Edgar Rice Burroughs

Topics: The Gods of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Barsoom Pages: 3 (1312 words) Published: April 21, 2009
Edgar Rice Burroughs Analytical Essay Edgar Rice Burroughs is best known for his series of fantasy novels featuring Tarzan. While this famous series is not science fiction, that does not mean that Edgar Rice Burroughs is not a science fiction author. Burroughs incorporated many elements of sci-fi into his books and short stories, so he can be considered a sci-fi author. The Gods of Mars, The Resurrection of Jimber-Jaw, and The Land That Time Forgotare all stories by Burroughs that incorporate elements of science fiction. The main literary devices that Burroughs used were estrangement, social critique, and novum. These devices are the cornerstones of science fiction. Burroughs would take politics, events, and inventions from his empirical life and estrange them in his stories. He estranged religion, critiqued how society looked down upon women and blacks, and used his own imagination to create new inventions and settings. Often times Burroughs’ opinions differed from the rest of American societyand these views were expressed in his works of fiction. It is clear that after reading three of his stories that Edgar Rice Burroughs can be considered a science fiction author. An important characteristic of science fiction is the estrangement of the author’s empirical world. In The Gods of Mars, Burroughs is estranging religion, how people will blindly follow whatever they were taught to believe for their entire lives, and are resistant to opposing views. Burroughs has been noted as an atheist, and he displays that by presenting a satirical view of religion. Like Islam, the Barsoomians are to make a pilgrimage to a “holy” place before the end of their life. Another parallel to societal problems that Burroughs was estranging in The Gods of Mars wasthe rivalry between the Holy Therns and the Black Pirates. Both groups believe that they know the true religion, and are at constant war with each other because they want to preserve their own beliefs. This is similar to how...
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