Ori Dona 2-2-14
English- Science Fiction
The Caves of Steel Comparison Summary
In the New York city of Caves Of Steel, there is a drastic difference from the city we live in today. This is mostly due to the ideological differences between our world and the world of Elijah Bailey. In today’s world we value the individual and respect artistic and distinguishable expressions whether it be in the form of architecture or art. In Asimov’s depiction of future society, there is this notion of collectivism and conformity. It is very apparent in the depiction of the future New York City because all the buildings are one unit. Architecture no longer exists as an art form and the people living in the city have restrictive freedom. They are forced to eat a certain food at a certain time in a certain place.
Everyone has a classification ID which gives them certain privileges throughout the city. Even in the form of transportation there is this collectivist ideology because the people in Caves Of Steel only have two methods of transportation, either moving sidewalk platforms or to the very privileged the option of flying in ships. In today’s New York City we value nature all of its process as opposed to Asimov’s depiction of these huge superdome structures completely closed off from the surface of the world where nature really flourishes. There is also the big difference in terms of robots being active and integrated in everyday life even replacing humans in terms of employment. But what really stands out about Asimov’s view of the future is the idea that humans have colonized space and have 50 home worlds.
This is a powerful concept because planet Earth is devalued and is not as significant as it is to us. This is due to the superiority of the spacer worlds and the state in which Asimov’s earth has been reduced to. Over all Asimov’s world is very different from the world we are experiencing today but some current trends are heading in that direction.
READING RESPONSE 2 2-11-13
After reading the “Caves of Steel”, there were many moments in which I felt were very powerful. The one moment that I found was very revealing was in chapter 9, “Education by a spacer”. Elijah has a deep conversation with the spacer doctor, Fastolfe. The reason I find their exchange fascinating was because that was the first time in the novel where we get insight on the spacers mentality and their approach to humans. The doctor explains why the spacers discriminate against humans. he states “The medical examination you went through, as well as the cleansing procedures, were not matters of ritual. They were dictated by necessity”. This to me showed the divide between civilizations and that even though spacers share a common origin with humans, they differ in the sense that they have implemented such radical changes in their biology that they no longer can be considered humans. For one thing their whole civilization had a different origin in the sense that gradual evolution did not occur. The doctors home planet of aurora came to be through colonization. Therefore there is an immediate separation between Elijah and the Earthers and Dr.Fastolfe and the spacers. They do not understand the people of earth and why they choose to live there despite of all the troubles. They see colonization as a logical plan and insist that the people of Earth simply find a new home world. Before this conversation had took place, the reader was unaware as to why the spacers act the way they do and more importantly, what they think of the Earthmen. The issue of disease exposes a flaw in the godlike spacers and they do very well in hiding that. They reveal a very human side to them, weakness. One their world, the individual is respected and held to a very high regard because the duration of their life is so long where as on Earth people have average lifespans and live average and fast lives. Dr. Fastolfe explains that they want to save the humans and that their life is worth saving which goes back to their sense of ancestry. Their attachment to Earthmen is very complex.