Sunday, March 20, 2011

There’s another theme running through this story that separates Benny from others: his insistence on being a writer. Benny’s girlfriend, like Sisko’s, is played by Penny Johnson. The Kasidy Yates of the 24th century is an independent woman, the captain and pilot of a space freighter. But her 20th century counterpart, the black woman Cassie, is a waitress in the diner. She is down to earth and practical. She supports Benny’s writing but wants him to join her in buying the diner, so they can have a life together.

Besides being a very 1950s theme, this adds another element to Benny’s alienation, but this time it’s not from white society but from the rules and expectations in his own neighborhood. He is a professional dreamer, which his white colleagues at the magazine respect, but which doesn’t make him enough money to support a family. He is in significant respects between worlds, a partial member of two communities, and a full member of none.

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