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I Robot Book Report English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 957 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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I, Robot is a science fiction story, written by Isaac Asimov in first and third person limited point of view. This book has 287 pages, including the introduction. The book is a set of short stories, stringed together by making it look as if Dr. Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist, was telling them to a reporter. One of the best short stories was “Liar!” “Liar!” is a story about a robot, named Herbie, which was able to read thought waves due to a manufacturing error. “Liar!” starts with characters named Lanning, Bogert, Ashe, and Calvin talking about RB-34 (Herbie). Calvin then decides to go down to Herbie, carrying science books. After Herbie tells Calvin that the science books are not interesting and that novels are better, he tells Calvin that Ashe loves her. Later on, Bogert goes to Herbie and asks him a calculus question, but Herbie admits that he isn’t good in calculus. Then, before Bogert leaves, Herbie tells him that Lanning was resigning and that Bogert was to take his place. After this, Bogert went to Lanning and questioned him, asking why his lead was wrong on the calculus problem. Lanning responds, saying that he doesn’t agree with Bogert’s answer and that Herbie agrees with Lanning’s answer. Bogert responds, saying that Herbie doesn’t know calculus. Lanning and Bogert then agree to see Herbie to settle the dispute. Meanwhile, Ashe shows Calvin a rough sketch of his house and mentions that he is going to get married. Calvin leaves with confusion, because she remembered clearly that Herbie said Ashe loved her. She staggers to Herbie, who reassures that it is a dream. Then just as Calvin realizes Herbie lied to her, Bogert and Lanning burst in, both asking Herbie if Lanning resigned. Herbie answers yes to Bogert, but no to Lanning. Calvin then concludes that Herbie had to lie, because he could not allow any human to get into harm, even mentally. After that, Calvin asks Herbie to give the answer to what had gone wrong in assembly. Herbie refuses, because he knows Bogert and Lanning wouldn’t want to know. Calvin then began to repeat endlessly: “You want to tell them, but you must not, or it will hurt them. But if you do not, you will hurt, so you must tell them. If you do….” Herbie screamed and fainted, and later, he was scrapped.

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As many people have known, science fiction novels are usually too extreme when they talk about the future, such as alien invasions. I, Robot, a compilation of short stories, is focused on many things, but most of them are about robots and the humans’ opposition against them. Events occurring in this compilation can be connected to real life. Many examples are in this book.

One way this text had related to my life is in “Liar!” because before, I didn’t want to give the truth. In the story, the robot Herbie had lied about what he got from reading others’ minds, because it would hurt the person’s feelings, which is against the first law. Like Herbie, I knew that giving the truth would hurt that person, so I lied and falsified everything. Needless to say, I got in trouble. The other time that my life had related to the book is in “Robbie.” Like the short story, I had something that I treasured: a toy train that plays music when it moves around. My parents did not like it, because it uses a CD-like storage for music, and if I broke the CD, I could hurt myself with the sharp edges. They then sold it, and I was crying, grieving because my favorite item was deprived from me. Eventually, they got it back again.

The short stories also relate to other texts. In almost all of the short stories, there is that society that’s against robots. In DragonQuest, there is a group of people who think that the dragons are causing the problems in the world. Both books have a group that is ignorant or stupid. Another way this book relates to other stories is the fact that robots are the subject. There are many science fiction books that are about robots, and range from robots helping the populace to robots attacking and killing all living organisms. I, Robot is about robots helping people, although it’s projected in a more realistic way.

“Evidence” relates to the fact that people will always try to knock others down and state defamatory remarks about him to everyone, so that way, the victim will lose. This is what happens in the short story. Francis Quinn tries to prove that Stephen Byerley is a robot, which would help make Byerley lose. Byerley was truly a robot, but he was able to convince the public that he was not. Also, mentioned in all of the stories, there is a group called The Society of Humanity. It is an organization against robots, because they think that they may attack us, turn on us, take over us, etc. It is an example of ignorant people, because The Society of Humanity does not realize that the 1st law protects humans from attack from robots. Ignorant groups exist today, like not allowing use of organisms in science experiments. If you can’t use bacteria, fruit flies, or other organisms, then how are we supposed to research on biology?

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Just because it is science fiction does not mean all of it is fictitious. Many of the events in the novel can occur in similar events in real life, you, and in other novels. After reading this book, I realized the fact that there are ignorant people who do not realize that the thing they are protesting against is actually beneficial. It saddens me, because usually, the imbeciles always win, and it affects everyone negatively.


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