip Dick leaves the message that technology does not always serve the good of society. The modern technologies can be useful if one uses them wisely, but one should be careful not to make himself a hostage of technology. Americans wanted to win the war with the help of the robots, but they turned out to be the victims of their own creations.

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Irony is the reason why Philip Dick has so many readers around the world. Douglas Quail dreams of visiting Mars but he cannot do it because he is an ordinary clerk. A very good option for him is to make a contract with Rekal, Incorporated, according to which he will get some memory implanted. There are a lot of irony levels in this work. Even the fact that Dan Quail wants implanted memories sounds ironically. The readers know that nowadays it is an impossible thing. The whole company is very strange, and even the director of the company is dressed in a Martian frog-pelt suit. It is a sign for Quail that this man is proficient. The author shows the spy package in the ironic manner. The ticket stub, four franked pictures, 3D full-color postcards, a camera, two hundred postcards, the names of Martian people and passport must help the protagonist to believe that he is a real cosmic tourist. The agents cannot kill Quail because he asked to change the memories in which he was a confidential agent.

The idea of implanted memories can be both beneficial and dangerous. It could be beneficial in that one can have memories of places which they can never visit. It also can be beneficial if the person wants to imprint his memories forever. It can also be a dangerous thing, for with the help of implanted memory one can manipulate the subconsciousness of people and control them. 

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