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How do both authors show how science can be used irresponsibly to have a negative effect on individuals in society?

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How do both authors show how science can be used irresponsibly to have a negative effect on individuals in society? Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley is a novel concerning the artificial creation of man, which has detrimental effects on society. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein sets about creating a manufactured human, in order to pursue the possibility of ridding the world of disease and infirmity. The book was written in the nineteenth century, a time when alchemy was moving to natural sciences. Society was still particularly romantic regarding creation of life. Similarly, Supertoys, written by Brian Aldiss, is a series of short stories regarding creation of artificial intelligence - mechanical life. The series was originally written in 1969 - a time when technology was booming, proven by man on the moon. The series was continued 30 years later as technology is sky-high and the Internet is peaking. Some small parts of the stories are included in the 2001 film, AI: Artificial Intelligence. The series focuses on Henry Swinton, the head of his own business, which specialises in the manufacturing of new artificial life forms and his family as they become accustomed to the rich, yet superficial world of amazing technological advances. In this essay I will be looking at how the two works prove how science, and more specifically technology and human endeavour can be dangerous to say the least to human society and the individuals within it as a whole. There are many instances in the books when the negative effects science can have on society are highlighted. ...read more.


A similar quote shows how an artificial world can try, but will fail to fill a human void: 'It was amazing what whologram could do to create huge mirages in small places'. This situation can already be linked in modern society to the world of mobile and Internet communications, which many feel, is also destroying our people skills as a race. However, the main problem with the world that is hampered by the technology is as aforementioned, the social class divide. The rich people are very much segregated from the poor people because of the technology available or unavailable to them. This divide is obviously already present in our society, with the third world countries being somewhat ignored by the western colonies, however, there is certainly a conscience shown by the people in the more fortunate positions, with charity and aid etc. However, in the world of Supertoys you get a strong sense of indifference from the people who are the luckier ones. This is perfectly demonstrated in a quote used previously: 'Though three quarters of the world are staring, we are lucky here to have more than enough, thanks to population control'. Mr. Swinton spoke this quote more out of indifference than sorrow or gratefulness. This world is created by the technology and the way it affects society. This world is largely due to Swinton's ambitious good intentions, which led him to create artificial intelligence. For example, Swinton creates the previously mentioned androids that help to create a huge social class divisions etc. Therefore, a common reason that shows how science has a negative effect on society is good intentions that unfortunately will never pay off. ...read more.


However, these psychological problems are not as important as the prejudices that the new technology brings forward, particularly in Supertoys. This can be explained further by saying that the humans in the artificial world are prejudiced towards the perfect world, and perfect people. What would happen if somebody came along who wasn't perfect? For example, David. David was imperfect in that he was an android and technically he was malfunctioning. Because of this, he was thrown on the scrap heap. This is a problem caused by technology, because it created the prejudices by creating a world where everything is perfect and seamless, nothing is real. Overall, the main scourges of the societies in both books are the artificial creatures and therefore, the creators of these 'monsters'. The creation in Frankenstein shows how science can be used irresponsibly to have negative effects on individuals in society through tactical murder and destruction. The creations in Supertoys show how science can have a negative effect on society by creating social divides, a superficial, prejudiced, fake, lonely, ignorant, arrogant, selfish, inconsiderate, narrow-minded and insecure world in which nothing is solid. The books can be linked to Genesis and Paradise Lost in that they all involve creation, that was well intended but did not turn out as expected. In all four novels the creation was given a world, or habitat, but either they abused it, or inadvertently caused suffering for other members of the community. The authors use the characters of Frankenstein's monster and David accompanied by the society and community by the two worlds of the two novels to show how science can be used irresponsibly to have negative effects on society and the individuals within it. ...read more.

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