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Simaks Look At Life In Desertion

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Jason Warren


Paper #1

Within the short story "Desertion" written by Clifford D. Simak the human race faces the ultimate challenge of the choice of free will vs. life determination. When the story opens we learn of a mission to liberate and populate the jovian planet Jupiter. The head of this study, and protagonist of the story, is a man named Kent Fowler. Fowler has two by two sent four men to Jupiter already and as the story begins is planning to send a fifth. The only problem is not a single one of these five men return. Now living on a jovian planet such as Jupiter is impossible for human beings within their current God given state so before sending each of these five men first they mush go through a process of lopering and become in essence a Loper for they are no longer human after making such a drastic change to their bodies chemical makeup. Now after the fifth man does not return you get a real feeling that Fowler is beginning to loose the respect of the biologist that are working with him and Miss Stanley the women in charge of the lopering machine. So in a last act of desperation to hopefully see his way finally to the end of this experiment Fowler decides to take his dog Towser and loper onto the planet Jupiter for within his own mind he knows that given the current situation if these men aren't dead and just not coming back he will most definitely return.

Arriving upon the planet Jupiter the story takes a dramatic turn in major favor of the protagonist Fowler and his canine best friend Towser. These two newly converted lopers find much to their surprise a completely copasetic environment for their new forms. When traveling to Jupiter Fowler had prepared himself for a worst possible scenario of environment he would be landing upon, massive lightning bolts, and ammonia rain storms. Stepping foot upon the surface the two travelers were welcomed into a euphoric environment seemingly only fit for their current life forms that were made up of ammonia and hydrogen, rather then their human existence of water and oxygen. Upon entering this new environment Fowler and Towser also begin to realize that they can speak to each for on this planet in these new life forms the only means of communication is telepathy. Through telepathy they also realize that they can now use their full reasoning capabilities and all of a sudden are able to learn things through their own reasoning and thought processes.

Through the gaining of this new knowledge is when the story becomes a story of desertion. Fowler and Towser, now with this new vast knowledge of the world, and Fowler even now knows of a metal that could survive on the planets surface, so they should return home, right? Well Fowler and Towser do not return home



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