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Textverständnis und Analyse: Sachtext "The Science of 'Surrogates'" by. A. Boyle


Hinweis: Die Prozentangaben in Klammern zeigt die Gewichtung der einzelnen Aufgaben.

  1. Outline the information about surrogate technology and its impact on society today as well as in the future. (Text A) (30 %)
  2. Choose the film poster (Text B) you find most appealing to an audience you own age. Analyze it and show what aspects of Text A are reflected on it. (30 %)



Surrogate technology comprises the collaboration of different technological fields (ll.22-24) and consists of research on machines that are able to improve and boost human abilities (ll.47f.).

On the one hand, it has a major impact on today’s society and induces people to reflect on the possibilities and risks of the new technology (l.19). Surrogates are used in several sectors such as during the research on robots which interact with people and work in the area of geriatric care (ll.27-29) or for difficult tasks during military combat missions like bomb disposal or aerial assault (ll.30f.) Furthermore, virtual characters in “Second Life” enable not only online trading but also cybersex (ll.32-34) and profiles on online platforms like Facebook or Twitter can be used for social interaction (ll.35f.).

On the other hand, there will be several effects of surrogate technology in the future. Not only will machines have a human look (l.11) but also a sense of touch and the ability to react autonomously (ll.40-43). Thus, they will develop a conscience of their own and exceed human intelligence (ll.45f.). Moreover, our data will be stored on internet servers and cerebral implants (ll.53f.) instead of being lost in the aging human mind. All these consequences will oblige us to reconsider the definition of humanity (ll.60f.) because the boundaries between man and machine will become blurred.                                                                                

(221 words)


Picture 2 has been chosen because it seems more interesting at first glance as it shows more details than picture 1 thus providing more room for interpretation considering the plot of the movie. Furthermore, the key word “Perfection” together with attractive young people make the poster more appealing for an audience of my age.

Bruce Willis is located in the centre of the poster wearing a black suit and a white shirt. His posture is dynamic and he seems to be approaching the audience. He has a wound on his right cheek and is looking left while he is walking in the middle of an empty street. The scene is situated in a dark major city featuring tall skyscrapers on the left and right. On the buildings there are two advertising posters illustrating human perfection. On the left there is a man and on the right you can see a woman, both of which are only wearing some jeans. A part of their torso is missing and thus their spine is clearly visible. There are also three helicopters with searchlights circling the sky above Bruce Willis and at the bottom of the poster you can find the advertising slogan, the name of the protagonist and the movie, the release date as well as a part of the cast and crew.

To begin with, Bruce Willis is on the move. Maybe he is on the run or searching for something as three helicopters seem to be looking for him and he carefully scans his surroundings. But there are no people around and he is alone in a dark city, which depicts a dystopian vision of the future in which Willis represents a lone fighter for justice. Therefore, the wound on his cheek can be the proof that a fight that has taken place shortly before this freeze frame.
Furthermore, the advertising posters seem to be promoting human replacement parts. If you have problems with your spine, you could just get a new mechanical one.
And the slogan of the movie implies the question what humanity really is, if it still exists and how it can be saved in the end.

Mutual aspects of text 1 and picture 2 are that Surrogates is an “action movie” (l.1) featuring “Bruce Willis” (l.1). The protagonist can clearly be seen in the centre of the poster and his posture as well as the wound on his cheek imply the film genre mentioned above. Moreover, the empty streets represent the fact that “humans mostly stay behind closed doors” (ll.1f.). The advertising posters imply the concept of humans being able to buy surrogates, which “look like humans” (l.11), to create a perfect vision of themselves and to alter their social status (ll.5-7). Furthermore, the posture and physical appearance of the protagonist in the poster shows that he has to face several challenges (ll.59f.).

(493 words)


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