Escape From Emotion

George Saunders, “Escape from Spiderhead” approaches the idea of artificial emotions. With this in mind, as our world has evolved, emotions have become more standardized. There are feelings we are supposed to feel in different situations, rather it be the mourning at a funeral opposed to a celebration of life among other examples.

Our minds are programmed to feel emotions that are reasonable in a situation. The real issues come when ones emotions are unable to correspond with the present situation.

Saunders continues his artificial experimentation with emotion by displaying a human weakness regarding emotion. The inability to afflict pain on an innocent being. In the story this trait has to be deciphered from affection in order to test the effectiveness of the drug, but still with the deactivation of the drug, human compassion remains intact.

Love

“Thus every human is worthy of love. As I watched Heather suffer, a great tenderness suffused my body, a tenderness hard to distinguish from a sort of vast existential nausea…”(69) This description added some emotional intimacy compared to the rest of the text. It seems as if Jeff took a step back from the experiment to truly think about his feelings at that moment.