A comparative study of the concept of dystopia in Brian Aldiss' short story "Super Toys Last All Summer Long" and its cinematographic adaptation, Artificial Intelligence.

Essay by ZodiaqueUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, February 2004

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1. Compare the story "Super Toys Last All Summer Long" with the movie Artificial Intelligence. Do they use the same symbols? Do they have the same themes? Explain why or why not.



Adapting literature for the big screen is a risky process, and can yield great results as well as a poor, butchered, dubbed-down version of an otherwise major work. Fortunately, Stanley Kubrick 's Artificial Intelligence movie has proved, by its extended use of dystopia and its focus on the human/machine relationships, to be a worthy extension of Brian Aldiss' short stories, going deeper than what the author originally anticipated. To fully grasp the nature of the changes between the story and the film requires a good knowledge of the concept of dystopia, a careful examination of its applications in this particular story, and a general overview of the human/machine relationships.

Dystopia is a word meaning: "1: an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives 2: ANTI-UTOPIA" .

This concept has shaped the whole genre of

science fiction, and can be found at varying degrees in a myriad of different applications.

Typically, a dystopia focuses on one or more elements symptomatic of the greater dangers in store for mankind, whether they be an extreme environmental pollution, overpopulation issues, rising violence and crime activity in cities, large and coldly inhuman bureaucratic structures, or malevolent economic exploitation. In short, the rich get even richer while the poor fall well under the minimal conditions required to lead a decent life, especially in such a society of technological profusion.

In true dystopian mentality science, as well as arts, politics or philosophy, leads to the result of furthering the inequalities present in human society instead of serving the noble goal of bringing mankind together. However, there are...