Greta seduces you into the text with the second person. She tells you what “you don’t know” but exists despite your blissful ignorance (8). You have to catch up to her understanding of the world. She baits you into an interactive experience with repetitive “have you ever” interrogatives; making you an active player in a 2-dimensional verbal construct (8). Her playfulness and deadpan delivery of serious philosophical questions about memory, identity, death, and the supernatural allows you to laugh at your fears and also at yourself. All that you question and daydream about, especially in a sci-fi context, is real and influencing your life right now. However, Greta glosses over the significance of a supernatural world to normalize the strange and estrange you from her. You cannot be as cool as Greta.
The Punch cartoon and poem about Wells’s vision of the future of humanity which we discussed yesterday can be seen in their context in this HathiTrust scan.