By: Brian Aldiss
This story was about a mother and father, Monica and Henry Swinton, their son, David, and his toy, Teddy. This story is set some time in the future. Monica Swinton is at home in the garden with David, and her husband Henry is out making a speech about his new "super-toy". He is the Managing Director of Synthank, which develops humanlike toys.
The story begins strangely because in the very first couple of lines, it says, "She had tried to love him". It is describing how Monica feels about David. David is their three year old son, who could not have been so terrible that her love for him is questioned. Right there, we see that this is not a typical family. A mother's love for her child is endless, and is immeasurable. Until it is uncovered that David is not a human child, but a super toy made for her to ease her loneliness, we are left questioning Monica's motherhood.
We are told that Monica is very lonely. We do not read about her having friends or family to converse with, and on the bottom of the first page it says, "She remained alone. An overcrowded world is the ideal place in which to be lonely." Henry makes super-toys for companionship. In his speech, he says, " everyone will be able to enjoy the equivalent of an Einstein in their own homes. Personal isolation will then be banished forever!" Further on, we realize that this story depicts the husband and wife moving in opposite directions. The harder he tries to comfort her with super-toys, the lonelier she becomes. Being that they live in the future in a different day and age, the way population is controlled is by limiting when people can conceive. The Swinton's number had not come up yet, so Mr. Swinton manufactured David. David's purpose was to be Henry and Monica's son until they were allowed to conceive a child on their own. Monica felt even worse with him around because it reminded her that she could not have a real...