Analysis and interpretation of Brian Aldiss’: “Super-toys Last All Summer Long”
Since antiquity the human mind has been intrigued by artificial intelligence, but the rapid development of computer science has also raised issues and questions, some of which have been treated in literature and film throughout time. The short story “Super-toys Last All Summer Long” is written in 1969 by Brian Aldiss. The short story deals with the ethical questions of artificial intelligence. Is it possible for a machine to have a mind and consciousness? Can it feel? Furthermore the short story calls into question of what is real and unreal. “Super-toys Last All Summer Long” is told from an omniscient third-person narrator’s point of view. We are not told the historical time of the story, but judging from the content, then it must take place in the future. We can characterize the short story as science fiction because the technological development has left significant changes on society and individuals. People live in an illusory world. Holograms creates fake surroundings where people can turn their backs on reality, and live in their own little world. We are introduced to three principal characters: the mother, Monica Swinton, the father, Henry Swinton and what we assume is their son, David. The family also has a robotic teddy bear named Teddy. At first we get the impression that the Swintons lives in an idyllic house, they have a flower-filled garden, a courtyard and a nursery for David, but it’s all just an illusion made by the hologram. In real life the Swintons lives half a kilometer above the ground in one of the pricey city-blocks. The apartment has no windows, because it’s not flattering to look at the overpopulated world outside. One of the consequences of living in an overcrowded world is that child creation is controlled, and until this point, Monica and Henry have waited four years to be allowed to have a baby of their own. The world might be overpopulated, but that...
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