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Q1

According to Masri, ‘an alien’ implies ‘another’ or, rather, it means ‘others’. According to the writer, an alien is that, which is foreign or not belonging to self. The writer also points out that prior to the word being imported into the sf, it was popularly used technically to refer to foreigners. The writer continues by declaring that as much as alien stories are about others, they can be read as allegories of difference. Finally, the writer says that most of the sf writers use alien stories consciously to delve into the ideas of tyranny or xenophobia, or to signal cultural notions on human identity.

It is true that ‘alien’ implies to ‘another’ or ‘strange’. This can be seen from the different ways, in which different dictionaries define the term. Most dictionaries show that the term implies something that is outlandish or, rather, extraterrestrial. The writer’s idea that as much as the alien stories are about others they can be used as allegories to signify difference that holds some water. These stories can be used to reflect on the state the society is in and, probably, how it can be improved. They can also be used to expose, and at the same time rectify social problems within the society without causing havoc in that society.

The writer gives two definitions for the word ‘alien’. The first definition is ‘anything strange, unversed or different’. The second definition is ‘an inner skirmish or difference’; this also refers to a state of isolation or discord.

When the writer says that “the sf alien can also be read psychologically as a projection of an inner state,” she means that the sf alien stories could reflect on a deeper issue than what the physical eyes can see. She means that the stories have a deeper meaning than what the readers can read with their eyes.

 Q2

According to Masri, Weinbaum's “A Martian Odyssey” develops the implied message that human beings need to unite and transcend their own differences before they can be prepared to meet truly alien life (33). The writer shows this during several incidences in the passage. There is an immense difference between the individuals in the team which had gone to Mars. They differ even in minute things like language. For instance, in the second paragraph, they start differing on the simple usage of the word ‘spit’. Each individual has his own impression on what the word means. There is need to resolve such difference for efficient communication between the team during their voyage in an alien land.

Another incidence where we see the people differ is their perception of the creature they met at space. While some think that the Tweel race in space is civilized, others, like Harrison, think that the race is not civilized. It is important that human beings should come to a common understanding about the alien creatures, so that they can manage to deal with them.

 Q3

The last part of “Mars is Heaven” makes the whole story scary and horrific, especially the part, in which the aliens on Mars trick the travellers and manage to kill them all. The creatures on Mars disguise themselves in bodies belonging to the beloved family members of the travellers who had long before passed on. They then win their trust and set them up in such a way that they can kill them easily.

Bradbury plays around with different emotions in order to make his article interesting or rather affect the readers. For instance, he uses the emotion of anxiety at the beginning of the story when the travellers are not very certain on what to expect on Mars. He then applies anxiety again when the captain starts imagining he could have fallen for a trick set up by the creatures on Mars in order to eliminate him and his friends from the alien land. By utilization of this emotion, the reader is left in suspense and feels the urge to read the story in order to discover how the story ends.

The writer also utilizes the emotion of happiness. For instance, when the captain meets his family in a different world, he is overexcited. This has an effect on the reader. It creates some sort of joy and amazement. It also creates some suspense and urge to read the story till the end. In addition, the reader utilizes fear. The reader creates a lot of fear at the end of the story as he narrates how the captain tried to imagine that the whole incidence of him meeting his long-lost family was just a trick to eliminate him and his friends from Mars. It is also fearful how the aliens killed 17 people and how their faces faded from being familiar to being other creatures.

At the end of the story, there is a funeral. The funeral was conducted to bury the 17 travellers who had just landed on Mars. As the writer says, the funeral was a way of showing that the creatures were eliminating foreign creatures (from Earth) from their land. It was a way of saying goodbye to creatures who had invaded their land.

Q4

According to Masri, this perspective functions as a powerful lens for perceiving the everyday human experience of gender. In most societies, especially during the past decades, the female species were perceived as a weaker sex, and their role in most societies was seen to be passive rather than active. In many societies, the female sex is seen as a weaker sex as compared to the male sex. Related to this, the roles of the female species are different from those of male. In Masri’s story, a female is being reflected as a weaker sex. For instance, the warden tells the main actor that he may get damaged when he holds the female form for a long time. Another incidence that shows that females were more valued than men is how the main actor expresses it. He says that he would love processing a part of Martha’s brain since he was expected to be a perfectionist, then the idea of retaining it would be seen as a catastrophe.

 Q5

The story of Blooschild is disturbing and uncomfortable due to the moral decay it displays. To begin with, most societies cannot accommodate the thought of a woman having an intimate relationship with a man who is more than half her age. To make it worse, the intimacy is displayed in front of the boy’s mother. This can be seen when T’Gtaoi is caressed by Gan in front of their mother. This is immorality according to many societies. It is also disturbing, because Gan was never given a chance to live his life in freedom. He was ever under the instructions of T’Gatoi and lived his life in fear of this woman.

Gan ultimately hosted T’Gatoi’s grubs due to the fear of this woman and due to the influence by his mother. This is shown in the story, whereby Gan’ s mother was always teaching Gan on how to treat and live with T’Gatoi. She personally confesses that she feared the woman, and this is the same fear she instills in her son.

It is possible for the oppressor and oppressed to love one another. This is seen by the manner in which they behave towards each other in the last paragraph. Gan confesses that after they slept together he felt relaxed. This shows that he had some intimate feeling towards her. He also says that he would never kill her and preferred killing himself rather than her. This could indicate that he still cared for her. T’Gatoi, on the other hand, cared so much about Gan that as inhuman as she was, she gave him a chance to make his own decision at the end of the story. She also promises to take good care of him, meaning that he cared.

 Q6

Swanwick's “Slow Life” develops a story of a first encounter between humans and an alien race on Titan. Both parties feel doomed when they first meet. Why? By the end of the story both parties find hope. Why? Use specific details and passages from the story to support your claims.

When the alien and human race makes their first encounter, there is so much tension between them. Each one of them felt doomed. This is because at the beginning both feared for their lives. At the through Lizie, they came to learn a lot about other creatures which were living and had greater power. They also felt doomed, because they realized they were not the same as Lizie. Lizie and the rest of humanity were different from them. This meant that the human race was an opponent to them, which gave them a reason to tense. The human race felt doomed initially, because they did not know anything about the aliens. They were shocked by how they affected Lizie, and they feared that she would die. 

At the end of the story, the alien and the human race find some hope. This is because the human race discovers that the aliens are quite limited and slower. Lizie makes it clear to the alien that if they saved her life, she could help save theirs with the assistance of the other human race. They both had a hope of living and surviving if they assisted each other.

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