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Themes In Science-Fiction

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There are many themes that exist within any one science fiction story. Religion, technology, aliens and visions of the future tend to be the more of the popular themes but one theme that over looked is that of family values, more specifically gender roles. In many of the stories, there seems to be either similar or lack of family values. In The Jetsons: The Rosie Episode, Anthem by Ayn Reid and "Mimsy were the Borogroves" by Lewis Padget , the idea of family values or enhanced and forgotten at the same time.

In The Jetsons: the Rosie Episode, we are given our first glimpse into a small family. George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, Rosie and Astro the dog make up this more than humble family in the TV show. This family exemplifies the traditional family make up. George the father is the bread winner of the family, Jane tends the home, Elroy is the wiz kid son and Jane is the boy crazy, shopping addicted teenage daughter. The show is set in the future and yet it seems the values have not budged since the "past". In the show, George usually tells about how he is the bread winner and how is the head of the household. According the Jetsons, it seems like things will be pretty much the same when we get to the future. Women will still spend their husbands money shopping and will still tend the house. What's even more traditional is the idea of a nanny. Rosie the robot plays both maid and nanny to the family but she is given qualities that our clearly "black" in origin. This also shows that the only thing that has changed in the future is the way we drive. Minorities (robots) our only allowed to have subservient jobs and they have to be sassy and have attitude. However, like in the old days, the maid usually becomes apart of the family; almost as an equal but not quite. The American family is what is painted in the Jetsons; middle class, two kids and a house in the suburbs or in this case the sky. The Jetsons seemed to be based on the "Leave it to Beaver", "Brady Bunch" value system. What is meant by this is that everything is perfect because you don't have to deal with anything other than the things that go on in your house, dad makes all the money and the wife is strong but still weak enough that the husband is still the dominant figure in the home. Also, the son in the family is shown to be more or less the golden child. The smart kid who is labeled for success and his sister Jane is shown to be the girl who will grow up to marry a rich man to go shopping all day. These roles that boys must be smart and girls are, for lack of a better term, ditzy seems to go further back in time to when girls couldn't go to school.

In Anthem, the idea of family is taken to a whole different level. The idea of a Ð''we' and no more Ð''I' really enhances the idea of science fiction family. Although twisted, this view of family is one of the best ever n science fiction. The fact that there is only the greater good and there isn't any personal gain. There isn't any class system to separate us, women are in essence equal to men and all children are brought up with the same value system. What is interesting about the family system in Anthem is that there isn't any real mother or father figure. There is only the World Council that governs all. This totally goes against the traditional family values of America. The fact that there isn't any free will and everyone obeys the parent is farfetched. However, in Anthem, you get this feeling of regression. That maybe it was different in the Unmentionable Times. That maybe the family structure was different in those times. It is also interesting that the man in the Story, Prometheus, discovers the light bulb and no this female counter part Liberty. It seems that yet



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