Coney's Amorphs in 'Mirror Image' as a Representation of both Human and Non-Human Characteristics
Seminar paper from the year 2014 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, University of Frankfurt (Main) (Institute for English and American Studies), course: Robots, language: English, abstract: This paper deals with the meanings of the terms 'human' and 'non-human' in comparison with the creatures appearing in Michael Coney's novel Mirror Image (1975), the so-called 'amorphs'. This is illustrated by comparing several literary essays and theories. Additionally, the amorphs can be compared to technology due to several similar features, for example the 'Te-factor'. Thus technology in Mirror Image is represented by the amorphs which present 'boon and bane' for the colonists. First, relations and differences between human and non-human beings are analysed using Darwin's evolutionary theories; then, the Christian faith-based theory and the Intelligent Design Theory are used to approach the origin of human beings. Furthermore, the relationship and differences between non-human beings and technology is compared to the amorphs from the planet Marylin, where the novel takes place. Thereby, the features and functions of the amorphs are depicted shortly. Consequently, the findings of the theoretical explanations are connected to Michae Coney's novel Mirror Image, which deals with colonists who move to the newly discovered planet Marylin with the task to inhabit and cultivate a colony. But the moment the supervisor Stordahl and his colonists become acquainted with the amorphs, they are confronted with a few problems. These defining approaches are followed by an analysis of the relationship between the humans and the amorphs in Mirror Image. In addition, the advantages of technology, such as medical developments, and disadvantages, such as mankind using artificial intelligence and starting to lose their own skills, are demonstrated. Although technology makes humans' lives easier, there are still various types of dangers caused by the development of technology. Amongst others, these dangers are presented with Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968). Coney's novel demonstrates that non-human forms, as well as technology, can serve as an advantage for the human race because the amorphs have essential abilities the humans do not. However, the amorphs also arouse negative elements in the novel, for example a war; therefore these creatures can also present dangers for human beings, just as technology on Earth. At the same time, the amorphs also exhibit humanlike traits, not only regarding their outward appearance, but also with regards to some characteristics.
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