Superheroes 10/3 – Allegory and X-Men

Today we talked about allegory. Allegory is a story that uses symbols to create a story with a political or social moral. In cases like the book Animal Farm, allegory allows an author to bring up a complicated idea in an easily digestible (or even hidden) manner.

We watched two film clips that illustrated how the animosity between humans and mutants in X-Men can be allegorical to racism/segregation and gay rights:

 

Finally, for homework read the article on Post-Humanism. (I don’t have a copy for online right now.) Stop at the “Maximum Headroom” subhead. In the comments below explain:

  1. Is this a fair allegorical comparison? Do post-humans suffer the same kind of alienation that mutants (or even African Americans, gays, immigrants or any other minority group of people) do?
  2. What is your stance on this real life “homo superior”? Do you think humans should look to post-humanism as the future of our species? Or is post-humanism something to be wary of?
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11 thoughts on “Superheroes 10/3 – Allegory and X-Men

  1. 1) It depends on how they became a Post-human. Someone who has been subjected to experimentation, like Wolverine or Cyborg, could potentially feel the described alienation of the other minority groups. However, it wouldn’t be fair for someone who purposefully went through procedures (especially for personal gain) — like Beast — to gain the same sympathy as a natural mutant like Cyclops.

    2) Post-humanism is one of those “with great power comes great responsibility” mumbo-jumbos: of course increased longevity in life, or super strength could very much benefit the entire human race. However, you’ll always have the outliers, the bad bunch or what-have-you, that will certainly use these advantages for their own desires. So its something to be cautious about.

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    • 1- Yes, its due to the bias people have against one another due to them feeling they have a higher authority or that they are better but the alienation is also felt by mutants like nightcrawler who is exiled by society due to the fear of his powers and due to his appearance to a demonic entity. Yet a post-human would only be considered different due to there augments like Adam Jensen whos an ex swat officer who ends up brutally incapacitated and gets augments which make him a deadly weapon, he is respected for being a swat member but hated due to the choices he made of rather having augments then dying without having mechanical parts that society deems unnatural, yes he feels a bit exile from society but not as much as a natural mutant would.
      2- I think humanity should, post humans or biotechnology could save lives and even improve on human life itself, but there is the down side that it could be taken advantage of and use for negative hostile motives but theres always gonna be negatives, that technology, the strive for a higher being could help those who lost limbs especially help those in trauma of a lost ligament and can help humanity break its limits with strength and endurance, but like all things theres a price. A change so vast and with many benefits is worth it as long as we as people can be responsible with such delicate enhancing augments, for its not the augments that make us human its our decisions and emotions.

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  2. 1- To be honest I a not even sure. But what I do know is that people in general suffer the same alienation mutant or not because we are all humans and have the same problems as well.

    2- People all have problems nothing can change that but what we can change is the negativity they spread and rub on others. People instead of spreading the bad they need to learn the good the have because what we show now is now the presence of tomorrow, and history repeats its self.

    (I’m guessing here.)

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  3. 1: Yes its a fair allegorical comparison because it relates to brown vs board and the fear of gays coming out to their families. Post-humans would suffer the judgment of being different; just like African Americans, mutants and gays did. Anyone that is different or thinks different will be looked upon differently, if no one can relate to them. If they can’t connect with others or if others can’t connect with them or see their side Post-humans will be alienated by people who don’t understand them.

    2: I don’t think humans should look to post-humanism as the future of our species because all our parts would be run by technology. Every function that makes us unique will be run by machines. Fixing human emotions and not letting them experiencing it or discovering it is scary. To make humans already programmed to what emotion to feel is not right. Living for a long time does not seem right as well. The purpose of helping find cures in cancer is great and helping when stickiness arises but immortality is just plainly a waste. If they know they will live forever then it defeats the purpose of life; the fear that we might not see tomorrow so we must live today as our last brings a sense of purpose. Knowing that you won’t die seems like their are no risk that would be taken.

    (I could be wrong but this is what I got from what I read)

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  4. 1. I do believe it is a fair allegory comparison because whether you are a post human or not, people will continue to have a bias opinion where they feel they are more or less superior than a race. For a post human to feel different would be if they feel like a mutant and the way an ordinary human chooses to view them as. Would they feel distant from society because they have a higher ability than an ordinary human being? I mean it would all depend how you become a post human and what the background story is to it. Does society choose to see me as a “lost, confused, isolated mutants,” or “a savior?”
    2. With post humans, I don’t think they would be seen as “future of our species”, but more as something society would fear. They would carry the fear that they can be used against the nation or would choose to turn on the world with their higher ability. The way I am viewing it, they would either be segregated because people do not know what they are and what they are capable of or will be taken advantage in a negative way.

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  5. 1) This is a fair allegorical comparison. Humans have for a long time discriminated people that are different. It was not until recently that people began to accept the idea of individualism, standing up for one’s beliefs and was not afraid of being different. But, in the past, people have looked at people weirdly because they were different. The same could be said about racism during the time of slavery, the white people looked at the colored people differently because they did not have the same color skin as they did, so they concluded in their mind that the colored people must be inferior to them (not all people thought this but a lot of people did). People have always resented people whose beliefs conflicted with their own because as individuals, we believe that our beliefs and morals are right and others are wrong because they are not your morals. Therefore, the post-humans will suffer the same alienation that gays and African Americans have in the past because they are not like us. Humans are a very narcissistic species, we believe the world revolves around us.

    2) I believe in neither. I do not believe in post-humanitarian belief of living forever and even if they do crack the secret to eternal life I would opt out of it. I do not want to live forever, living forever means constantly watching as the world around you change and watch as people makes the same mistakes over and over, and watch as the things around you grow old and die all the while you are staying the same. I would go mad and feel like I am in eternal damnation because I would subjected to a world of sameness where I see nothing new and never again feel a rush of excitement.

    By replacing our body parts with other robotic pieces, we are replacing the parts of us that are human, our ability to move freely and think on our own. By having a set behavior and response implanted in me, I feel like my life is no longer my own and I would feel like I am getting disconnected from my humanity.

    Even though I would never subject myself to post-humanity, that does not mean I would fear them because in the end, they were all human (now some more than others depending how many modifications they had). I don’t think I would intentionally treat them poorly just because my belief is not theirs and vice-versa. I think I would try to treat them as if they were still human.

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  6. 1.) I believe that post humans suffer the same consequences as mutants because they are both feared/ hated by others. Both post humans and mutants are isolated from the world. A huge connection I can make is the Jews and the Nazis. Jews were isolated and attacked by Nazis because the public feared them. They believed that the Jews were bad and dangerous. Professor X began a school for post humans because he believed that they might turn hostile to humans because of how they were being treated. They were being treated unfairly because regular humans also fear their powers. Basically, just like the Jews, they were isolated from the outside world because they feared them.

    2.) I think humans should not look towards post humanism in the future because we humans don’t trust each other with the basic stuff. Most of us cant leave our pencils on our desk with out being worried that someone might steal it. We also cannot trust each with powerful stuff like atomic bombs. Plus, if we start using post humanism, it will just be used as a weapon. Meaning that human will no longer be considered human, but instead, it will be seen as a weapon. No more, and no less. Finally, is their any need to bring extra weapons into our world that is used to kill each other or maybe even capable of destroying the world? Post humanism will be used for bad things, its not worth the consequences that can come with it.

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  7. 1. I believe that generally, post-humans suffer the same kind of alienation that anyone has because they are not included in what is the “norm” and they will be judged. In the first clip of the X-men, the senator says ” Taking away our god given free will, I think American people deserve the right to decide wheater their children should be in school with the mutants… We must know what they can do”. Humans are afraid of the unknown and they don’t know what the mutants are capable of their powers. It takes away their feeling of stability and therefore they will treat certain people who are not in the norms differently in order to feel stable again. We still have not accepted the fact that the color of people of skin should not matter and yet people still think that white is superior to color. Posthumans are people who are capable of doing more than what a human can do, therefore how can we possibly accept the fact that a someone who is more advanced, can be an equal to us? People will feel as if they were replaced by something “better” leading to their judgemental ways and posthumans will be treated as dangerous/different because they are not like humans.

    2. Maybe at first humans will be cautious because they are afraid of not knowing what the posthumans will do with the technology they obtained. It’s like eating something new for the first time, you don’t really know what will happen unless you try it and when you do you have multiple reactions (or just one). Yet the more you try it, the more you get used to it and accumulate an actual assessment. Eventually, I think humans can look up to the posthumans as they have the biotechnology that could save and improve human lives. But it doesn’t mean that they are perfect, there will some that will become greedy and do more wrong than right. As time moves along, we are always trying to find ways to become better at things even if things seem to be good as it is.

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  8. 1. I do believe it is a fair allegorical comparison because post humans like today for examples like colored people and minorities are often seen as out of the norm which results in those people being segregated and mistreated. Yes they do feel separated because they are often seen as dangerous and limited by the government from being themselves.
    2. I believe I can’t judge one another and that I love all. Although when it comes to their actions that are not just and immoral then I turn my head. I’ll love their person but hate their actions kind of how the government sees these post humans, they love them as a person, but once they realize they are different and have different powers and the way they use them changes their viewpoint on that person.

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  9. 1) Yes it is fair to make the allegorical connection that mutants and gays, blacks, immigrants suffer the same kind of alienation. The people in the Xmen world don’t like the mutants because they are different and they don’t follow the norm. The same could be said about blacks and gays, that they are alienated against because they are different and don’t follow the norm either.

    2) I believe humans should look at the post human future as something good and something to embrace. If humans look at it as something to be wary of, that is when the hatred comes in and they will become alienated. Humans should not alienate something because it is different.

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  10. 1)Yes it is fair because people like African Americans ,Gays, Immigrants have went through Discrimination as well as dehumanization .For example African Americans were treated as non Humans when it comes to Slavery and Jews were treated as a threat to the human race .This is fair because the mutants are being discriminated and being judged as a threat to society which connects to Post- Humans .
    2)I believe that post-Humanism is something that could affect the future in a great way as well as a horrible way depending on who it is .Because human feeling is fearful to be in front of when it comes to choices we make wrong and right choices and sometimes the choices we make cannot be changed and will affect whatever it touches . In general its good to see change but also bad depending on how the Human race takes it .Which makes me feel not making change to something that could cause better or worse is the best answer .

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