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Essay on ”Super-Toys Last All Summer Long”

1. Ever since the industrial revolution, people have questioned whether the technological development has been moving too fast, for man to keep track with the moral and ethical dilemmas which may arise on the way. This theme has occurred in lots of literature and films throughout time. Worth mentioning is Frankenstein from 1818, Brave New World from 1932, 2001: A Space Odyssey from 1968 and The Matrix Trilogy from respectively 1999 and 2003. Along this line is the story “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long” by Brian Aldiss. It deals with the subject of artificial intelligence and the relationship between man and machine, and it paints a picture of a dystopian society that has reached a stage where it is not longer possible to distinguish between a child or a machine – what is real and what is unreal. The story is told by an omniscient third person narrator, and takes place in a world where almost everything is build upon illusionary things. A world where people live in false surroundings made by holograms, and where there are no windows at the outer side of the buildings, which makes it possible for people to close their eyes to the reality. Though the world is overcrowded, the people living in it do not have anything to do with each other, but live their own private lives, and the majority of the population tend to feel lonely. The greater part of human contact is replaced with various artificial life forms. In this world in one of the city-blocks, half a kilometer above the ground, do the Swintons live. The Swinton family consists of four members; the mother, Monica, the father, Henry, the “son”, David, and the robotic teddy bear, Teddy. Monica is twenty-nine years old and has very good looks. She spends all day in her garden, surrounded by lovely, always blooming almond trees and roses, or in her living room, alone, thinking, waiting. Even though she has David and Teddy to accompany her, she is lonely, while her...
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