Human possibilities

640 mots 3 pages
Human possibilities


To begin with, I’ll describe the characteristics of the text entitled Human Possibilities which is an extract from the novel Gattaca written by Andrew Niccol in 1997. This novel became a movie (Gattaca) shortly after and become famous because it raises a very sensitive issue: the limits of scientific interference in what should remain a natural activity: procreation. This extract describes a scene that takes place in the future and involves a geneticist and his clients: a couple trying to have a kid. But not just any kid: The perfect child with predetermined assets!

Announce the plan:

I. Perfect child syndrome
II. Genes for sale
III. Eugenism : return of the uberkid (or the revival of the debate about eugenism)

I. Perfect child syndrome

_It’s an antenatal visit for the parents of an unborn child.
Two unusual facts: A geneticist replaces the doctor. The parents have not concerned about their child’s health as it is but how to enhance it.
We can see from the text that there are two characters: Antonio and Maria and those they are expecting a kid.

_They choose the physical and mental characteristics of their kid.
For instance (line 15): “blue eyes, dark hair and fair skin”

_The scene shows a very natural feeling: The parents’ anguish about their kid’s health but the geneticist uses their fears as a selling argument. The joint is not whether the kid is going to be healthy but how genetics can make him/her fit for the “perfect society”. Not only should natural weaknesses be eradicated but also every abnormal trait (like being left handed) which could stand out in society. All they want would be an average kid, who, if society has to be taken into account, cannot be less than perfect.

II. Genes for sale!

_The appointment turns into a sale. The least we can say about the geneticist is that he is a hard seller, ready to close the case. He plays with his clients (we can’t say patients any

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