Characterization of humanity


Humanity appears as a collective character in the short story “Time capsule found on the dead planet” by Margaret Atwood. The narrative follows the evolution of humanity across ages and its changing relationship with the natural world. 

In the first age, humanity is connected to the natural world and enjoys and respects it: “We smelled the earth and rolled in it; its juices ran down our chins.” At the same time, humanity has a strong connection with religion, which also originates from the natural world: “In the first age, we created gods. We carved them out of wood; there was still such a thing as wood, then.” Gods remind humanity of the environment and help them feel secure: “We knew we were not orphans.” 

As time goes by, humanity begins to lose touch with the natural world and with religion. However, when they create money, they maintain reminders of the past on the coins, which give them a sense of security: 

It had two faces: on one side was a severed head, that of a king or some other noteworthy person, on the other face was something else, something that would give us comfort: a bird, a fish, a fur-bearing animal. 

The fascination with gods is soon replaced by the fascination w...

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