Thursday, October 4, 2007

Asimov Reading

Both Orwell's 1984 and Asimov's "Robot Dreams" are oddly similiar. I actually wondered half way through the passage whether the writer had read and had been influenced by Orwell's 1984 when writing "Robot Dreams". Many of the characters in both pieces parallel eachother. Both pieces of work are about a society or group of "people" (or robots) being controlled by another.The robot Elvex is very similiar to Winston. Both have accomplished what many could not. Elvex and Winston are able to envision a freedom that no other ever considered. Winston is able, despite the party's "programming", to envision a world with the rights currently unavailable to him. While Elvex is able to do something no other robot is able to do, dream. Both characters dream of something they have never experienced before, freedom. Neither Winston nor the robot remember a time of freedom and therefore neither should realize their lack of it, because it is impossible to miss what one never had. But both characters defy their programming and are able to realize what is missing even though they do not realize what power they hold in this realization.

Both characters are also being controlled by a man, or woman, that fears their newfound insite and therefore feel that it is necessary to "dispose" of them. Winston had O'brien who dissagreed with Winston's beliefs and thereby resulted in Winston's death. Elvex had Dr. Calvin who also feared the robot's new ability and insite which also resulted in the robot's death. Both characters insite ultimately resulted in their deaths. Both were in a sense unique and because of that they were a threat to the society they lived in. Winston and Elvex live in two different times and yet their situations are the same. The situation both characters faced did not age with time, but were independant of time. And that is what we should most be afraid of.

A meeting between these two men would definetly be interesting. I feel that because of the undeniable simmilarities between the characters and ultimately the ending message they would start their conversation in agreement. Both men would not deny the fact that civilization and society faces a big problem, and I also believe that they would agree that our failure is inevitable.

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