Player Piano Reflection Essay

The two texts we’ve read so far — Player’s Piano and Vigilance — both interrogate elements of technology and media in contemporary culture. Using elements of satire and the conventions of genre fiction, each tries to extrapolate possibilities from their own present moment to imagine futures where the consequences of media and technology have created entirely new realities. Your job in this essay is to answer one of the following prompts using one of the two texts:

What is the relationship between humans and technology and/or media in the text? Who benefits from this relationship, and who is hindered by it? Once you’ve described this relationship, articulate and support what you believe the author’s own position to be regarding this relationship. Good? Bad? Indifferent? How do they reveal themselves?

Each of these texts stages multiple perspectives on how humans and technology/media interact. Some see the changes as negative, others positive, etc. Your job here is to put those positions in dialogue with each other, identifying and rehearsing the positions themselves. Then, frame yourself within the conversation and establish your own viewpoint in relation to the world of the text and its competing viewpoints.

Whichever prompt you use, your answers must be anchored in the text. That means   I expect to see a lot of close-reading engagement and textual support. You’re expected to use elements of summary, paraphrase, and direct-quotes in your writing. Don’t worry about a citation page, but use MLA style for in-text quotes