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“Swarn” written by Bruce Sterling is a science fiction story included in the collection of fantasy stories “Crystal Express”. The quotation given for analysis reveals the whole plot and contents of the story. It exposes the essence of the main idea.
The plot of the “Swarn”
Human beings, struggling to get as much useful information as possible from the universe, fighting for new horizons, never thought of the actual life itself. Life as it is. Life is a precious thing, given by the highest powers and not just a period for storing knowledge. This is exactly what Capitan-Doctor has been doing during his entire life – serving his government, faction, and race. The given passage helps to understand that the human race leaders have set useless goals of superior existence. As an outcome, it appears that though it is a century of the highest technologies and the story set is way far in the future, the main values remain the same. Information gathering is worth nothing. As proof, Bruce Sterling makes his hero choose between devotion to the native land, its interests, and his own life.
The main idea of the “Swarn”
The author approves neither arm race nor the race for information. What do rivalry, fights, and wars bring into our lives? – Aggression and violence. The given passage explains to the reader the terrible impact on the human race caused by themselves. People do ruin their genetics with artificial methods. They are chasing the goal to become better, improved, and perfect. Capitan-Doctor is a wonderful example of such a metamorphosis. His genes have been altered; nevertheless, it does not help him to succeed in life. He is an instrument of a huge machine running people’s lives.
Sterling also helps to understand there is always a greater power to any power existing. There is always someone smarter, quicker, and more persistent.
Capitan-Doctor gave up all Earth comforts and conveniences for the sake of fraction. The competition between Mechanists and Shapers takes a very important role in his life. He was ready to seek the universe thoroughly, far and wide, stinting himself in everything. He cherished a hope to leave everything aside and have a nice, quality vacation. The desire was to have a good rest from his work; instead, he remained in Swarm forever. The cause of this was his total devotion to the mission, which, by the way, does not take the first place in deciding the life problem.
However ironic it may seem, all efforts put to fulfillment of the mission were unclaimed. But, the main point is that a human being remains a human being with own interests and desires. Feelings always prevail over the mind.
The major message conveyed in the story is that humanity should strive for spiritual growth and inner development instead of short-term satisfaction with basic needs. The author makes it clear – all efforts of humanity are pointless; they are meaningless when it comes to humanity overall rather than short-term personal goals. Regardless of what actions are being undertaken by individuals within a society, the development of civilization will continue in the same direction – in circles. History evolves in circles – only minor things change – the form, shape. Body, and mind; but not spirituality and inner peace, as this is the primary goal one should strive for throughout life.