With close reference to the text of the short story Billenium explore the following questions in detail. Remember to include quotations and page numbers for the quotations in your answers
- Write a detailed synopsis of the story.
Rossiter and Ward were two friends that lived in an overpopulated city, where the maximum living space was of thirty eight square feet. But because of the little space they had they moved to another building, where they found a very big abandones room. And as far as time went by more people were living in the room, and Ward, even if he hated landlords, sort of became one.
2. Discuss the theme of overpopulation and the effect it has on both the way of life and quality of life of the inhabitants of the city.
Overpopulation affects the way of living because they don’t have space to live in, they get bruises in their elbows because of walking side by side with other people one the street, they had communitary bathrooms and dining rooms and it affects the liberty and privacy that people have.
3. The quest for living space has become an overriding obsession with the people of the city. Discuss this theme in detail. Include in your answer some discussion of the ways in which Ballard makes the quest for space dominate the characters’ lives.
People live in very small places. And every month the space of the cubicles gets smaller. So they have to look for a new space because the space of the cubicle isn’t enough for them. So they move again and the cycle starts again.
4. What sort of relationship does Ballard put forward between the inner world of the individual (as represented by Ward and Rossiter) and the outer world in which they live. In other words, how does Ballard conceptualise the effect of surviving daily life in a hopelessly overcrowded city on the consciousness of the individual as demonstrated by the ways in which Ward and Rossiter manage the gift of space in the secret room they discover?
Ward and rossiter hated their society. They hated that there was overpopulation and landlords. But they were so used to that society that they had to get used ti that society.
5. In the story, Ballard does attempt some sort of explanation of the social, political and economic causes of the extreme overpopulation that has beset the world. Explain his views as they are presented in the story.
In the story overpopulation is overwhealming. People are allowed to have only 3 children but they have more than the limit because if you have a numerous family you get a bigger cubicle, so they were having more children were there wasnt a lot of space.
6. Do you agree with his argument? Do you think that current population growth projections indicate that we are likely to end up in the situation portrayed in the story?
We think we can end up in that situation but in a very distant future. Becuase people are goint to have a lot more children and mortality is going to fall down because o the new discoveries in medicine.
7. Describe and analyse Ward’s character in some detail. What values does he hold? Why does Ballard make use of this type of character as the main character for this story?
Ward´s character has a delayed way of thinking. He isnt accostumed to overpopulation and he hates it. He also hates landlords. Ballard chose Ward as the main character to emphazize how people can adapt to any way of living to survive, even if they dont like that way of living.
8. What role does Rossiter play in the story?
Rossiter is one the main characters in the short story. He is Ward best friend and the one who gave the idea of inviting the girls to move in with them and argued with Ward to let them move in. He is also responsible of letting his family move in.
9.Describe the role of the female characters in the story.
The role of the female character in the story is very important thanks to the fact they convinced Ward and Rossiter to let more people move into their cubicle.
10. Discuss the effects that over-population and its attendant ills has had on the nature of family life in relation to Ward’s family as well as Judith and Helen’s family relationships.
11. What does the secret room symbolise in the story?
The secret room symbolize freedom, and space. Because they are use to have a small limitof space and to always share all.
12. Why do you think Ward and Rossiter are unable to keep the gift of space to themselves? Is Ballard making a comment on how our inner world ultimately reflects the shape of the external world in which we live?
Ward and Rossiter are unable to keep the gift of space to themselves because they are use to have a limit of space and to share with others.
13. What sort of living arrangement do they eventually end up allowing (and accommodating to) in their secret room?
The ended up agreed on letting more people in, taking out the ward drop and dividing the space with participants.
14. Discuss Ballard’s style and language in the story? Consider also in what ways it is appropriate to the nature of the story being told.
Have a look at this video and compare it to the short story we have read!! (Thanks Alina Claps for sharing this video!!)
The connection between the story and the videos is that, both in the story as in the video have to live in a very small place where they have to share it. And we can found the difference in the story, Billenium and the video because in the short story they lacked space in the world and that why they started reducing people’s houses and apartment. In the contrary now a day we do not suffer a lack of space but there still existing small places where to live. The other difference is that in the story they all share a dining room and a bathroom and in the video those apartments have their own.