Comparing and Contrasting 2001: a Space Odyssey and “the Sentinel”

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Comparing and Contrasting 2001: A Space Odyssey and “The Sentinel”
Tracy Goldman
HUMN425: Science Fiction
Georgia State University

Comparing and Contrasting 2001: A Space Odyssey and “The Sentinel”
2001: A Space Odyssey is a film based on Arthur Clarke's short story, "The Sentinel." The purpose of this paper is to explain the similarities and differences between “The Sentinel” and 2001: A Space Odyssey. There are many similarities and differences between “The Sentinel” and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The obvious similarity is the crystal pyramid in the story and the monolith in the film. According to Dictionary.com a sentinel is described as a) a person or thing that watches or stands as if watching and, b) a character used to indicate the beginning or end of a particular block of information. The crystal pyramid and the monolith serve as sentinels because in “The Sentinel” the narrator says that the crystal pyramid was one of millions scattered throughout the universe watching over all worlds with a promise of life. This is present in the movie when the apes are basically ignorant in the skills to survive and defend themselves and when the monolith appears their curiosity and understanding changes for the better proving the end of the block of information. Another similarity between the crystal pyramid and the monolith that is seen in “The Sentinel”, as well as in 2001: A Space Odyssey is the conviction the purpose of these sentinels is to alert or warn the “emissaries” of humans’ success with technology and space. This is evident on page 751 in the story which states:
”They would be interested in in our civilization only if we proved our fitness to survive by crossing space and so escaping from the Earth, once we had passed that crisis, it was only a matter of time before we found the pyramid and forced it open, now its signals have ceased, we have set off the…...

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