The science fiction short story that I decided to read for this literaryanalysis paper was Day Million by Frederick Pohl. Set in the future, itis about two lovers named Don and Dora. The citizens in the short story are giventwo sexes in one individual. One is given to them genetically, and the other ischosen by the person later in their lives. The girl, Dora, is born with thephysical body of a male, but her psychology reveals that she must have beenborn a female. The doctors decide to change her physical body to a female. Whenshe is leaving her house to go to her rehearsal hall one day, she falls into Don’sarms. They fell in love at first sight and decided to get married on thefollowing Wednesday.
They invite many of their close friends to the wedding tocheer the lovers on. They whispered many things to each other while they weregetting their identities taped and recorded. After the wedding, they part waysand keep their personality recordings of one another. Whenever they feel theslightest desire for the other, they can feel their presence deeply and fullythrough the recordings. The perspective that I have decided to look at in thispaper about how love is love.
Love in the story is presented with no stringsattached and is shown as two main aspects within the story. The first major aspect that love islove comes from an important quote that says, “In a way, he probably would havelooked peculiar to a man from the 20th century, with his glowing eyes andseven-fingered hands; but to himself, and of course to Dora, he looked mightymanly and grand” (Pohl 1). Typically, people in society thatlooked like Don would be alienated, but according to Dora, appearance does notmatter to her at all. Dora does not care that Don is 187 years old as well.
Donand Dora’s great love for one another is not emphasized by physical appearanceor age, but by the many ways in which they love each other for who they are on the inside. The colorful picture that I included onthe side shows the passion that they have for one another. Another great quotethat highlights this is, “Not in the flesh of course; but then his flesh hasbeen extensively altered and its wouldn’t really be much fun. He doesn’t needthe flesh for pleasure. Genital organs feel nothing. Neither do hands, norbreasts, nor lips; they are only receptors, accepting and transmittingimpulses.
It is the brain that feels, it is the interception of those impulsesthat makes agony or orgasm; and Don’s symbol-manipulator gives him the analogueof cuddling, the analogue of kissing, the analogue of wildest, most ardenthours with the eternal, exquisite and incorruptible analogue of Dora” (Pohl 4).This quote explains how body parts are not what are loved. It is the memoriesand the personalities of the lovers that is loved and endured forever.
Another majoraspect that love is love comes from this quote, “How angrily you recoil fromthe page! You say, who the hell wants to read about a pair of queers?” (Pohl 1).This quote talks about transgenderism and homosexuality in today’s society. Thenarrator is labeled as a conservative thinker who is not accepting of the ideasthat appear in the story. Many of the conservatives today are opposed to theconcepts of homosexuality and transgenderism in the LGBT+ community. Some ofthese people are often termed as either “transphobic” or “homophobic”.
Many membersof the LGBT+ community do not feel accepted and they are afraid to come out to showwho they really are and who they want to be as human beings. The story gives alittle bit of hope that in the future, people will be more accepting of allpeople and everyone will be properly represented. The people in the story donot care that Dora is not a girl genetically and that she is transgender; theyare accepting of Dora for who she is and Dora is comfortable with herself. Day Million is an atypical love story that hastouched on many important concepts today.
One of the most important concepts inthe story is the fact that love is love. The main characters do not think oflove as physical appearance, but instead, their different personalities andmemories of one another. Gender, looks, and age are all demolished and displayedto be unnecessary. The story also brings up the concept of transgenderism andhomosexuality. It teaches the readers that it is okay to be different from oneanother and that it is okay to come out to be the real person that you are. Thisgives the person the possibility to be happy in his or her own life but also createsa progressive society for the future in which people are accepting of everyone.Day Million presents a world that has invented brand new technology thatis far beyond what we are capable of doing present day. The short story makespeople think about what our society is going to be like in the future and whatare relationships are going to look like.
I normally do not read much sciencefiction, but I really enjoyed reading this story because it talked about manyissues that are relevant today.