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January 22, 2013

What's Being Served in Damon Knight's Famous Short Story?


Image Source:http://www.rudyrucker.com/blog/images/to_serve_man.jpg


Class,

In the comment box below,

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

Dr. Hobbs

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Posted by lhobbs at January 22, 2013 12:38 PM

Readers' Comments:

Jose Garcia
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 CA04 Academic Writing II
20th February 2013
1.“To Serve Man” & 2. “Skin”
Question:
To Serve Man
9. Why does the narrator believe that the United Nations will soon cease to exist?
Answers:
9. In Knight’s “To Serve Man,” the narrator is in attendance during a U.N. conference; however, the Kanamits, or pig-shaped life form, assumed the attention of the room. Over the course of the short story the Kanamits bore gifts to all nations of the world. The first being a lie detector, next was a fertilizer that almost guaranteed stimulated growth, and lastly was a force field that was impenetrable by explosives. “These gifts made Earth into a paradise” as said by the narrator, “Every nation on Earth was well on the way to being completely self-supporting; they weren’t going to need much arbitration.”(Knight 4) The narrator quits his job at the U.N. because he believes the world now has the necessary tools to take care of itself thus ending the need of the U.N.

Posted by: Jose Garcia at February 21, 2013 04:27 PM

Peter Mercadante
Dr.Hobbs
Eng. 122 CAO5 Academic Writting II
21 February 2013


Question: What human diseases do the Kanamit appear to have potentially cured?

Answer:In the story "To Serve Man", the Kanamit have said that they have potentially cured heart diseases and all Cancers.(Knight page 6)

Posted by: Peter Mercadante at February 21, 2013 08:52 PM

Octavia Robinson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122
22 February 2013

Question: What is the third piece of technology that the Kanamit introduce to Earth, and what do they insist on the way it should be distributed? What will the effects of this technology be?

Answer: The third piece of technology the Kanamit introduces to earth is an object that does not allow any bomb to detonate. The object will end all war on earth. The Kanamit do not what it to be used as a military weapon against other countries. They wish for all countries to have this object to secure that there is no country left out. The Kanamit says, "It cannot now be suppressed. If one nation has it, all must have it. There will be no more war (Knight4)." They state the distribution and use all in two sentences.

Posted by: Octavia Robinson at February 21, 2013 09:15 PM

Terrance Browne
Dr.Hobbs
ENG122
21/February/2013

Question:Why does the narrator quit his job as a translator for the United Nations?

Answer:In this short story, the narrator quit his job only because of the fact that he saw that he was either going to get fired at the time or let go because of the fact that they were hiring more and more people at the U.N. "I quit my job at U.N. a few months later, because I foresaw that it was going to die under me anyhow. U.N. business was booming at the time, but after a year or so there was going to be nothing for it to do" (Knight,4)

Posted by: Terrance Browne at February 21, 2013 11:37 PM

Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA02 Academic Writing II
22nd of February 2013

Question: “What is the third piece of technology that the Kanamit introduces to Earth, and what do they insist on the way it should be distributed? What will the effects of this technology be?”

Answer: The third piece of technology that the Kanamit introduce is a device that emits a field that prevents explosions or combustions of any kind, from firearms and the like. The Kanamit themselves insist that every single nation on Earth must adopt the technology, effectively ending any and all forms of war.

Posted by: Jacob Gates at February 22, 2013 01:55 AM

Colby Johnson
Dr Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 2
22 February 2013

Question: What technological innovation that the Kanamit have brought to Earth is the first that is put into widespread production?

Answer: On the bottom of page 3 it states that the Kanamit have brought a new source of energy to earth that is cheap, easy to make and long lasting. This is shown when the narrator says, "I don’t understand such things myself, but it seemed that those little metal boxes would give more electrical power than an atomic pile, for next to nothing and nearly forever. And it was said that they were so cheap to manufacture that everybody in the world could have one of his own. In the early afternoon there were reports that seventeen countries had already begun to set up factories to turn them out."

Posted by: Colby Johnson at February 22, 2013 09:01 AM

Alison Schucht
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA05
22 February 2013

Question: What is the second piece of technology that the Kanamit share with the world; what does it do?

Answer: This piece of technology is "a gadget that would increase the fertility of any arable land by 60 to 100 per cent. It speeded the formation of nitrates in the soil, or something." (Knight, 4).

Posted by: Alison Schcht at February 22, 2013 09:33 AM

Alexandra Rivera-vega
Hobbs
Eng 122 CA05
22 Feb 2013

Question: What do the Kanamit state are their reasons for coming to Earth?

Answer: The Kanamit state that their reasons for coming to Earth is to bring peace and happiness to the planet. They state that their reward would be when Earth doesn't have war or hunger anymore.

Posted by: Alexandra Rivera-vega at February 22, 2013 09:40 AM

Rannell Smith
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA 05
22 February 2013

Question: What were the first two Earth-based languages the Kanamit had learned?

Answer: In "To Serve Man" by Damon Knight, the first two Earth-based languages the Kanamit are English and French. "Later on, I believe, they learned every human language, but at this time they knew only French and English." (Knight 1)

Posted by: Rannell Smith at February 22, 2013 09:59 AM

Christopher M. Burke
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II


“To Serve Man”

Question: What do the Kanamit state are their reasons for coming to earth

Answer: “bring to you the peace and plenty which we ourselves enjoy, and which we have in the past brought to other races throughout the galaxy."

Posted by: Christopher Burke at February 22, 2013 10:18 AM

Alexia Chambers
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA04
February 20, 2013
To serve man
5. What technological innovation that the Kanamit have brought to Earth is the first that is put into widespread production?
A power source, it’s a little metal box that gives more electrical power than an atomic pile, it’s very cheap to make so everyone on Earth can have one.

Posted by: Alexia Chambers at February 22, 2013 11:12 AM

Habib Balde
2/22/2013
Dr Hobbs
English 122 CA04

Question 23: What technology have humans decided to use to verify the accuracy of what the Kanamit are saying?
Answer: The humans used an “instrument registers the subject’s heartbeat. This shows the electrical conductivity of the skin in the palm of his hand, a measure of perspiration, which increases under stress. And this-” pointing to the tape-and-stylus device-”shows the pattern and intensity of the electrical waves emanating from his brain. It has been shown, with human subjects, that all these readings vary markedly depending upon whether the subject is speaking the truth”. So Humans used a modern time (1950) lie detector.

Posted by: Habib Balde at February 22, 2013 11:39 AM

Habib Balde
2/22/2013
Dr Hobbs
English 122 CA04

Question 3: What technology have humans decided to use to verify the accuracy of what the Kanamit are saying
Answer: The humans used an “instrument registers the subject’s heartbeat. This shows the electrical conductivity of the skin in the palm of his hand, a measure of perspiration, which increases under stress. And this-” pointing to the tape-and-stylus device-”shows the pattern and intensity of the electrical waves emanating from his brain. It has been shown, with human subjects, that all these readings vary markedly depending upon whether the subject is speaking the truth”. So Humans used a modern time (1950) lie detector.

Posted by: Habib Balde at February 22, 2013 11:48 AM

Octavio Herrera
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing II CA04
21 February 2013

Question: What does Grigori suspect about the Kanamit?

Answer: Grigori thinks they may be planning something, he believes no one does anything just because they want to “No, it’s something less obvious than that, something obscure that belongs to their psychology and not to ours. But trust me, Peter, there is no such thing as a completely disinterested altruism. In one way or another, they have something to gain.” (Knight 5). Grigori believes that the Kanamit have something to gain from their gifts.

Posted by: Octavio Herrera at February 22, 2013 12:17 PM

Marie Ryan
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 CA 08
Feb 22, 2013

9) Why does the narrator believe that the Untied Nations will soon cease to exist?

A: The narrator believes that United Nations will soon cease to exist because the Kanamite people are there to bring peace and plenty. on page four it says "Every nation on Earth was well on the way to being completely self-supporting; they weren't going to need much arbitration."

Posted by: Marie Ryan at February 22, 2013 09:08 PM

Analisa Johnson
Dr.Hobbs
Eng 122- CA 08
24 February 2013

Question: What human disease do the Kanamit appear to have potentially cured?

Answer: The Kanamit had a potential cure for heart disease and cancer (Knight,6).

Posted by: Analisa Johnson at February 24, 2013 01:51 PM

Marlie Gonzalez
Dr.Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II
25 February 2013

Question: How do the narrator's feeling change about what they are doing over time?

Answer: On page 3 he starts of annoyed because Grigori said "Tomorrow the doctor and his instruments will be back in Paris. Many things can happen before tomorrow. In the name of sanity, man, how can anybody trust a thing that looks as if it ate a baby?" and the narrator replies "Are you sure you aren't worried more about the politics than their appearance?" on page 4 the narrator states that he "quite my job with the U.N" after the lie detector experiments. on page 5, it seems like the narrator is ashamed that he believes in the Kanamit. He then was interested in decoding that book. then in page 6 it says the narrator is astonished with all of the changes. Then he tries to defend the kanamit when he is told that they have been told to leave with them. Until Gregori tells the narrator it is a cookbook.

Posted by: Marlie Gonzalez at February 24, 2013 04:29 PM

Jade Lowe
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08
24 February 2013

Question: What is the second piece of technology that the Kanamit share with the world; what does it do?

Answer: The second piece of technology that Kanamit shares with the world is a gadget that would increase the fertility of any arable land by 60-100%. It sped up the formation of nitrates in the soil.(Page 4)

Posted by: Jade Lowe at February 24, 2013 08:20 PM

Jordan Miller
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08
22 Feb 2013

Question 4: What do the Kanamit state are their reasons for coming to Earth?
Answer: In Black’s “To serve Man” the Kanamit stated that their sole reason on coming to earth was for peace, and to allow the humans to live peacefully with one another. The Kanamit stated, “When your world has no more hunger, no more war, no more needless suffering that will be out reward (Knight, 3).” They just wanted to share their technology with earth, so that we could be happy and peaceful, but in reality, that was all a lie.

Posted by: Jordan Miller at February 24, 2013 08:45 PM

Jasmine Lowe
Dr.Hobbs
ENG- 122-CA08
February 24, 2013
Question: What does Grigori suspect about the Kanamit?
Answer: They are lying about where they are from and what their motive is. (Page 2-3)

Posted by: Jasmine Lowe at February 24, 2013 09:39 PM

10. Why has Grigori gone to work as a translator for the Kanamit Embassy?
Because he had quit his job with the U.N. because he thought he was going to lose it soon anyways, although the business was doing good at the time he knew it was all going to end soon and then he decided to accept the job as a translator.

Posted by: Vintoria Hopps at February 24, 2013 11:46 PM

Marquisa Turner
ENG 122-CA04 Academic Writing II
Dr. Hobbs
24 February 2013

Question: How does the narrator feel (at first) about working with Grigori on translating a book that Grigori stole from the Kanamit?

Answer: The narrator was actually all for working with Grigori on the translation of the book. In the quote “Well, I was interested in spite of myself, for I knew it would be a long job.” (Knight), shows how that despite his internal feelings he was up for doing the translation.

Posted by: Marquisa Turner at February 25, 2013 02:08 AM

Anthony Jannetta
Dr. Hobbs
Eng122 CA04
25 February 2013

Question: In “To Serve Man,” how does the author—speaking through the narrator, a translator who works for the United Nations—describe the Kanamit?

Answer: The author describes the Kanamit as ugly creatures, creatures which don’t inspire confidence in him. Indeed he says that the Kanamit “were not very pretty” (Knight, 1), “not attractive” (Knight, 1) and that “seeing them for the first time chocked you” (Knight, 1).

Posted by: Anthony Jannetta at February 25, 2013 03:14 PM

Traneisha Cunningham
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
9 March 2014

QUESTION #8:
Why does the narrator quit his job as a translator for the United Nations?

ANSWER:
The narrator had quit his job as a translator because after the Kanamits presented the millennium with there last gift ending all war, the narrator foresaw that the job was going to die under him anyhow (Knight 4).

Posted by: Traneisha Cunningham at March 9, 2014 05:21 PM

Sawyer Hand
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA12
9 March 2014

Question: In "To Serve Man," how does this author-speaking through the narrator, a translator who words for the United Nations-describe the Kanamit

Answer: In "To Serve Man" the narrator describes the Kanamits in both negative ways and favorable ways. The negative ways are shown in line such as, "The Kanamit were not very pretty, it's true. They looked something like pigs and something like people, and that is not an attractive combination. Seeing them for the first time shocked you; that was their handicap" (Knight 1). The favorable ways are shown in lines such as, "They seemed perfectly at ease and that, along with their humor, was a thing that tended to make me like them" (Knight 1).

Posted by: sawyer hand at March 9, 2014 09:04 PM

Berlin Waters
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
March 10 2014

Question #19:
Remember when a "big idea" is repeated throughout a work, it is considered a theme. What is a theme of "To Serve Man" and why?

Answer:
Throughout the story they people of Earth continue to ask the Kanamit people "what is the motive of the Kanamit people in offering these great gifts to the people of Earth?” (Knight 3). This would be the main theme of this story

Posted by: Berlin Waters at March 9, 2014 10:49 PM

Gabriela Caminero
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
9 March 2014

Question:
How does the narrator feel (at first) about working with Grigori on translating a book that Grigori stole
from the Kanamit?

Answer:
He still doesn’t trust them and wants to know what their ulterior motive is and he aims to find out. This is shown in the following quote, “My conscience bothered me about the stolen book, but gradually I became absorbed by the problem” (Knight 5).

Posted by: Gabriela Caminero at March 9, 2014 11:06 PM

Bianca T. Smith
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
9 March 2014

Question 13- How do the narrator's feelings about what they're doing change over time?

Answer- At first, the narrator was unsure about what they were doing. Once they found out it was a cookbook, he was surprised. "“I’ve read the first paragraph of that book,” he said. “Why do you suppose I haven’t slept for a week?”
I said, “Well?” and he smiled a curious, twisted smile.
“It’s a cookbook,” he said"(knight 7).

Posted by: Bianca T. Smith at March 9, 2014 11:33 PM

Maxx Howarth
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Academic Writing II CA12
9 March 2014

QUESTION #17:
In retrospect, why does it now appear that the Kanamit were working on making human beings taller, stronger, and healthier?

ANSWER:
In retrospect, the Kanamit were working making human beings taller, stronger, and healthier so that they would have less risk of disease and infection whilst devouring humans (Knight 7)- a concept that I'm sure the aliens of "War of the Worlds" wish they would've followed.

Posted by: Maxx Howarth at March 9, 2014 11:40 PM

Makenzie Holler
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
10 March 2014

Question #14: What physiological changes in humanity itself are the Kanamit working on making, using their knowledge of human biochemistry?

Answer: The Kanamit people are studying human biochemistry and working on a way to cure heart disease and cancer.

Posted by: Makenzie Holler at March 10, 2014 12:11 AM

James Jessop
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
9th March 2014

Question #6 - What is the second piece of technology that the Kanamit share with the world; what does it do?

Answer – The second piece of technology that the Kanamit share with the world is a “gadget” (Knight 4). A gadget that “would increase the fertility of any arable land by 60-100%” (Knight 4). This, when combined with the first piece of technology that the Kanamit shared would give Earth “potentially unlimited power and increased food supply”. Which is helping the Kanamit complete their mission of bring the “peace and plenty” (Knight 3) which they enjoy themselves, and have brought in the past to other races throughout the galaxy. “When your world has no more hunger, no more war, no more needless suffering, that will be our reward”, and sharing this technology with Earth is helping them to achieve their goal, and gain their reward which at the same time is helping the earth.

Posted by: James Jessop at March 10, 2014 12:49 AM


Sergio Velazquez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Eng122 - ACADEMIC WRITING II CA12
3/10/2014


12. How does the narrator feel (at first) about working with Grigori on translating a book that Grigori stole from the Kanamit?

He feels bad openly stating “And the book?” I demanded . See by saying and the book in such a manner shows his position. He could have been alright but that was not the case.

Posted by: Sergio Velazquez at March 10, 2014 10:29 AM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at March 12, 2014 07:08 AM

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