The Progression of Societal Reflection in Science Fiction through Wells, Lewis, and Bradbury
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Science fiction has proven to be a tremendous force with a unique power to change individuals, steering them to consider inventive alternatives. Three of the great authors of early science fiction are H.G. Wells, C.S. Lewis, and Ray Bradbury. All three share a passion for the creative, contributing multiple works to the genre leaving an impact during their time period. As the genre changed, these authors wove societal context into their works, exemplifying struggles and weaknesses of their times, and potential outcomes if society continued to move in those directions. To understand the more subtle changes and reflections of society, this thesis looks at each author’s human and non-human (alien) interactions, foreign environment through settings, and impacts of advanced technology. Observing these changes between authors, the intent is to show differing mindsets from each author’s era: Wells and the Turn of the Century, Lewis between the World Wars, and Ray Bradbury in the early Cold War. Each main element of style is analyzed on its own to display the lens the text is viewed in. Afterwards, all three authors are compared against each other to see explicit purposes in their works.