Prescott Breitling, Unit 2 Assignment 2

Option 2: During the lecture, I thought the relation of radical translation to Louise Banks’s job in Arrival was very interesting. The description of the process of radical translation indicated the painstakingly long time it would take to translate a language from scratch, which makes Banks’s accomplishment even more impressive. What I find so interesting about Arrival is how the translation serves to introduce the science fiction aspect of the film in which the thematic significance is derived from. The way that Dr. Banks’s translation of the alien language rewires her brain to think about time non-linearly makes some profound statements about the way we live our lives and whether we really appreciate our present moment, regardless of how it relates to what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future. 

Option 3: I saw a parallel between Plato’s cave allegory and an idea we discussed in Unit 1. Plato describes that once the prisoner is freed from the cave, he slowly begins to accept reality. This transition can be likened to being “enlightened,” for the prisoner begins to slowly emerge out from his own ignorance. He then proceeds to return to the cave and attempt to tell his fellow prisoners that what they see is an illusion, but they resist. The ending of Plato’s allegory reminded me of the questions we raised in Unit 1 when we discussed what enlightenment is and how it relates to being human. The return of the freed prisoner, in radical terms, could signify “enlightenment imperialism” in which those who have determined that they have reached enlightenment attempt to impose it on others. 

Leave a Reply