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A Rose By a Vulcan Name Would Smell as SweetSocial commentary is dangerous In addition to risking social and political censure the commentator must carefully convey the message In directly addressing a problem one risks alienating an audience before making ones point If one indirectly approaches said problem one may appear to lack conviction or a point Star Trek the Original Series takes a third path that of allegory Unfortunately as the television series belongs to the science fiction genre its social significance is often disregarded However upon examination it is clear that the veiled nature of commentary in Star Trek is vitalAn allegory addresses issues usually current political or social situations through a fictionalized account This is useful to protect the teller of the tale from legal or political persecution as evidenced by Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderland Allegory may also use situational hyperbole to exaggerate a situation until its social impact is obvious as in Voltaires CandideThe cloak of allegory serves both functions after a fashion in Star Trek the Original Series Rather than protecting the creator altered representations protected the integrity of the story line from network censors For example the episode A Private Little War depicted the Federation the series protagonist organization warring with the Klingon nation its nemesis on a tiny primitive world Star Trek In all actuality the episode was a declaration of pacifism aimed at the follies of the Vietnam War Such a declaration might be blocked by censors as unpatriotic or lacking in viewer allure were it a straightforward statement of the evils of Vietnam As a story however it avoids such charges and may be distributed to the masses via television Situational exaggeration is also utilized to drive home important points A problem may not be apparent to an average person Thus the allegorist expands the problem inflating it beyond normal context to make its import apparent The creators of the Original Series achieved this
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