A Rose By A Vulcan Name Would

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A Rose, By A Vulcan Name, Would Smell As Sweet. Essay, Research Paper A Rose, By a Vulcan Name, Would Smell as Sweet. Social commentary is dangerous. In addition to risking social and political censure, the commentator must carefully convey the message. In directly addressing a problem, one risks alienating an audience before making one’s point. If one indirectly approaches said problem, one may appear to lack conviction or a point. Star Trek: the Original Series takes a third path, that of allegory. Unfortunately, as the television series belongs to the science fiction genre, its social significance is often disregarded. However, upon examination, it is clear that the veiled nature of commentary in Star Trek is vital. An allegory addresses issues, usually current political

or social situations, through a fictionalized account. This is useful to protect the teller of the tale from legal or political persecution, as evidenced by “Lewis Carroll’s” Alice in Wonderland. Allegory may also use situational hyperbole to exaggerate a situation until its social impact is obvious, as in Voltaire’s Candide. The cloak of allegory serves both functions, after a fashion, in Star Trek: the Original Series. Rather than protecting the creator, altered representations protected the integrity of the story line from network censors. For example, the episode “A Private Little War” depicted the Federation, the series’ protagonist organization, warring with the Klingon nation, its nemesis, on a tiny primitive world (Star Trek). In all actuality, the episode

was a declaration of pacifism aimed at the follies of the Vietnam War. Such a declaration might be blocked by censors as unpatriotic or lacking in viewer allure, were it a straightforward statement of the evils of Vietnam. As a story, however, it avoids such charges and may be distributed to the masses via television. Situational exaggeration is also utilized to drive home important points. A problem may not be apparent to an average person. Thus, the allegorist expands the problem, inflating it beyond normal context to make its import apparent. The creators of the Original Series achieved this through symbols. In the episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” two “alien” men, whose faces were half black and half white, were featured. The white half was on right side of

one man’s face, and the left of the other’s. Due to this difference, the two races had fought one another until only two survived (Star Trek). This seems merely a tragic story. In actuality, it is a comment on racism. “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” tells the viewer a familiar story, the differences between the two men are minimal, as are the differences between races on Earth. Their faces are composed of the same colors in differing combinations. So, too, are the colors of humanity the same, merely present in differing proportions. Hidden within fiction, serious themes pervaded the Star Trek of the 60’s. Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek franchise, outlined a utopian future where the iniquities of the present are absent or conquerable. Those evils included

racism, intolerance, sexism and war. Ethnocentrism is denounced by a multi-ethnic cast, which features characters of many nationalities and worlds in prominent positions. The familiar theme of racism arises again in “Balance of Terror.” Cold War paranoia is represented the fictional humanity’s own “Cold War” with the Romulans, an apparently inimical race. This episode also calls to mind the persecution of Americans with Japanese ancestry during the Second World War. The character Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, bears a resemblance to the Romulan enemy, and is therefore denigrated and labeled a traitor by his own comrades. Though the humans of Star Trek exist in cold or outright war with beings from other worlds, this state is portrayed as deplorable. “Everyone always