Study Questions

1.) Identify the title, author, and date of publication of the short story assigned and give the plot, the sequence of events of the story.

Mortal Immortal was written by Mary Shelley on July 16th 1833. It depicts the predicaments of Winzy, the protagonist. It written on Winzy’s anniversary where he was marking 323yrs. Winzy says he is immortal but leaves it to the reader to judge him. He had been a student of Cornelius Agrippa, a philosopher and was in love with a girl, Bertha. She had lost both parents and had been adopted by an old rich lady. During one time, the philosopher was so occupied he was not able to meet her as she pleased. He then saw her with a suitor, Albert Hoffer who the rich lady favored. When Winzy was left to check on an experiment, he consumed its contents, thinking it would heal him from love.

Bertha fell in love with him again they got married though Winzy did not age with time. Bertha asked him the secret to his immortality upon which he replied that he was not immortal but just leading a long life.  Bertha feared they would be accused of witchcraft. They moved to a remote place in western France where Bertha died. He feared death every moment of his life; he only took half the substance so he was half immortal.

2). Describe the narrator/protagonist. Do you sympathize with him? How does the title relate to his character?           

Winzy is a man filled with love, has self pity on himself and thought poverty would separate him with the love of his life. Winzy is afraid of death and at the same time wants to rest although he cannot find equal love. I sympathize with him for having fought to have Bertha only to be left upon her death. The fact that he does not know how much longer he will continue living leads him to lose taste in life.

The title Mortal Immortal depicts Winzy’s life. He is human and deemed to die living for so many years and not dying or showing signs of aging.

 3). Describe the setting (location, time, and atmosphere) of the story. How does the setting motivate the characters” action?

The story is set a time when witch craft was dreaded.  It was the reason the protagonist had to move. The events took place in ancient Britain.  

4.) What categories of science fiction does this story illustrate? Support.

Winzy figures that nobody has outlived him and wants to be recorded as the most famous among the sons of men. As such, he is after fame. This is a soft science fiction as it explains how Winzy remained immortal while seeking to heal from love.

5.) What prevalent themes of sci-fi are revealed in this story?

The outstanding theme of science fiction that comes up in this story is that of unexplained phenomena. The reader is left wondering how Winzy’s immortality has affected his life.

 6.) How does Masri define science fiction in “A Brief Introduction to Science Fiction and Its History”?

Masri states that science fiction can be seen as a speculative mode of thought that may be compared to the scientific method or pictured as a complex and unique interaction between a story and its readers.

7-8. Identify and discuss 2 interesting or important facts in the section “Influence and origins” in the above essay.

In the influences and origin section, there is a lot of emphasis on epic and utopia. Epics are often nationalistic; they grow out of describing peoples origins. They sometimes involve of quest and include supernatural elements or journeys to strange lands. Utopia depicts thoughts describing an ideal place.

9-10. Identify and discuss 2 interesting or important facts in the section “Modern Development of the Genre” in the above essay

Cyberpunks enrich the genre with new themes and stylistic techniques and initiates a trend toward grittier realism and more moral ambiguity. By the end of 1950’s, Sci-Fi had become dominant, as new wave writers emerged from America. The writers advocated for more stylistically self –conscious and speculative fiction that was less interested in technological gimmicks. They bet on social structure and the effects of technology on human beings. The new wave gave a chance to the women to be heard.

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