Power - I, Robot Theme Of Power Novels Notes | EduRev

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov- Summary, Themes & Characters

Novels : Power - I, Robot Theme Of Power Novels Notes | EduRev

The document Power - I, Robot Theme Of Power Novels Notes | EduRev is a part of the Novels Course I, Robot by Isaac Asimov- Summary, Themes & Characters.
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I, Robot is very interested in questions of superiority and domination—who has power, who should have power, and what people (or robots) do with that power. Robots certainly seem to have some power, since they are stronger than people; but people have a lot of power as their controllers. (No matter how strong a robot is, it still needs to follow human orders and not harm any humans.) Power in I, Robot also takes some different forms: there's simple strength, but then there's also power that comes from love (for instance, Mrs. Weston has power over Mr. Weston because he loves her) and also from respect (which Susan Calvin should have since she's the best robopsychologist). So power is an important theme here, and it comes in many forms.

Questions About Power

  1. Is Calvin correct that all life dislikes domination (as she says in "Little Lost Robot")? Does all life want to be free? If so, does that mean that robots are alive? And does it change what we think about how the Three Laws limit robots' choices?
  2. How do different characters respond to power differently? Does power affect the way that characters interact with each other? How do characters deal with the power of others? Do they resist or submit?
  3. I, Robot shows several different forms of power, such as Calvin's scientific expertise and Major-General Kallner's military command. Does this book show us that one type of power is better than another?
  4. What's the relation between power and morality? Do some characters have power because they are moral? Or does morality make characters less powerful by constraining their choices?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

I, Robot shows power of different forms—military command, scientific respect, physical strength, etc.—in order to make us question the power of robots, which is mostly physical.

Robots are shown to be more powerful than humans and more moral throughout the stories, so that the reader isn't bothered by the idea of robots taking over at the end of the book.

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