Personal Response

In this novel, the author Isaac Asimov deals with issues that can relate to the lives that we live everyday. For instance, one that I feel strongly about is the main theme about how as humans, we strive to create a state where we have nearly complete dependence on machines.

Throughout the book, there are examples of how robots are used to carry out simple commands. “The aim of those pioneers had been to create robots capable of taking up many of the dreary burdens that human beings had for so long been compelled to bear” (Ch 2, Pg 8,). This statement is found in the introduction to the story, and talks about how early robot scientists Alfred Lanning, Peter Bogert and Susan Calvin came up with the idea of developing positronic robots for everyday use, in the year 2007. Although this date is close to our current time, 2004, it doesn’t relate to the setting in the book, which takes place predominantly in the late 21st century to the early 22nd century. By this time, the scientists’ objective had been complete that positronic robots had now been considered normal for everyday life. In the example of the Martins, who owned Andrew before he had been widely known, they were wealthy people who did not want to do all of the ‘burdens’ described in the quote. These include washing the dishes, cleaning the house, and taking care of the children. So therefore, they acquired the help of Andrew, who did all these chores and allowed the Martins to enjoy their spare time. However when the couple get divorced and the children move out of the house and Andrew decides to live out of the house, Mr. Martin is by himself forced to take care of himself. Andrew is forced to live with him, but if it weren’t for all those years of depending on Andrew to do all the cooking and other household tasks, Gerald martin could have looked after himself, but this lack of self-sufficiency made him almost like a small child depending on his mother all the time.

This can relate to my life because such an incident happened not too long ago. I’m sure you remember the great blackout that happened in August of last year. Well for almost 24 hours, all of Toronto and New York State had to live almost like how it was in the early 18th century, without the aid of any electricity. It was safe to say that the situation turned into complete pandemonium, and people found themselves not able to cook food, watch TV, go on their computers, or even drive home safely, since the power outage affected the street lights as well. I found myself having a hard time coming up ways to entertain myself, especially during the evening. So for almost 4 hours, my family and I played board games by candlelight and ate whatever we could in the refrigerator before all the food went bad. That only went to show how much people depend a lot on electricity, and that even for only a day, losing the aid of technology can be almost a nightmare.