The Posthuman

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." ~ George Orwell

Donna Haraway and Blade Runner

Some Questions to Consider for this Week:

First, about Donna Haraway’s
"A Cyborg Manifesto”:
1. Donna Haraway writes, “by the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism, in short, we are cyborgs.” What does she mean? What is a “chimera”? Why does she refer to our time as a “mythic time”? Are we, indeed, all cyborgs? How? Why?

2. Haraway talks about how “the boundary between physical and nonphysical is very imprecise for us.” What does she mean by this? What effect do virtual reality, the internet, etc. have on the physical body? What sort of body do we have when we converse in cyberspace (in a chat room, via instant message, e-mail, etc.)?

Then, about
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep:
3. Consider all the discussion in the novel of pets. Why is owning an animal so important in the world of the novel? What needs does it fill? Does owning an electric animal fill the same needs?

4. Both dust (15-16) and silence (20) are described as plagues in the novel. Why? What’s so terrifying about them? Look at the particular pages mentioned above and find other examples in the text where either “dust” or “silence” is mentioned.

5. What sort of vision of androids has the novel offered so far? How are they described and/or treated? What is their purpose?

Finally, consider the various connections between Haraway’s essay, the novel, and
Blade Runner. How do the questions I’ve asked above help draw connections between them?

[Photo by
Paco CT]blogEntryTopper

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