Comparing A Cage of butterflies to Mission to mars
Science fiction produces a "what if" element that asks a question and prophesises the future. There are many texts, which presents the reader or viewer with a particular way of science fiction. The two texts, "A cage of butterflies" by Brain Caswell and "Mission to Mars" by Brian de Palmer, both of which conform to science fiction. The technology used in "A cage of butterflies" is of extremely high standard and produces a theme that prophesises about experimentation and mutations occurring on humans. The theme in "Mission to Mars" is about discovery, communication and reaching out to other life forms.
In "A cage of butterflies", the research laboratory in NSW is covertly set, as what they are doing is illegal. The extremely tight security of the laboratory gives the reader a feeling that the research lab is like a prison or a zoo. This impression is also supported by the place where the babies are kept under tight surveillance and the way that they are being monitored through a glass window. The environment the think tanks occupy is more like a home than a lab, because they aren't aware of what is happening, so they refer to the place as the "Farm".
The characters in "A cage of butterflies" are intelligent heroes. The "think tank" are a bunch of kids with an I.Q. well above 150. Mikki and Greg are the main characters, both born with natural leadership and who love each other. The babies have an I.Q. of 450 +, definitely beating the average I.Q. of 85-100. Myriam, the leader of the babies was the first to communicate with Katie and eventually reaches out towards the others. The babies communicate using pictures and emotional feelings to the others but is hard for them to communicate in this manner so they try to use their linguistic abilities.
The "what if" of the novel represent what might happened if we continue to experiment on life forms. A serum injected by Larsen caused mutation of the babies resulting in the fusing of the cerebral hemispheres and the enhancement of the babies with extra abilities such as advanced communication and telepathy. Larsen's greed was shown in his experiments on the kids and in the future, this greed may possibly entice some people to conduct similar experiments.
The setting in "Mission to Mars" fills the audience with expectations, as it is futuristic. Mars is presented in a red colour. The planet is rocky lifeless and barren, with storming winds blowing dust all over it. The tremendous size of the mountains and gorges make the humans look insignificant and vulnerable. Inside the face on the planet, a bright, blinding white light in the background, symbolised peace and high authority eg. Navy uniform. Inside the space ship, the camera angles give the audience an impression of weightlessness. The camera angles also show how small and cramped the ship is and how movement is difficult. The technology used in the space ship is also high in technology. When they voyage out into space, the music changes into a frontier based theme as they move on. The camera angles and slow movement also show weightlessness.
The characters in science fiction films like mission to mars are expected to be either human or alien types, especially intelligent heroes. The main characters show high intelligence and are very good friends as they have been training with one another. The strong friendship can be a downfall if one may have died. A good example of a science fiction hero would be Woody because he is brave and takes everything as it comes. He would be the first one to take risks and put him self in danger instead of the team. Woody also made he ultimate sacrifice, he saved his wife's life in exchange of his own. The alien in "Mission to Mars isn't an alien, but an advanced human. The way the alien moves is very graceful, backing up this would be the peaceful music being played as the being moved toward them. The technology used by the alien is extremely high and showed how all life on earth developed.
The "What if" of the film is about