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Day of the Triffids analysis

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Introduction

How has your understanding of the concept of 'new found lands' been extended by a comparative study of your two texts? The novel, The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham and the film, Alien directed by Ridley Scott, examine the concept of new found lands, by positioning the characters as well as us as the responders, into an unfamiliar world order where we are challenged to think beyond the confinement of our traditional boundaries. The new found lands are constructed within these texts not only through physical phenomena, but through self-analysis whereby a society is forced to reassess their own morals and ethics, and adapt both physically and emotionally to a new world. My understanding and perception of new found lands has been extended by considering notions including the effects of corporate greed on a society, the implications of over-experimentation with science, as well as the vulnerability of humans when confronted by superior forms. Juxtaposing the two texts through a range of filmic and literary techniques allow us to compare and contrast the issues presented by each text, concerning the impacts of new found land on both an individual and a community. The Day of the Triffids immediately places the reader into foreign surroundings, where the protagonist Bill Mason reflects on how he "came to miss the end of the world". ...read more.

Middle

The opening panoramic shots of Alien, relocates the audience into the new geographical world of outer space, slowly panning across the enormity of the region. The silence in the background adds to the overwhelming sensation of the scene, and is effective in creating a sense of fear and isolation towards the unfamiliar realm. The camera slowly focuses into the interiors of the spaceship where in an overlapping montage of shots, we see figures awakening from sleeping pods. The white lighting and the figure's nappy-like clothes gives the idea of a rebirth into a new world or concept. These symbolic attributes enhance the perception of a new and strange world. In Alien, the idea of corporate greed is introduced early in the film when a shot captures the space ship, 'Nostromo' into the scene, providing an intertextual illusion to the novel titled 'Nostromous', in which a man disregards the welfare of people for means of capitalist gain. This deliberate choice of name for the space ship gives an undertone to the corporate greed aspect of the film. This idea is later reviewed in the film when the crew get a realisation of the inhumane motives of 'The Company', when 'mother' commands, 'Priority one insure return of organism for analysis... crew expendable". We see 'The Company's' indifference towards the people who work for them, and are led into the new world where ethics has been replaced by greed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wyndham focuses on how the groups unwilling to discard values and ethics to adopt new ones are the one whose lives eventually lead to demise. Wyndham continually raises ideas to us through comments such as the one made by Michael Beadley that "self pity and a sense of high tragedy are going to build nothing at all", and Coker's statement that, "decent intentions seem to be the most dangerous things around just now". These viewpoints become a significant aspect of the novel, and are presented for the audience to contemplate over, and become a part of the discussion. The text has effectively left an inconclusive ending that allows us the freedom to continue our thoughts on the issue. Considering different perspectives of this issue has broadened my understanding of new found land. Likewise, Ridley Scott's Alien illustrates the idea of how powerful figures can bring out the frailness and inferiority within the human class. When Dallas is confronted by the alien, his fear is echoed by the strong breathing and heartbeat music in the background, against Lambert's uncontrollable sobs. The crew tends to face fear by wanting to "stick together", in a group Between The Day of the Triffids and Alien, there are many similar concepts presented, that have allowed my understanding of new found lands to broaden. ...read more.

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