This is an essay comparing and contrasting a sci-fi, 2001 A Space Odyssey, and a western, The Way West.

Essay by electrostasisHigh School, 12th gradeA+, December 2002

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2001: A Space Odyssey vs. The Way West

By Electrostasis

The "Final Frontier" is something that people all around the world have been seeking out from the beginning of time. As citizens of this planet we like to call Earth, there have always been barriers that we have had to overcome. Be it the invention of the wheel or the innovation of the nuclear reactor, all was thought impossible until completed. Barriers have never stopped us before, but people think we cannot travel through and colonize space, but it is just another barrier we must break through. We cannot overcome this barrier until we believe we can mentally. 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Way West both demonstrate clear examples of this issue. Both have specific barriers to overcome, such as transportation, communication, and the whole mental issue of success. These were overcome, but only after strong mental preparation.

To start off, we'll address the transportation issue. The absurd thought of traveling an enormous distance to the "Oregon Country" was taken as just a bunch of gibberish in the days of the West. Likewise, the thought of being able to traveling far away from the Earth in space was also thought impossible. In both cases, these goals were actually not that absurd, and were achieved. In the western times people had to travel by means of wagon train if they wanted to get anywhere. They relied on stockpiles of preserved foods and their oxen pulling their wagon. Unlike the crude wagons of the West, the astronauts in 2001 traveled in a highly advanced, super-fast space ship, most of them sleeping in cryo-sleep, relying solely on dehydrated or synthesized foods stocked in their enormous "Space Wagon". You may think that these two situations have no differences, but they actually have...