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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Veldt / I, Robot

Option #1: A

While I read Ray Bradbury's The Veldt, I was reminded repeatedly of the movie I, Robot, in the way it illustrates the illusion of control we have over technology in our lives, as it does for Peter and Wendy in the Veldt and for Del Spooner (Will Smith's character) in I, Robot.

In both cases, it is evident that technology has taken over normal day-to-day tasks such that anything that requires human skill is performed instead by programmed technology.

In the Veldt, this dependency evolves almost to the point that Peter and Lydia exclaim, "I don't want to do anything but look, listen and smell; what else is there to do?". This is also reflected in I, Robot where robots servants have so conditioned the humans that they are incapable of taking care of their own sanitation or security. Likewise, Peter and Wendy are delusional to the point that they believe that the nursery has real human characteristics and associate them as parents instead of George and Lydia. When George threatened to shut down the nursery "The two children were in hysterics. They screamed and pranced and threw things. They yelled and sobbed and swore and jumped at the furniture" 

However, it is also evident that the characters see technology as a hindrance when Lydia peculiarly mentions that she wants to shut everything down and take a vacation. The same is seen in I, Robot when Lt. Bergin states in remorse, "Well then I guess we're gonna miss the good ol' days. When people were killed by other people".

Hence, it slowly dawns that what began as a form of convenience evolves slowly into a form of dependence, such that the humans in I, Robot choose purposefully not to acknowledge the lack of control they have over technology, in the same fashion that George and Lydia do until eventual tragedy.

Works Cited

- Bradbury, Ray, and Gary Kelley. The veldt. Mankato, Minn.: Creative Education, 1987. Print.
- "I, Robot - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Sept. 2013. 

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