Monday, 9 November 2015

Bloodchild Assesment

The story has a lot of symbols in terms of alien assimilation and the idea of worshipping a god. The alien T’Gatoi is something of a matrilineal leader of a hive of aliens. The aliens have enslaved humans and every so often demand a sacrifice; much in the same way the Aztecs would to appease their gods. But at the same time there is a Stockholm syndrome element to the family’s care of T’Gatoi. While they clearly do not like their situation they feel very much obliged to help in any way they can even if it means have to offer up their own for sacrifice. The connections that I made with the story are that there is an analogy on reverse darwinist evolution. In that the aliens are the superior race and that humans are the ones who will be wearing the chains of oppression and enslavement. History does seem to want to repeat itself through; we put races of people through enslavement and have done questionable and immoral things. Now sometime in the dystopian future, karma has come around and now we will know for certain what it feels like to have control or power taken away. If this story were adapted into film, there would be more backstory on how the humans came to the planet and why they were enslaved. Also there would be more sides to the alien race shown. It’s a story that very much requires further expansion in order for it to fully work on film. They would also have to get a really good screenwriter on board someone such as Alex Garland best known for works such as Dredd, Sunshine, Ex-Machina, 28 Days Later and Never Let Me Go. Also the choice of a director would need to be someone who can handle not only the story elements. But also make it visually pleasing aesthetically. For me it would either be Danny Boyle or Gareth Edwards.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

The Hobbit

The Hobbit Response

Bilbo Baggins before his adventure very much represented what Tolkien saw in the rural living of Englishmen around the time when the book was published: Comfortably living, preference for the simple things in life and not much of a concern for what was going on around the time of the nineteen thirties. In Bilbo’s story his life is turned upside down when he is invited by a wizard named Gandalf to undertake a quest to reclaim the dwarfs treasure in the Lonely Mountain guarded by a large dragon named Smaug.

Although reluctant to partake, the arrival of the dwarfs convinces him otherwise. His journey to the Lonely Mountain along with his growth as a person is tested throughout the number of trials that he faces along the way: such as his encounters with spiders, trolls, goblins and eventually Smaug himself. One of the key moments in the story is the “Riddles In The Dark“ chapter where he has to solve a bunch of riddles, which Gollum has set. Though successfully, Bilbo has also unknowingly stolen a prized ring of the creature. When he asks Gollum what he has in his pocket, he inadvertently causes the creature to go mad at the revelation causing him to hate anyone with the name Baggins.

The apex of Bilbo’s growth is when all the events culminate in the battle of the five armies. He witnesses death and destruction but at the same time he gains new found knowledge from his trials and tribulations and is able to go home never forgetting who he was. Though he loses the respect of some of the hobbits, he is a changed person who in contrast to his has more of a zest for life than he did at the start.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Aunt Maria Response

Response to Aunt Maria

Power has often been something of double-edged sword, while it grants us pleasures beyond our wildest dreams. It can also shape the more ugly parts of a person and transform them into something that people can easily despise or fear. This is the case with Diana Wynne Jones book Aunt Maria that centers on themes of Tyranny, Control and Individualism. The story centers around two children “Mig” and her brother Chris who along with their mum go to a mysterious seaside town to visit their Aunt Maria.

Who on the surface seems like a cuddly old aged pensioner of an Aunt, however she is slowly unraveled as a tyrant who wants to stomp out individualism and equality with an iron fist through a convent of witches who turn out to be the real power behind the village. All of the men are blank faced zombies without a will of their own and most of the children of the village are kept in an orphanage. With no families of their own. The society of the village is matrilineal to a fault, they are very much rooted in the beliefs of the traditional gender roles but at the same time, Maria and her convent are destroying lives in order to get what they want.

Aunt Maria’s regime seems somewhat similar to that of Josef Stalin’s. Along with the whole Communist party, Stalin wanted to also get rid of individuality, he was also very power hungry to the point where anyone who disagreed with him ended up dead. Like Stalin, Aunt Maria keeps the village under further control through her convent of elderly women, a secret police whose motivation is to keep people in line.

Behind the fantasy story setting, as well as it’s seemingly child friendly appeal is a story with some socio-political undertones as well as questions behind the empowerment of gender in society.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


Kwaidan Response

Kwaidan is a collection of ghost stories rooted in Japanese folklore and tradition. Each one of the stories represent the way the people of Japan are not only connected with Nature but also the spirits of their ancestors from the feudal times. The spiritual forces represent the workings of nature and how the spirits of ancient times play into the culture of a lot of the people of Japan. There is always the idea that there is a force unknown to certain people. That is always preying on the minds of those who make the wrong choices. Even though at first it seems to be the right choice. In one story, a woodcutter witnesses a spirit murder his mentor and is forced by the spirit to remain silent about what he sees under the threat of death. He then later marries a woman who is the physical embodiment of said spirit.

Like a lot of the people in those stories, we often fear the unknown and sometimes depending on the path we take. Along with the choices big or small, it can come back to bite us. We often forget that ghosts used to one day be people, and that certain spirits are not ones to be crossed. We often like to be scared of ghosts because it makes us remind ourselves that we have to be careful throughout our daily lives. To always be decent towards those even outside our family and to always be respectful. By doing so we can learn to become better people and live a good life.