MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: The Pursuit of Happyness

by Hunter Althiser In The Pursuit of Happyness, a father (Chris Gardner) has invested his entire life savings into bone density scanners, a minor upgrade to the standard x-rays most offices have, and plans on selling them to make an easy profit. While he has sold a lot of them, he is having trouble selling the last few, and with his current debt crippling him, his wife (Linda Gardner) ends up leaving him and moving to New York, saying that he isn’t responsible. Chris has to not only care for his son (Chris Gardner Jr.) but also find a job to … Continue reading MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: The Pursuit of Happyness

Rate this:

MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: The Notebook

by Emily Alfano The Notebook takes place in the 1940s in South Carolina. Noah Calhoun is a mill worker and Allie is a rich girl that falls in love with him, someone way below her “class.” Allie’s parents do not approve of them. Noah goes off and serves in World War II. At that point they both realize their love was nothing and it wasn’t going to work out. In the meantime, Allie gets involved with another man, Lon. They are close to getting married, until Noah comes back to their small town and finally figures out that their love … Continue reading MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: The Notebook

Rate this:

MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: A BioShock Doubleheader

My Little Objectivism: ADAM is Magic

by Charles Hernandez

Andrew Ryan had a lot of money, and a philosophy of objectivism. Objectivism is when man never puts man underneath him or above him for his own loss or gain, but to pursue their own interests their own way, with government/authority only being the middle man, assuring that this happens. Ryan constructed a city underwater that would be free of censorship and ethics against science/art/etc. This city was called “Rapture,” and many flocked to it, hoping to be free of these social restraints.

After this city was made and everything was going well, Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum happened to discover a sea slug, who healed a man’s paralyzed hand with just a bite from the sea slug. Dr. Tenenbaum needed a sponsor to research this sea slug, and most turned him down, except for the man Frank Fontaine. Frank Fontaine ran a smuggling operation, bringing things down from the surface, and he was rich enough to support the Doctor in his sea slug research, on a condition that after the research, Mr. Fontaine can fully profit off of the discoveries.

After research, Dr. Tenenbaum discovered that the sea slugs secreted stem cell like substances, which could be used to twist around DNA. This DNA change gave incredible power to humans, like fire at fingertips or even summoning swarms of bees to roam. This ADAM could create extra tissue that didn’t once exist in the body, allowing these powers, but it also is a form of reverse cancer, eating out your cells unless you have a steady supply of ADAM, so if you didn’t feed this addiction, you would slowly go insane, those that did go insane are referred to as “Splicers.” It was also found that if you put the slugs into a human host, they would produce 20-30 times the amount of ADAM that they would produce on their own, the only hosts to survive this though were little girls, later called “Little Sisters.”

“Big Daddy” were protectors created to protect these little sisters, as if anyone took them they would gain high amounts of ADAM. Ryan started accusing Fontaine of crimes, ranging from smuggling to murders, and Fontaine’s monopoly of ADAM could break the social structure that Ryan had set up. Fontaine knew that he was going to be killed off by Ryan, so he faked his death and retreated into hiding, practicing his future alter ego “Atlas.” Ryan assuming Fontaine dead, took over the ADAM monopoly as “Ryan Industries,” and due to the ADAM addictions of the city, he increased ADAM production by sending little sisters out with the Big Daddies to harvest ADAM from decaying corpses to reuse it.

This is where the main character of the game in which you play as, “Jack” comes into play, and your plane crashes, and you discover the entrance to Rapture. Throughout the game Atlas guides you through to Andrew Ryan to kill him, and you follow along, as you have no other choice at this point. In the middle of this adventure you meet Dr. Tenenbaum, who asks you to help him save the little sisters, as he just wishes to stop and destroy what he’s created, so he gives you a power to extract the sea slug from them, and save them. After a long adventure of saving little sisters and searching out Andrew Ryan, you confront him.

Andrew Ryan sets up a self-destruct for all of Rapture, as he didn’t want to see Atlas leading his own city. He also reveals that Jack is a modified human, who always responds to the phrase “Would you kindly.” After learning that, Ryan hands Jack a golf club and tells Jack to kill him. After the death of Ryan, Jack is told by Atlas to shut down the self-destruct, using the phrase “Would you kindly” to command it.

Atlas congratulates him on this task, and reveals himself as Frank Fontaine. Jack passes out and ends up in one of Tenenbaum’s safe houses, Tenenbaum explains that he removed the mental control of the phrase of “Would you kindly,” and he should explore the scientist’s house that gave him that affliction, Dr. Suchong. After Fontaine learns that Jack is free of the “Would you kindly” affliction, he states “Code Yellow,” which sends his heart into a slow, painful course of eventually quitting out. After Jack cures this with an antidote from Dr. Suchong’s living quarters, he goes off to confront Fontaine to kill him, Fontaine hypes himself up on ADAM to make him super human, and Jack fights this by using the tools the little sisters used to extract ADAM from dead bodies, on Fontaine in the fight against him. After this, Jack goes up to the surface and raises the little sisters he saved, now just being little girls, and eventually dies with the little sisters at his hospital bed.

In Hamlet, the main theme is revenge, specifically against his uncle for killing his father. In BioShock, it’s more of a deception and manipulation of the main character, Jack, in order for the main villain to accomplish their goals. The common points of Hamlet and Jack came along with their confidence and sense of justice. Hamlet had to have a reason to kill Claudius for sure, showing his sense of justice, he also never lost hope, even when kicked out of Denmark. Jack never gave up (nor could he, as he’s the character you play in the game) and when confronted with the choice of saving or killing the little sisters, he saves them.

Hamlet is less trusting of most, except to Horatio his friend, and rides more solo for his revenge plan. Jack is very trusting/gullible, not suspecting a thing of Atlas or his hate against Andrew Ryan. Hamlet is also more of a planner and thinker than a “do-er”, as he hesitates with his revenge until the very end against Claudius, and Jack just pushes on forward, with every twist that occurs in the story.

Andrew Ryan the creator of the city “Rapture” was someone who somewhat wanted that perfect uncensored society. Frank Fontaine was someone who leeched off of Dr. Tenenbaum’s ADAM research, and eventually wanted to take over Rapture for himself, going so far to set up his own death and take up an alter ego “Atlas” to do so. Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum created ADAM from the sea slugs originally, and when Jack comes to Rapture, asks to help him save the little sisters, as he wishes to stop and destroy everything he created.

bioshock_quote

In Hamlet, every sentence normally had some side wordplay, or a highly described parable. The text never just states something simple like, but referencing comparisons to explain everything. Like Hamlet compared Denmark to a prison, instead of simply stating he had to carry out revenge there. In BioShock, the words and dialogue are not poetic, but more simple and easy to understand. This easy to understand dialogue in the game somewhat falsifies the player into trust with Atlas, playing the simple “good guy,” until the ending plot twist.

Hamlet was a story about revenge, which had examples of impulsive and non-impulsive revenge. That being said, sure revenge could be relatable to our modern day, but that’s the only thing from Hamlet that would fit universally. Although at the time, with England being at war with other places, and it being written for the queen of England, most cultural references are for that time alone, and it doesn’t transfer too well in modern times. In BioShock, it’s about Andrew wanting to have a society free to do as they wish with no censorship or ethics in science/art/etc., summarized as the philosophy, “Objectivism.” As seen this can turn out bad, and that lesson could carry on in our world.

Ideas from BioShock collectively can’t exist, such as ADAM from sea slugs and underwater cities that become overridden by crazies which make it limited, and if compared to real life scenarios, a literary fault in possibility. Objectivism could still be a universal theme to today, as some people have the power and money to do whatever they wish, just as Andrew Ryan did, but laws hold them back. Cultural references from BioShock include the book “Fountainhead,” which the philosophy “Objectivism” comes from in the first place. One reference to the book is when Andrew Jack attempts to blow up Rapture when Atlas attempts to take over, just as Howard Roark also tried to blow up the housing project when his designs were altered. Even the author of Fountainhead, “Ayn Rosenbaum,” was influence for Dr. Tenenbaum’s name in the game.

Hamlet should be remembered as the story that not only raised standards for English, but as the tragic tale of revenge, showing it’s not always a happy ending. BioShock is the literal viewing of a man who followed the philosophy of objectivism, and made a city based upon it, and failed—with capitalism not being much different.

In the second part of this BioShock doubleheader, Carly Borkoski presents the story of BioShock Infinite.

Continue reading “MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: A BioShock Doubleheader”

The Three Wise Men of Cinema

bolañodada
If you’re looking for a curated playlist of critical movies, look no further than this my friend.  First and foremost, familiarize yourself with this article entitled the “Three amigos change face of Mexican film” by the Hollywood Reporter.  The article deftly summarizes the artistic cabal of three Mexican American filmmakers:  Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Cuarón, del Toro, and Iñárritu form a super team of epic proportions, not just in the context of contemporary cinema.  Championship series winning, legendary sports teams are an apt comparison, in measuring the synergy of these artists.  In applying my knowledge of film studies, I recommend the following movie playlist for those interested in exploring one of the best filmographies of the 21st century.

The following film list is intended for mature audiences.

Continue reading “The Three Wise Men of Cinema”

MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Assassin’s Creed

Desmond Miles is an assassin that has very important memories of his ancestors. He is captured by Abstergo and forced to use a machine called the Animus to explore Altair ibn-La’Ahad’s memories during the time of the Third Crusade. Abstergo Industries is multinational corporate conglomerate, and the primary front of the modern day Templar Order. They need Desmonds memories to unlock clues about where to find these pieces of a ancient technology called Eden. The scientist who captured him is apart of the Templars. Desmond begins to see the events that his ancestor had done and lives what Altair did … Continue reading MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Assassin’s Creed

Rate this:

MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Kill Bill

The story of Hamlet is an example of amazing Shakespearean literature, and I’m not just saying this to get a good grade it is one of William Shakespeare’s best screenplays. But another story that is nearly as good is the two part film Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2 directed by Quentin Tarantino. The reason I’m comparing these two stories is because of their similar theme, revenge, yet they both demonstrate it in very drastic ways. Kill Bill tells the story of a character only known as the Bride who lived a life of crime as an … Continue reading MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Kill Bill

Rate this:

MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: 21st Century Shakespeare

After the fall of the Roman Empire, English orphan Tristan meets and falls in love with Irish princess Isolde, however she is set to marry Lord Marke, who raised Tristan. While unaware of her identity, Tristan has won her hand in marriage for his lord and future king of the two countries, but now the passion of the two young people causes a rift leading to a devastating battle. Many people say that before there was Romeo and Juliet, there was Tristan and Isolde. The difference between Hamlet and Tristan and Isolde is that Hamlet’s uncle murdered his father, and  … Continue reading MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: 21st Century Shakespeare

Rate this:

MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Hamlet vs The Hobbit

The Hobbit takes place in Middle-earth, an imaginary made up continent. The story is about a young hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who decides to take part in an adventure. Hobbits are a race of people, about half the size of a human, who enjoy food, song, and living quiet peaceful lives. Yet outside Bag End (home village of the hobbits) is a wizard by the name of Gandalf, who is in search of someone to share an adventure with. He visits Bag End and meets with Bilbo Baggins for the first time. Gandalf has an interest towards Bilbo, but his … Continue reading MTI’s Masterpiece Literature Presents: Hamlet vs The Hobbit

Rate this: