Issac Asimov


Isaac Asimov is widely known for his award-winning science fiction novels that explore the bond between machines, humans, the future, and the present. This novel is part of a continuing saga of books based on the lives of extraordinary individual machines. In this story, the author has combined the use of literary techniques to make for an intriguing and exciting story.


One example of this is symbolism, which is the representation of things by symbols or symbolic meanings. The first case of this is when Andrew first starts to wear clothes. His explanation of this was just a “curious longing”, but in actuality, this experiment was just a reason to be more human in appearance. It symbolized his longing to be perfect and happy, which was to him, being human. The second case, which was just mentioned, is Andrew’s perception of what happiness really is. In the beginning, before all the changes in his life occurred, Andrew was a part of a loving family, and to him, happiness was a goal that he had already accomplished. However, he began to see humanity for the beauty that it really was. It was then that he started to reflect on what he himself thought was happiness. And to him, being happy meant to be a part of an even larger family, a part of humanity. His idea of being human was a symbolic representation of what he really wanted to be, which was human.


The second example of literary techniques the author has used is flashback, which is when the story goes back in time to where the story has reached, to recount events that had happened before. The one major example of this is in the first chapter, where it tells the story from when Andrew goes in for his final operation. After chapter two, however, the story goes hundreds of years back in time to when Andrew was first delivered to the Martins. The story then continues up until the point where Andrew is going on for his final operation, and then finishes it, surpassing that part of the story.


The final literary techniques that the author uses well in the story are descriptive settings. Throughout the novel, Asimov uses entire paragraphs just to describe an environment, regardless of how important it is. One case of this is in the beginning when he portrays the Martin estate. He writes, “The Martin estate - for that was what it was, nothing less, a great estate - was an isolated one, alone on its beautiful ridge overlooking the chilly blue ocean.” In the case of Andrew’s woodshop when he became a carpenter, Asimov describes the atmosphere with words like “dusty” and “off-beaten path” and “surrounded by lush greenery” to describe the path reaching to it. Finally, and most imposing, is when Asimov describes the ‘United States Robots and Mechanical Men’ factory where Andrew was created, he uses words like “dreary tranquility”, and “murky atmosphere”, the mood becomes really dark and quiet, almost barren and uninhabited. In all these examples, the author does a good job to create great moods depending on each individual setting he is describing. The use of these words and descriptions effectively gives the reader an almost surreal feeling, and makes the story come alive.