Journal #3: Caves of Steel

“And she was guilty?”

“She was.”

“Then why was she not stoned?”

“None of the accusers felt he could after Jesus’ statement.  The story is meant to show that there is something even higher than the justice which you have been filled with.  There is a human impulse known as mercy; a human act known as forgiveness.”

“I am not acquainted with those words, partner Elijah.”

“I know” muttered Baley. “I know.”

This is an interesting and important part of the novel from the end of chapter 14 because it just gets down to the raw issue of the whole situation.  It’s interesting in the sense that it explores Baley’s occupation as a law enforcer, while highlighting the fact that even though he obtains such a position, he still can look past the view held in that stature.  There is a line and even though Baley knows where it is, he can cross it if he needs to.  This then interjects with R. Daneel’s complete lack of understanding.  Baley has spent enough time with R. Daneel at this point to realize the gaps in knowledge that R. Daneel possesses and the fact that he only possesses certain human like qualities.  He may be able to produce a smile but concocting a thought process based on a feeling that maybe I shouldn’t do this, will not occur for R. Daneel.  He would not have been moved by Jesus’ statement and would have stoned the woman.  For him, she did the wrong thing and that’s that.  Once R. Daneel decision is made, it’s made.  So when Baley mutters, “I know.” he is just so passed the problem with R. Daneel not understanding basic human emotions and acts because he’s experienced the confusion numerous times in the novel that he’s done trying to explain, for the moment at least.  Baley just feels like he’s wasting his time explaining something that a “thing” will never understand.

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