Examples Of Dehumanism In Fahrenheit 451

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Wrought in the imaginations of a number of science fiction authors, such as Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, comes the iconic embodiment of the unknown, the alien. Crafting the notion of a human being coming face-to-face with a hostile, inhuman being became a tool in the early science fiction writer’s cache. The term inhuman, according to philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard, refers to the dehumanizing effects of technology in society as well as the societal frameworks’ promotion of suitable collective behavior while seeking to repress of the rest of what lies within humanity (2). Both of Lyotard’s definitions appear in science fiction in various forms such as androids and artificial intelligence as in Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot short story collection, or the fictional societies that attempted to reform man in a certain framework as in the work of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Known for his own science fiction, writer Murray Leinster, a.k.a. Will F. Jenkins, published a short story in Astounding Science Fiction’s 1945 November issue that offered up a different kind of alien altogether. Neither grotesque nor completely dissimilar to man, Leinster’s alien presents a new condition to the man-alien encounter, what makes mankind see the alien as hostile, and furthermore, truly inhuman?
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