Good news from outer space by

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The key ingredients that make the society in the book "Good News from Outer Space" by John Kessel seem so full of mordant farce are chaos, technology, belief and faith run amok. The book is set in our present year of 1999, and it seems that all of the conventional thoughts and explanations that help life make sense, are no longer needed. All that remain are the lunatic explanations that have gained adherence within society.

Although the society in the book might seem more like an exaggerated version of our current way of life, what's to say that in a couple of years or months, ours will not mirror the one in the book? After all, we are approaching the millenium. This paper intends to relate the world created by John Kessel to the world we now inhabit; this world where science and religion, for most, are the mental constructs that give us some sense of control over this obscure universe.

The most significant aspect of this fictional society is the belief of a "Second Coming." This shows great similarity to present day society simply because of the huge percentage of Christian followers who also believe in a "Second Coming." The Reverend Jimmy-Don Gilray, a major character in the book, is convinced that God will send a messenger to arrive on earth on January 1, 2000 in a spaceship. Using television, the smooth preaching Gilray manages to herd the followers in like cattle by the thousands. The words roll off of his tongue like honey and his followers are easily convinced that the perilous times of their last days have come Gilray's prophecies are given light in the following quote: "They have been fulfilled. That's how we know we're in the Last days. The Bible predicts that certain events will...