Analysis of the Short Story: Super Toys Last All Summer Long

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  • Published : January 17, 2013
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What is real? I have been trying to answer this question since we started our project about robots. It’s a very complex question. The classical sense of what is real is something natural, something that is not man-made, for example the nature or the universe. But the world isn’t the same as it was for hundred years ago and the reality concept has moved in time with the technology. For instance I read an article where computers had been taken over the stock trading instead of real manpower. The robots are mechanical artificial agents and because of the advanced technology they’ve become much more real. They become more and more like us, and if computers can take over the stock trading what can robots, who look and act like humans, do to the world? But there must be a limit to how much robots can do if they’re still being seen as machines. In my point of view you are only real if you can feel and think on your own. In that way a robot isn’t real even though they’ve been supplied with human abilities like thinking and feeling by the aid of a programming from a computer. Having said that the robots are still in power to create real emotions in the recipient. This is demonstrated in form of Paro who is a little robot seal designed with the purpose to comfort lonely people. The problem with my definition of real is that love and feelings are artificial as well because it is a chemical reaction in our brain. So what if the robots were added the ability to feel and think would that make them just as real as us?

The short story is written by Brian Aldiss in 1969. The story is fiction and an imaginary story of future time in an overcrowded world. The literary genre is science fiction, which is characterized by a fictive environment that has experienced innovations in science or technology, which has a big impact on the society and the individuals in it. This definition is consistent with the short story. There are two places of action and the structure is a pendulum composition because it swings back and forth between the two physical settings. The one setting is at home with Monica Swinton, David and Teddy, and the other setting is at lunch where Synthank celebrates the launching of their new developed and improved robots “The directors of Synthank were eating an enormous luncheon to celebrate the launching of their new product”, where Henry Swinton makes a speech. These crossovers from the one setting to the other are shown with a star “*”, which makes it clear for the recipient that we are having a change of place.

The story begins with a presentation of Mrs. Swinton’s garden and afterwards we get a presentation of the involving characters. The short story’s many events happen in a chronological order and it follows the common thread through the story from the beginning to the end.

The story is told in past tense and the narrator is a third person narrative. The narrator is an omniscient narrative because the narrator knows everything about the characters and their surroundings.

The narrator creates sympathy for David because the omniscient narrative makes us identify with the robot and we get inside of his head and can see his good “heart” and understand his love, the love that know one else can see and understand.

The language creates a very detailed description of the events and the surroundings. The language describes the surroundings with the use of adjectives “The lovely almond trees stood about it in perpetual leaf. Monica Swinton plucked a saffron-colored rose and showed it to David. “Isn’t it lovely?” she said” and the events by using verbs, which creates thrill and excitement. The excitement is for example seen in line 7 – 10 on page 1 “Seizing the flower, he ran with it across the lawn and disappeared behind the kennel where the mowervator crouched, ready to cut or sweep or roll when the moment dictated. She stood alone on her impeccable plastic gravel path. She had tried to love him”. The sudden...
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