The Destruction Of Robots In Isaac Asimov's The Caves Of Steel

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At the end of Isaac Asimov 's The Caves of Steel, robots seem to be the salvation of the human race, as foreseen by Dr. Fastolfe and the spacers--a highly advanced society of humans from the outer worlds. At the same time the spacers believe they have preserved the future of humanity, however, in an event foreshadowing how robots will one day represent a threat to humanity and perhaps the failure of the spacers’ plan, Robot Daneel Olivaw says the most shocking lines of the story: “[g]o and sin no more!” (Asimov 270). In Asimov’s works, people end up trapped in overly specialized societies with a one-dimensional focus that leave them near collapse. Ideas and innovations that initially were successful are now harmful to society. These societies …show more content…
Cities leave so little room for error in production that “if the tremendous flow of input and outgo [was] interrupted for even a single hour” (Asimov 120) they would collapse. These cities are prime examples of the flaws in civism, an economic system that bases class on promotions and privileges, which--although done for efficiency--forces people to do their jobs without fail through fear of declassification (a complete loss of status and a life of bare subsistence). Even Clouser, who wants to escape the prison of the cities--which are giant fortified buildings completely closed off from the elements--and go back to life outside the cities, is unable to even go outside, even though he is able to do so. As Jerril in The Foundation puts it, “If you’re born in a cubicle and grow up in a corridor, and work in a cell, and vacation in a crowded sun-room, then coming up into the open with nothing but sky over you might just give you a nervous breakdown” (Asimov 16). While being born into a trapped society is outside the characters’ control, many characters, aided by governments, refuse to recognize society 's failures and resist changes to fix …show more content…
In The Foundation, arrogance led to the planet Trantor, center of the galactic empire, becoming one giant city considered to be “the mightiest deed of man; the complete and almost contemptuously final conquest of a world” (Asimov 16); however, the expense of this “mightiest deed” was complete dependence on a “delicate jugular vein” (Asimov 12-13) between Trantor and the outer worlds. Consequently, government policy on Trantor became one-dimensional, exclusively focused on protecting that dependence at the expense of other problems. Technology combined with ambition to turn Trantor into a dying dystopic world. Asimov uses the Commission of Public Safety to represent the evolution of a successful government turning into the cause of destruction, as the Commission transitions from “an element of order” to “a blind instrument for maintenance of the status quo” (Asimov 24). The Commission of Public Safety fearfully attempts to retain authority and prestige in a way detrimental to the Galactic Empire, the very source of their authority and prestige. Accordingly, the people on the Commission, like many in Asimov’s novels, keep an ignorant view of civilization around

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