By Shapley H.
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Extra resources for A Contribution to the Study of Galactic Dimensions
After he lands on Mars, Ransom’s sighting and subsequent ﬂight from the dreaded sorns (chapters 7–9) bring him close to the point of panic and raise the specter of madness and suicide. In his struggle to retain possession of his faculties, the hero begins to understand how fear has distorted his perception and dimmed his reason. But even as he adjusts to his unfamiliar surroundings and realizes that most of his apprehensions have been unfounded, his fearful imagination resurfaces with each successive phase of his adventure.
As a satire on the human condition, Out of the Silent Planet might have succeeded reasonably well if the alien world contained merely a single unfallen rational species possessing either human form or, like Swift’s Houyhnhnms, the form of another terrestrial species. 19 During his stay with the hrossa, Ransom’s efforts to fathom the relations between the species focus exclusively on the issue of domination. The basis for his thinking is the terrestrial struggle for existence, reinforced by his “imaginative training” in Wells’s science ﬁction: Were the hrossa .
Although his ruthless evolutionary ethics makes him equally prepared to exploit or exterminate the aliens, Weston is impelled by a seemingly impersonal ideal of human progress and regards his venture into space as a necessary step in the development of the species. In his letters, Lewis associates “Westonism” with the “dream of interplanetary colonization,” and he attributes the genesis Out of the Silent Planet 27 1–2 3– 6 7– 9 10 11–12 13 14 –16 17– 20 21–22 Abduction on Earth Voyager to Mars Flight from sorns Boat to hrossa Residence with hrossa Boat from hrossa Journey to sorns Meeting Oyarsa Voyage home (hero captive) (cp.
A Contribution to the Study of Galactic Dimensions by Shapley H.