With analysis on setting, plot, character, theme, and style.
The setting is in the future, so it is interesting for readers to see what the future is like. Isaac Asimov made the story so that readers feel the things going on in the book can happen any time now, because of the modern setting. It is set in a robotic factory in the US, and parts of the universe, like Mercury. Some parts of the story is also set in space, so it is also interesting to see what space is like. The book is a series of short stories, so the setting changes in different chapters, so it makes the story more exciting to read. The author also has written many books about robotics and science fiction before, so it adds even more professionalism and realism to the story and its setting.
The plot is written very well, and the conflicts that happen are strange yet intriguing. The plot is interesting because people want to see what robots do under certain circumstances. While it is predictable on how the characters cope with a conflict, it is intriguing to find out what was the cause of the conflict. There are many types of conflicts, such as person vs. person, person vs. world, and person vs. machine. For example, Michael Donovan and Gregory Powell. They are friends, yet they argue a lot, and are hostile to each other, so its person vs. person. An example of person vs. world is when Stephen Byerley, who is running for mayor, has to convince the world that he is not a robot, yet nobody believes him. All the conflicts build up to the conclusion – when robots control many aspects of our lives. The subject is not outdated, in fact, it is thinking ahead. Robots could very well become a huge part of lives soon. There is already a large dependency on machines in the world, for example it is impossible to imagine a world without computers, so the book is accurately foretelling the future, seeing that it was written 50 years ago.
The cast of characters in I, Robot is remarkable, with lots of protagonists, all of them having their own qualities. Protagonists are people like Susan Calvin, Powell and Donovan. All the characters deal with the conflicts they have flawlessly, figuring out dilemmas with sheer mind power. Susan Calvin had to figure out many problems US Robots were having, using her knowledge of robot minds to overcome them. Gregory Powell and Michael Donovan also had to deal with malfunctioning robots, and fixing the problems the robots had with focus on the “Laws of Robotics”. A majority of people today couldn’t deal with the situations the characters in I, Robot had to face. Many people can relate to these characters, because they have the same emotions and impulses as us. There are also a variety of robots with different personalities that Asimov created, such as Robbie, a caring robot, and Cutie, a robot who thinks humans are inferior. Isaac Asimov did a brilliant job creating the characters and making them extremely realistic.
The theme in I, Robot was clear and expertly integrated, and with the major theme being not to rely on objects too much. An example of this in the book is how 2 people’s lives are in danger just because a robot didn’t collect some Selenium. We can relate to this because most people couldn’t get work done or have any progress without computers and machines calculating and doing the hard work for humans. A minor theme is that you shouldn’t rely on technology too much. An example in the book is how an entire factory stopped production one robot went missing. We relate to this because if our electronics broke down, such as a TV or phone, we would function less smoothly.
I wasn’t impressed with the way Asimov wrote this book, mainly because of the lack of images. Many readers would not be able to visualize the characters and settings well, for example I thought that all the types robots would look the same, even though they probably look very different from each other. Readers have to use their imagination to fill in the blanks, because there are no vivid descriptions. And because the book is consisted of short stories, some of the stories seem out of place.
This book talks about how the world is when robots are invented. In the beginning, there is a little girl with a robot she loves. Her parents take the robot away form her, and she misses him. Later the robot saves her life, so her parents let her lave the robots again. The next part of the book talks about the scientists and robots at U.S. Robots. The robots are constantly malfunctioning, and the scientists have to figure out the robot’s problems. The next part of the book talks about an election and how people think a candidate is a robot, and how he proves he isn’t. The book ends with a scientist talking with the “world coordinator”, and how they figure out that robots are basically controlling how the human race is going to turn out.