21 Dec 2011

Sample Essay: The Blade Runner

Having heard about Blade Runner as a classic in it own right, I had high expectation from the science fiction/dystopian film featuring Harrison Ford directed by celebrated director Ridley Scott. It promised to be action packed, visually stunning and adventurous in terms of plot, narrative structure and animation effects. A good movie, for me, means integrity of vision, empathetic narration, and realism within the plot’s determining genre, i.e. the story must be believable within the definition of the genre it belongs to. I will analyze my experiences with this movie based on the above mentioned criteria.

Blade Runner, 1982, directed by Ridley Scott, is based on the Philip K. Dick science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The dystopian theme played out in the movie, set in a futuristic Los Angeles, makes the location apt because the complexity and interpenetration of living surfaces, work spaces and general infrastructure present a complex setting suited to the idea of the plot (Bukatman, S., 2008).

The moral dilemma which is central to the dystopian post human epoch visualized in the movie allows for the actors to bring a range of human emotions through suggestive placement, timing, behavioral traits and locale in the film (Bukatman, S., 2008). Jordan Cronenweth does a spectacular job with the cinematography given that the topography and the method used to unravel the plot is one rife with visual challenges. The way a futuristic dislocation is established in a book may be a matter of verbal descriptions, but to signify this information visually is a matter of using the appropriate symbols in the right combinations of action.

The background shots shows a futurist Los Angeles landscape further nuanced by sets which create two parallel levels of urban existence; the lower part of the city is dangerous, and is occupied by the poor, the underprivileged and the replicants who are mere slaves to the rich class, who live above (Bukatman, S., 2008). The placement of the higher classes above the lower classes is stratified, and made more diverse by establishing a variety of heterogeneous cityscapes. This lack of centralization, seeming to rejecting cinematically the idea of location by creating diverse spots of action which are all part of a conceptual unity delivered on the promise for visual and narrative brilliance.

The film succeeds spectacularly within the coordinates of film noir for its path breaking visual and auditory effects. The thematic integrity of dystopia is maintained to great effect and director’s vision stands vindicated by its cult status. With literary fidelity in mind however we will have to concede with calling it a considerably successful adaptation. The integration of necessary elements from the book, by way of futuristic sets, and great editing and visual effects made the story come alive.

Harrison Ford as Decard does a commendable job, displaying a range of emotional expressivity; from the tender suggestion romance with his robot colleague to the final dilemma trying to confront his own existential dilemma. The layers of meaning are further developed by showing how the upper class is subjecting humanoids to slavery and hints at the question of race, identity and human dignity by suggesting that man is defined by the role he plays in society (Bukatman, S., 2008). Consequently, can someone who is fixed to the performance of his duty with no scope for his personal emotional development be called human?

Thus this film delivers on all my criteria, and I am at liberty to say this film worked for me. Because it satisfied my experience with the things I was looking for, namely action, integrity and visual effects way ahead of its time.

Works Cited

Bukatman, S., Blade Runner; BFI Modern Classics. British Film Institute, 2008.

02 Oct 2009

Essays on The Little Prince

The Little Prince is a book about a man who ends up stranded in the desert who meets a young boy.  This young boy is a prince who comes from a tiny planet.  The Prince begins to tell the story about his life on his planet where he was the caretaker of all that grew and of the rose that appeared, its beauty capturing his heart.  However, the rose lied to him about something, causing him to become distrustful of her and to become lonely.  He decided to leave the planet and ended up on Earth after landing on six other planets where he was not happy at all.  On each of the planets, he met men who were obsessed in one way or another with profit, fame and power, concepts which seemed to defy logic to him.

The Little Prince was written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  Antoine was born in 1900 in France and considered himself a pilot above all else.  He began to write The Little Prince during World War II, after Germany’s invasion of France, an event that forced him to flee to the United States.  No doubt this virtual exile contributed heavily to the tone and content of The Little Prince.

The character interactions in the Little Prince are mostly between the Prince and The Narrator.  We do learn the narrator is an aviator (just as Saint-Exupery was prior to WWII).  However, there are also many strange interactions when it came to the Prince.  The Prince had a rose who was his best friend till she lied to him.  He also talked to a fox and a snake, the latter of which claimed his bite could send the young prince back to his world in the sky, if he wished.  At one point The Prince even mistakes his echo for a person and attempts to hold a conversation with it.  In all, The Prince is presented as an almost child-like innocent.

The Little Prince stands as not only an exorcism of Saint-Exupery’s personal demons, but also as an indictment of the moral decay he saw in the world around him.  It is interesting to consider this novel in light of other authors who had similar concerns such as Huxley and Orwell.  This novel added to a long tradition of writers using fiction to protest injustice and moral decay or to express concerns over developing issues, such as Orwell’s fear of the development of a surveillance society, which we today are rapidly finding ourselves immersed within.

Though The Little Prince found Saint-Exupery little fame or success, his novel stands as a literary classic.  The structure of the tale does, however, give many students difficulty when trying to prepare essays.  Professional writers (such as those on our staff) are use to this and can quickly and easily prepare you a high quality, comprehensive essay on this and many other topics.  Place your order through our secure website today and sleep easy tonight, knowing your project is in good hands.

12 Jul 2009

Essays on 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 is the first in a series of novels based on a variance of the external influences theory promoted by certain groups of scientists.  Unlike most variants, however, the external influence in 2001 is giant monoliths.  The novel 2001 begins with a monolith taking interest in particular man-apes at an unknown point in ancient history.  Under the influences of the monolith, these prehistoric men learned to fashion tools and weapons, transforming them from nomadic gatherers into hunters.  Though not made clear, the basis of 2001 is that the rapid development of mankind might be an implication of continued intervention by the monoliths, which next make an appearance when “discovered” buried on the moon.  When struck by sunlight, the lunar monolith emits a powerful signal towards Saturn, the purpose of which is unknown.

The 2001 timeline jumps to a short distance in the future when an exploration ship is making the journey to Saturn.  With most of the crew in cryogenic sleep, the two men awake are assisted by the ship’s computer, known as “Hal.”  As the 2001 story continues, it becomes clear that something is wrong with Hal, causing the deaths of all but one crewman who survives by shutting Hal down.  The crewman, Bowman, re-establishes contact with Earth and learns what the true mission is, exploration of Japetus, one of the moons of Saturn.  Upon reaching Japetus, Bowman finds another monolith and is pulled into it, finding himself transported to a far away location.  He is somehow transformed into a being of pure energy and returns to Earth, just in time to destroy a nuclear warhead, saving Earth from destruction.

  • The story 2001 uses a literary technique similar to “Deus ex machina” or “God from the machine.”  Describe the meaning of this and explain how it is used in 2001.  What similarities does this have to other stories using this technique?  What differences are there?
  • The story 2001 relies heavily on the concept of artificial intelligence and on self-aware computer systems.  Consider and discuss the moral and ethical implications of artificial intelligence.  Can such a machine be held responsible for criminal acts such as murder?

2001 gives many opportunities for essay topics.  From the theories of external forces influencing the direction of mankind’s development to the potential of artificial intelligence allowing computers to possess the human emotions of guilt at not telling an important secret and consciously committing murder to protect itself.  Finding and developing arguments on these topics can be challenging to students.  As professional writers, we can assist in the creation of essays based on 2001 and many other novels.  For assistance, contact our agency today.

20 Oct 2008

Essays on Japanese Literature

When we speak of literature, our mind tends to drift westward towards American and European literature. Yet many other literary histories are just as significant and dynamic. From the passions of Arabic lore to the dramatic cultural tones of Japanese literature, we overlook much of the richness of human experience, desire, and tradition.

Japanese literature is an excellent example of this truth. Western society prides itself on the works of William Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and even Homer’s Iliad, yet from Japan we have Kojiki (a compilation of Japanese myth and legends), Nihon Shoki (a chronology of historical events), and Man’yōshū (perhaps some of the most beautiful poetry in the world). A note of significance is Nihon Shoki is considered more historically accurate than Kojiki, which is suspected of being a historical cleansing executed to rewrite Japanese history after the fall of the Soga clan to legitimize the Imperial Throne. The Kojiki also focuses primarily on the lineage of Japanese deities and is thus still considered significant in Japanese literature.

In another way, Japanese literature has claim to another literary first. In western culture, when we think of literature such as science fiction, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine is usually considered one of the earliest works. Yet it is in Japanese literature that we find perhaps the oldest example. Taketori Monogatari (roughly translated as “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter”) is a wonderful 10th century Japanese folktale about a bamboo cutter finding a tiny baby inside a bamboo stalk (reminiscent of the tale of Thumbelina) and takes her to raise as his own daughter. In the end, it is learned the girl was a princess of the moon, sent to Earth for safety during a celestial war.

  • Much of Japanese literature focuses on the power of minor people performing wondrous tasks and adventures. How is this balanced against the backdrop of Japanese traditional loyalty to family and authorities or is there even a conflict between them?
  • With the richness and diversity of Japanese literature, why has western society overlooked or ignored its significance?

When researching foreign literature, students are often overwhelmed not by the volume of information, as with western literature, but with the task of finding relevant resources and translations. With the advent of the Internet, this is becoming less of an issue, but advanced research skills, like those our writers possess, are frequently still necessary to locate the desired information on Japanese literature.

Contact us today to learn how we can assist in your Japanese literature essay.

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