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The Passengers

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kmorren
Words 443
Pages 2
The science fiction short story the “passengers” by Robert Silverberg is literature of escape. It depicts dystopian world as it explores the social, political, and economic forces that cause the breaking down of civilization through alien takeover; the incidents, people, and obstacles that seem to rip the world apart at its seams, test their ethics, and show us a vision of the environment inverted directly upon itself.

Alien phantoms called Passengers randomly take over the bodies of humans for several days at a time. One human in particular experiences frequent inhabitations from aliens and has just awoken from one. Charles Roth somehow is permitted to remember this specific encounter in a fog even though he has never before and is not supposed to by the rules of the aliens. He had a sexual encounter with an inhabited woman, Helen Martin, and then consciously finds her with the attempt to pursue a real relationship with her. Although reluctant Helen, who’s memory has not retained any information about Charles, is convinced to pursue the relationship despite her fear of being caught by the aliens by Charles’ enthusiasm to overthrow the enemy in this small way. The relationships development is quickly derailed as Charles finds himself ridden by another passenger.

Charles Roth is the round character of the short story. He’s developed and his emotions are conveyed. The story displays a man that has been taken hostage and is victimized. He’s tired and frustrated and yearns for the freedom to choose his own destiny. That longing for liberty fires the road to self-rule by seeking out a relationship with the last person he was with through the passengers. Helen Martins character is that of a flat character. Her background is not developed. The only thing we know about her is the places she goes and her common encounter with Charles while under alien…...

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