Precog's Dehumanization, Minority Report & the Minority Report

Topics: Human, Precognition, Extrasensory perception Pages: 11 (4508 words) Published: May 9, 2013
The Precogs' Dehumanization In Minority Report  and "The Minority Report”     How we define human, subhuman and superhuman is complex, with many intricacies and unknowns. The relationship between them, regarding the Precogs in The Minority Report short story as well as the film, is complex between these two forms of dehumanization and humanization. For those unfamiliar with the works, the three Precogs are collectively, literally, the human engine which enables Precrime to exist. In both works, their superhuman ability to see the future has been harnessed giving, those who have access to the technology in which they are embedded, knowledge of future crimes.  In this, their predominant overall treatment is as subhuman, and they are disconnected from normal human life. Though they are momentarily re-framed to the audience as superhuman (for this ability) in both works, they are predominantly dehumanized. The two stark differences in its film adaptation, which was created in 2002, are: The deification of the Precogs, stemming from this superhuman portrayal; wherein the movie offers a different perspective, whilst maintaining their subhuman status. And in the content of Precogs' life narrative. Though important axioms in their biographies are still similar to the story''s, this leads to the film's deviation in conclusion, as only in the final, epilogue scene, the precogs are released from the world of Precrime into a human life. Still, this ending's contrast sheds light on the subhuman state they existed in for the duration of the Precrime system's existence.     In both works they are disconnected from living in the present, their superhuman abilities traded for their basic human functions, leaving them in a subhuman state. They are stuck in the future and stuck in the past. From 1958, Phillip K. Dick writes,"Their minds were dull, confused, lost in shadows. But not the shadows of today...were contemplating the future. The analytical machinery was recording prophecies, and as the three precog idiots talked, the machinery carefully listened." Anderton continues in speech, "The talent absorbs everything; the esp-lobe shrivels the balance of the frontal area. But what do we care? We get their prophecies...Donna is forty-five years old. But she looks about ten."2 The sense that the other Precogs do not physically embody their rightful age seems to be implied. The enhancement of their abilities is paired with malformation of their communication skills. I interpret this skill as superhuman, because any human ability to do so it is debatable, disbelieved by many. Though disabilities alone do not constitute a subhuman state, their treatment and the literary nuances which I will elaborate on later, do. They are stuck in the past, as they are underdeveloped. He states plainly that they are lost in shadows, not in the present. Later, when Anderton returns, Dick describes "Jerry" in particular, "The dwarfed hunched over figure had sat buried in it's wiring and relays for fifteen years. As Anderton approached, it didn't look up. With eyes glazed and blank, it contemplated a world that did not yet exist, blind to the physical reality that lay around it. "Jerry" was twenty-four year old. Originally he had been classified as a hydro-cephalic idiot ...testers had identified the precog talent, buried under layers of tissue corrosion. Placed in a government operated training school..[it]had been cultivated. By the time he was nine the talent had advanced to a useful stage. "Jerry" however, remained in the aimless chaos of idiocy; the burgeoning faculty had absorbed the totality of his personality." Having lost 15 years of his life as part of this machine; and by absorbing his personality, he is made less human.  And it is the government who cultivates this superhuman ability to make it useful. This is not alleviation, but worsening, and keeps him stuck in the future. All three precogs are stuck in the future, while their bodies and other...
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