ERIC Number: ED211992
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Fantasy and Science Fiction: Means of Anticipating Human Relationships of the Future.
Jensen, Marvin D.
Science fiction offers many perspectives on human communication, including (1) a recurring theme about intrapersonal communication, (2) a nontraditional perspective on "family" communication, and (3) a philosophy of communication that can be drawn from some fantasy literature. Although numerous science fiction stories describe alien creatures who threaten humans, another recurring theme suggests that the alien creatures more often exist within us and attack us in the form of ignorance, suspicion, and despair. Our ability to respond suggests reserves of human endurance and a means of sustaining personal freedom. Those who forfeit the freedom to respond are victims of an alien within, but more precisely a victim of self-alienation. Despite changing social and physical forms, science fiction depicts a humanness that will prevail. The endurance of essential humanness is also indicated by the theme that betrayal is the worst act that one person can commit against another as well as by the suggestion that the highest human act will always be self-sacrifice. Science fiction also affirms the most profound human responsibilities and aspirations, in spite of changing roles and categories. Most communication models assume a separation of source and destination that is imperfectly bridged by communication. Science fiction and fantasy, on the other hand, view that separation as an illusion and communication as a process of recognizing and reaffirming oneness. Thus, fantasy literature offers visions that enable readers to understand themselves better, to welcome new ways of kinship, and to perceive a larger unity. (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (67th, Anaheim, CA, November 12-15, 1981).