The similarities between Billenium and The Metal Man, this might be a long question that you’d see in the examinations that you’d take for English II in the Second Semester for BCA.
Billennium and The Metal Man are two of the Science Fiction [Sci-Fi] stories that are present in the syllabus of English for TU BCA Second Semester. These two stories are similar in some ways.
1. Apocalypse [meaning: an event involving destruction or damage on a catastrophic scale]
Both of the stories revolve around apocalypses. In the first story Billennium, the entire world is in the horrible stage in which the earth is suffering from overpopulation. The overpopulation is caused to such extent that there is a scarcity of living space for people. People have enough money to afford food and other requirements but the living space. The people are compelled to live in a very small place which is equivalent to the size of an office cubicle. Some were even living in the thrown cupboards. They had no privacy at all. The world is becoming increasingly overpopulated, with a population of around 20 billion, which is far greater than the estimated carrying capacity of the earth. The situation is so severe that it isn’t too early to think that the earth and the lives of the living creatures of the earth are nearing the end.
In the second story, The Metal Man, the protagonist, Professor Thomas Kelvin of Tyburn College, in search of the valuable Radium heads to the “El Rio de la Sangre, ‘The River of Blood'” somewhere “along the Pacific coast of Mexico”, where he gets stuck, the place was horrible. The abandoned area was full of metal birds which were once living. He could also see some trees and vegetations which were also turned into metals with the effect of the radium present in the proximity. The professor was too affected by the radium which slowly started to turn him into metal. There was no hope of his survival. There was no hope of life.
2. Materialism and Selfishness
The character in both stories seems materialistic and selfish. In Billenium, Ward throws away the antique cupboard so that he could make some more empty space which he could give for rent and earn some money. He did not care and think about the precious cupboard but money. For him, at that moment, money was more important than the cupboard. Also, Ward and Rossiter charged rent to their relative and to-be in-laws.
While in The Metal Man, Professor Thomas Kelvin solely headed toward the “El Rio de la Sangre, ‘The River of Blood'” in a monoplane in search of radium which would give him name and fame. His greed for money and name made him go to the unknown land without any second thought. Moreover, his decision of travelling alone was out of his selfishness, he did not want to share the money and fame that he would earn upon discovering the source of radium.
In the story Billennium, the protagonists Ward and Rossiter call their girlfriend and relatives respectively immediately after they find a spacious apartment for themselves. It might be out of their love for their relatives and girlfriend or for the money they’d get as rent from them. Whatever may the reason be, but they did think of the present only. They did not bother thinking of the probable consequences like their invitees would invite their close ones as well. Therefore they’d to again live in the space equivalent to that of a cubicle lacking privacy and comfort.
And, here in the story The Metal Man, Prof. Thomas Kelvin did not think of the consequences of travelling alone to the unknown abandoned land. He just thought of the fame and money that he’d earn upon the discovery of the Radium ore. His lust for fame and money limited his thoughts which eventually led him to his deathbed.
4. Hope turned into Disappointment
In the story Billennium, finding a new apartment was a moment of hope for Ward and Rossiter but they further action/ decision of inviting their loved ones made them disappointed in the future.
Similarly, in the story The Metal Man, upon reaching the “El Rio de la Sangre, ‘The River of Blood'”, Prof. Thomas Kelvin initially had thought of achieving something big which gave him the hope of gaining fame and money which he actually did but eventually, everything was changed, he had to count down his days of life and his dream of living with fame and riches stayed limited to his dreams.
In the story Billennium, although the world population was over billion and numerous people were to live in a small area of land, the protagonist character Ward was alienated. He felt isolated in the crowd. There was not time and situation for socializing. The entire plot is filled with chaos and disturbances.
While in The Metal Man, the protagonist, Prof. Thomas Kelvin also isolates himself. He decides to travel the entire journey to the “El Rio de la Sangre, ‘The River of Blood'” alone in a monoplane. This decision of him was, as mentioned previously, out of his desire of not sharing the fame and money after the discovery is made.
6. Change of Mindset of Protagonist at the end
The mindset of the protagonists of both stories eventually changes. In the story Billenium, Ward hated his landlord and due to the behaviour of his landlord towards the tenants, Ward hated every landlord. He thinks of never becoming a landlord (or never giving his property for rent) but eventually, upon obtaining an apartment, he sets the spaces available in his apartment for rent and becomes landlord himself. He becomes what he hated ever since.
While in The Metal Man, Professor Thomas Kelvin, who lived for money and struggled for it without thinking of the probable consequences. He risked his life in search of radium. His greed for money led him to travel solo in a monoplane to the “El Rio de la Sangre, ‘The River of Blood'”. There he struggled a lot, he risked his life due to his for money. But at last, when he earned what he wished for, his death was nearing as well as the cost of what he gained. Prof. Kelvin who was nearing death due to the greed for money, who always wished for money eventually granted money for charity.
This is not all, there are several more similarities that you can find between Billennium and The Metal Man. You can also add them in your answer.
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