"Friendship" is interesting in I, Robot because there are many close relationships in this book—but we're not sure that we'd want to call them friendships. For instance, Gloria calls Robbie a friend, but Robbie is programmed to be a good nursemaid, so is it right to call him a friend? (Or let's make the case simpler: imagine Robbie was a baby-sitter who was paid to hang out with and take care of Gloria; would it be accurate to call him a friend?) Likewise, one of the strongest partnerships in the book is between Powell and Donovan, and we think they're friends, but they spend most of their time fighting. Are they really friends? I, Robot presents us with several relationships like these and makes us answer the question: what does it mean to be friends?
Questions About Friendship
Chew on This
Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.
Friendship in I, Robot is a matter of equality and shared interests. And since robots have different interests and are so superior to humans, humans and robots can never be friends.
Although friendship seems so important to us in our real lives, Asimov presents a world where friendship doesn't really matter all that much.