Polar Bear Traditionals

We here at Polar Bear Traditionals look for literary works that delve into the minds of the individual. What intrigues our press is how certain experiences and events in people's lives affect them and the people around them. But, we tend to stray away from the novels and stories that just stop at the physical effects, because to get the most sustenance from the work, it must emotional and mental results of the events that transpired. For the large part, the novels in this gallery focus on how characters react to traumatic or horrific experiences that they faced.

"We imitate our old imitators, one of the strange reversals of fortune in the long saga of human uniqueness." ― Brian Christian, The Most Human Human As time progresses, more and more advancements in technology are made in each passing day. Sooner or later, an advanced artificial intelligence system will be developed that will be comparable to the minds of human beings. But for now, there is the Turing Test. Brian Christian takes part in this annual competition called the Turing Test, in his literary work “The Most Human Human.” The Turing Test is a competition in which judges are placed in front of a computer, in which they will message some random person. Their job is to discern if the person they are messaging is a human or computer. Brian Christian is a human, hoping to prove to the judges that he is in fact human instead of a computer. However, how is one supposed to distinguish themselves from a computer? With the advancements in technology, computers have the ability to imitate humans fairly easily. The real challenge is placed onto the human contestants in proving that they are human. Christian provides his perspective on this subject of artificial intelligence in this book, as well as his thought process in how humans can differentiate themselves from computers.
“I think most of us are looking for a calling, not a job. Most of us, like the assembly-line worker, have jobs that are too small for our spirit. Jobs are not big enough for people.” ― Studs Terkel, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do Many jobs and careers back in the 1960’s and 1970’s America differ greatly from those same jobs and careers in the present day. With vast amounts of new information about the world as a whole and the great advancements in technology, jobs have improved to become more efficient, safe, and better in their entirety. Some of the careers that existed several decades ago are obsolete now. However, despite all these changes in the physical aspects of the workplace, one aspect stays consistent, the effect and toll on the worker. Back in the 60’s-70, Studs Terkel traveled America, interviewing a fair amount of people about their occupation and their lives. Terkel’s method of interviewing provides for a stimulating and captivating read, each interview never seems to bore the reader. His handpicked interviewees are all interesting and unique individuals, providing their honest thoughts and feelings, not only about their occupations, but also about their lives. These interviews were compiled to form his novel “Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.” The title explains it all.
“Who shot him? I asked. The grey man scratched the back of his neck and said: Somebody with a gun.” ― Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest A Continental OP is called to Personville by a newspaper publisher, only to arrive and find out that the publisher has been murdered. Investigating the death of this man, leads him to the man’s father and mayor of the town, Elihu Wilsson, who is now looking to rid the town of all the gang members that have taken hold of it, despite the fact that Elihu was the one to bring them into the town in the first place. Now, on a mission to cleanse the town from all its corruption, the OP has to pull out all his tricks and talents to put an end to each of these thugs, one-by-one. However, it is not as clean cut as he hoped. He must blend into this aura of corruption that runs the town to get results for his work. Yet, how far will he go? Will he himself be filled by this corruption and do the same things he set out here to stop? Or will he find a way to get past all this venality and put an end to it, once and for all? Red Harvest connects the intricate work of the OP to his venerability to the corruption of Personville to produce a thrilling and suspenseful mystery novel.
“I just saved your fucking life, Mom. . . . You could at least offer me an Oreo.” ― Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash In this futuristic, monopolized world, the pizza delivery boy, Hiro Protagonist, gets caught up in events that pose a threat to his own life, as well as the lives of countless others, after crashing his car and losing his job as a deliverer of pizza. However, Hiro is prepared to meet the challenges he faces up ahead, trained to utilize his katana and prolific in hacking computers. Neal Stephenson provides his audience with a fair amount of hacking, fighting, and even sex, in his action packed novel, Snow Crash. He employs a large amount of metaphors and symbolism generating a great ride for the readers, as the connections will startle, shock, and blow the readers’ minds. For instance, a female character carries around an item that see calls “the poon,” which may bear a connection to a similar word referring to female genitalia. There are much more connections like these, some that are even more outrageous, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to find at least one every other page. Due to this, Stephenson has created a complete work of literature, using rhetoric and figurative elements to produce humor, action, and a fantastic story.
“To understand the world, one’s place in it, is to be always at the risk of drowning.” ― Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds Twenty one year old Private Bartle is stationed in Al Tafar, Iraq in a middle of a war, with Private Murphy. Murphy has been there since the beginning with Bartle, both unprepared of what is to happen next. Bartle and Murphy fight for their lives in these harsh conditions provided by the desert terrain of Al Tafar and the war that has inhibited the region. These two soldiers try everything they can to protect each other, from the many threats that head their way. These threats are not only physical, but mental and emotional. The war has caused them to face other enemy soldiers, mental fatigue, and emotional scarring. The Yellow Birds delves into the effect of war on its soldiers and family and friends of those in the war, in a physical mannar, but more importantly, in the mental and emotional toll it takes on its participants, which tends to be masked and forgotten. Kevin Powers uses his own personal experiences from his time in the war in Iraq to create this stunning and heart-wrenching novel that puts the readers eyes into those that have been effected by war.
"Fear affects everyone in combat. You may fear dying. You may fear being afraid in front of your comrades. You may fear unknown weapons. You may fear causing grief to your family if you die." - Chris Hedges, What Every Person Should Know about War Chris Hedges, not only provides the readers with what they want to know about war, but also provides them with what they should know in his novel, What Every Person Should Know about War. Hedges is straight forward and direct, producing a list of questions and answering each one of them. Hedges does not hold anything back, and he does not obscure his responses to the questions with colorful and flowery language. This direct approach allows the readers to understand his meanings completely, putting the focus on the atrociousness of war. His choices of questions to answer are also horrific, such as: “What does it feel like to kill someone?” “Will I feel guilty killing in combat?” “Will I be afraid?” Though Hedges seems to utilize a large amount of facts into his writing, nothing about it seems to be bland. The facts open the readers’ eyes to the true and horrific nature of war, which is often masked away by television shows, movies, and other media sources, all of which instead tend to praise it.
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