A Marxist Analysis of a Star Trek Episode: This Side of Paradise.

Essay by WindshearCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2003

download word file, 5 pages 3.3

Marxist Analysis of the Star Trek Episode:

This Side of Paradise


I am doing a Marxist analysis of the Star Trek Episode 'This side of paradise'. This episode was aired on March 2 1967. In this episode a group of colonists are found alive on a planet being bombarded with fatal Berthold rays. The colonists are all in perfect health, and after investigating the cause, a strange plant whose spores remove all negative emotions and feelings. Spock, and other normally regimented members of the crew are affected by these spores and mutiny follows, leaving Captain Kirk as the sole remaining crew member on board.

In this analysis I will approach the text from a historical and cultural perspective, examine the power relationships contained within the text, look at the author's class position and his relationship to the intended audience, and discuss the role of language in the text.

Class position of the author

The class position of the author seems to be that he is looking down on the colonists as being radicals, who do not conform to the traditional ways of doing things.

He empathizes with Captain Kirk, who feels bound by duty and responsibility, while he watches his officers and crew be drawn into a utopian lifestyle. The author Gene Roddenberry, as a part of the working middle class looks with some criticism on the free thinking and living ways of the new culture that is emerging in the 1960s.

While Kirk, and vicariously Roddenberry wishes for a world where the two cultures can mix, he realizes that it is part of the human condition that we were not meant to live in heaven, but rather to struggle and work hard. His intended audience would likely be of similar background to himself, working hard while envying the...