After reading Who Goes There by John Cambell, I found a few quotes said by the character Blair (the biologist) that stood out for me:
“And just because it looks unlike men, you don’t have to accuse it of being evil or vicious or something.
“Just because its nature is different, you haven’t any right to say it’s necessarily evil.”
I found it interesting how these quotes are true in real life, as they are in the story. Human beings (well, maybe not all human beings) have the tendency to fear or hate things they know nothing about, as they did for the monster in the story. Take me for example. When I was younger, I hated bees and spiders with a vengeance. Bees can sting, and spiders have eight, fast moving legs, furry fangs, and multiple tiny eyes. These animals were scary, or alien to me, like the monster was for the characters in Cambell’s story. The characters feared the monster for his looks and his ability to change into anything at will. These qualities are alien to them and made monster untrustworthy in their eyes. But just because the monster has these qualities that are different to man, as bees have stingers and spiders have multiple tiny eyes, doesn’t mean it is out to cause harm.
So, why hate something you may know nothing about? Because, as I got older and learned more about the animals of the world, I realized that bees and spiders are not that scary after all (except for big, furry tarantulas, but I’m working on that…). Bees and spiders have their qualities for their survival, and though I find them different from me, I learned that they are not out to hurt me. As in Cambell’s story, at least how I interpreted it, the monster was not necessarily trying to kill the humans, but using his qualities to try to go back home.
The same could be said in Du Bois’ The Comet, as Julia didn’t want to trust or feel she should care for Jim because of his race and lower status. But later in the story, after being with him for some time, she realizes that he is just as human as she is and not someone from another world.
After reading Forrest Fain’s blog about The Comet, I found that he took this idea one step further. He writes that: “…people believed that the color of your skin dictated your humanity…” and that “we [share] the same human genetics.” He also wrote that “…the messenger and the women are the same despite their racial differences. It is a shame it took the end of the world (in their eyes) and a comet for us (or them) to see it.”
I agree with Forrest on this as people in the past just didn’t take the time or effort to look beyond skin color and get to know people for who they were. They were so caught up in the prejudice, or should I say, fear of each other that they never thought of themselves as the same. I’m quite glad it didn’t take a comet for us to realize that!