Meaning Pf Solaris Essay, Research Paper
Main Idea of Solaris
The main idea of the novel Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem, is commonly thought as a pretty easily distinguishable one. It is thought mainly as a study of the question: What is human? I see it a different way. In my opinion the main idea of the novel is life is what you make of it. I think that this theme is trumpeted throughout the novel. This theme is shown through the actions of the ocean and the individuals on the spacecraft. Even the visitors exhibit the choices that make their life what they want it.
The first example of this theme is the crew of the station that is orbiting Solaris. The idea of life is what you make of it exists in the way that they live. All three members of the crew prior to Kelvin s arrival are treating their visitors in different ways. It appears that Snow has chosen the route of drinking to absorb his problems. Gibarian combated his problems with the ocean with suicide. It appears that Sartorius uses the method of completely diving into working on a theorem, of a way to combat the ocean and stop the visitors, and complete isolation. The method demonstrated by Sartorius seems to be the method that is most effective to solving the problem but least effective in soothing his mood. This shows the idea that they control their lives because each of them is being haunted by strange occurrences, that they may or may not control, they still are in control of their life enough to deal with their problems how they see fit. The fact that they all do it differently drives home the idea that they still are making their own life.
The next example of life is what you make of it is Kelvin s life prior to joining the crew on the station. The author paints his life as one devoted to his loved one, Rheya, until her death where as he became devoted to another love, Solaris. He made his life one of devotion, no one made him choose either of these things and he paid the prices that went along with those life choices. His life was what he made it.
The third example of being making their own life is the visitors that so haunt the crew of the station. Each one of the members of the crew makes their own visitor; that is why people visit them all from memories that haunt them. The crew of the station also keeps it as a personal thing. The way that the crewmembers treat the visitors, and the people who have visitors, makes it seem as if the visitors are not really made by the ocean at all but are really figments of the imaginations of the person who is receiving the visitors. This idea, that the visitors are figments of the persons imagination, brings the reader back to the theme of life is what you make it. Even if the visitors are real and created by the ocean on Solaris they still are virtually figments of the crewmembers imaginations because the ocean had to break into the mind of the person in order to create their visitor. Thus, their life is still controlled by them.
The idea that life is what you make it is also shown by the actions of Rheya, even though she is not a human in technical terms. Rheya is an existing being, at least in the mind of the crew, whatever she may be. She makes her life what she wants; she chooses to try and kill herself to free Kelvin of her, and she chooses to leave to free Kelvin of her. Neither of these two actions has been dictated by her governing body whether it is Kelvin s mind or the ocean, because it was obvious that Kelvin wanted her to stay, and the ocean was still trying to collect research on the humans. Thus she controlled her own life, and that was what she made it.
The final evidence to support the main idea of this novel as one of life being what you make is actually a gearshift. The evidence supports the author s idea, but really seems out of place in the story. That is Kelvin s religious epiphany at the end of the novel. He speaks to Snow for two chapters about how Solaristics is the new religion and it has replaced the religion that was believed in long ago. Although it provides example of the greater meaning of the story as Kelvin chooses his beliefs just as he chooses his life. I thought that the story of a man trying to choose his life, and being successful until he tried to change other peoples lives; he was unable to do this because they are the only ones that can do that; was effective. Then the last few chapters the author choose to make his final epiphany of what it all meant in the form of religious beliefs. This however, in my opinion, detracted from the overall meaning. It did, however, provide more examples to the main idea; Kelvin s religious beliefs were what he choose.
In conclusion, I found the meaning of Solaris one that can easily change from reader to reader. I guess the book is somewhat a microcosm for itself as the meaning is whatever you make it, and an easily found meaning is that life is what you make of it. I felt that the book was about making your life what you wanted it to be. I think that making all of the characters seem as if they were being in some way controlled by the ocean, when in actuality, shown through small nuances the characters were choosing their own destiny all along, showed this.