Online Custom «A Contrast Essay» Essay Sample
It is a known fact that literature alters in accordance with the circumstances. The variety of these factors definitely impresses as they include practically all the spheres of human life. Literature reflects the world; it resembles a mirror that shows both positive and negative consequences of every action done both by kings and swineherds, saint people and sinners. It may sound too pathetic, but literature is in a position to rule people. Not books themselves, but the sacred meaning of proper words could make magic. Still, literature is a special gift given to people. Thus, literature constantly changes, and it happens not only with the shift of historical periods. Every nation influences it according to its own history, traditions, rules, and religion. The two pieces of literature suggested to be compared both are attributable to the Jewish authors. It seems that they are quite alike because they even write in the same genre of science fiction. Nevertheless, there are some differences that should be studied.
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The first work that is to be observed is The Golem writtenby Avram Davidson. This American author is considered to be the most explicitly literary science fiction author that is also very famous for his fantasy fiction, crime fiction and other stories that can’t be fitted to a particular genre. Being awarded many times, Davidson is thought to have magnificent writing skills.
The Golem must be Davidson’s most known story. It is several pages in length but very absorbing and never lets a reader stay indifferent. The author uses simple language and it seems that Mr. and Mrs. Gumbeiner are not made up heroes, but the real people that live next door. The plot is not too elaborate, but Davidson’s vivid descriptions and skillful use of language make the whole story unique and definitely the one that cannot be forgotten. The storyline is elegant but thoughtful, and the dialogues are witty. As work is short, the feelings it excites in the reader’s minds include the covert emotions and thoughts. Irony seems to be the canvas for The Golem, and the characters appear to serve as the paints that create a unique picture. The author manages to produce a magnificent atmosphere. When reading this piece of art, it seems that it is not written, but shown on the stage and a reader is ready to hear laugh track. Well, it is not surprising that a reader has such a feeling, while Davidson himself mentions the XX century cinema.
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A golem itself is a magic creature made from loam. It is common for the Jewish culture according to the legend about Rabbi Loew, who was mentioned several times by Mr. Gumbeiner. Rabbi Loew is said to have created a golem by himself and make it serving people. Actually, Mr. Gumbeiner, a character of the story under discussion, did the same thing. The golem was broken to be reconstructed with some symbols written on its forehead. The old couple made it working for them with the help of ancient legend and a grain of salt
And here the main idea and comic effect of the whole story are presented. The partners were not afraid of it. They showed no interest in the magic creature. They were talking to it just the same way as they would talk to their neighbor. Moreover, Mr. Gumbeiner mentioned to his wife that a man walks like golem. That might be that very science fiction element, but it seems that Davidson just wanted to show the total indifference of the fictional world that resembles the contemporary century so much. The protagonists do not react on magic creatures, they are not afraid of anything. It seems that they have passed away long ago with their souls left floating in the living. Now everything that remained for them is a simple existing without worrying, bothering, and feeling anything. It would be interesting to see their reaction to, for instance, an accident happening with one of their acquaintances or a stranger. Somehow, it seems that there would be no reaction. The Golem narrates about the people that exist like turtles in their little shells of worlds.The partners live boring lives which do not peculiarly differ from those of animals. Though the old couple may not be worth of such a comparison, these are the associations evoked by the story.
The second story is Reason written by Isaak Asimov. Though Asimov is best known for the large number of stories and books, he was also a professor of biochemistry at Boston University, that is why he could use complete battery of scientific features in his books.
The plot of this short story circles around a space ship that provides microwave power for planets. The captains of the space ship are Powell and Donovan. The work is performed by robots; the smartest one is QT1 that is called as Cutie by captains. Cutie is a highly-developed creature. It says the famous Descartes’ phrase “I think, so I exist”. Both Powell and Donovan cannot deny it feeling no danger in these words. As it turns out, they are mistaken.
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As it has been mentioned above, Cutie is an intellectual android that becomes convinced and later convinces other robots that people are not smart enough to perform their functions. Thus, they make a revolt and win. Powell and Donovan are captured, but they soon take it all easy and even humorously because robots really do the work better than people used to.
Both stories were written in the XX century, but the idea is still important and relevant. Nowadays people also are indifferent because the time when material goods are valued more than feelings has come and changed people’s attitude to the current events. It is sometimes supposed that people change with historical epoch though it is not true. People do not change; they just alter some qualities that are needed for a particular period. It is known that the humanity has become indifferent and unemotional to the environment, but the chain of the questions concerning the sense of life or existential way out remains unanswered. The traditional values such as love or kindness seem to be outworn and insignificant, but people have not had a chance to develop some other assets or beliefs of the new era.