Robbie

Kenzie Eklund

Summary

Robbie is a short story that talks about a simply built robot called Robbie and a family known as the Weston's. The Weston's bought Robbie as a companion and friend for their daughter Gloria. Gloria treats Robbie just as any other person. Although Robbie cant speak, Gloria and him play just like any other little kid. Over time Mrs. Weston begins to show concern about Robbie. She ultimately wants to get rid of him. She states that she is looking out for Gloria and feels that Robbie may malfunction and hurt her but it seems that she is more worried about how other people see her. After Mrs. Weston nags Mr. Weston enough they finally end up getting rid of Robbie. Gloria is devastated and can not stop thinking about him. During one of the many things the Weston Parents do to try and take Robbie off Gloria's mind, Robbie and Gloria meet again and Mrs. Weston's opinion is completely changed when Robbie ends up saving Gloria's life.

Dystopia

The short story Robbie, although it may not seem like a dystopia contains a few major dystopian features. For example one of the biggest components is the control often times found in dystopian stories being technological control. With the growing amount of robots in society the normal positions humans would have are being subsided and being replaced with robots. Jobs are being taken over and in a more effective roll the friends of young children, in this case Gloria are being replaced. Throughout the story it mentions that Robbie is Gloria's companion and friend. You never hear about another human friend, just Robbie. This can in the long term, harmful, towards Gloria and her developmental process with other humans. It can effect her communication skills and really her people skills overall.

Dynamic Charecters

One dynamic character in the short story would be the mother. In the beginning of the story she really didn't like Robbie. She blamed her dislike for him on the thought that Robbie might malfunction and end up hurting her daughter but what is really seemed like was she was worried about how others perceived her and her family. "Theres a bad feeling in the village... about Robbie." She expressed that she no longer wanted anything to do with Robbie and ultimately wanted him gone forever. By the end of the story Mrs. Weston's thoughts on Robbie had completely flip slopped as she witnessed Robbie save Gloria from being run over by a tractor. Robbie was able to perform as something more than human and this is when being a robot and having such far technological advances had come in handy. After Mrs. Weston had realized the positives Robbie brought to not only Gloria's life but her own as well she became at peace with the thought of having Robbie around and didn't seem to care as much about what people would think than she used to.

Social Comentary

The story Robbie demonstrates how people act whether they are dealing with machines or people. The central idea and theme of the story reflects prejudice but instead of against each other normally found in most stories the prejudice is against the robots. The human condition plays a huge roll in the story as it can be seen in many different aspects for example the way Gloria treats Robbie at the beginning of the story. She treats him the same way she would treat any other little kid. Pouting when she didn't get her way or even threatening to get it. Gloria's mom also shows sign of the human condition when she face prejudice against Robbie. She cant help but blame it on the safety of her daughter but seems to be more concerned about what the neighbors of the village think. Another example of the human condition is the way Mrs. Weston wares away at her husband, constantly nagging him and complaining until her finally gives in and gives Robbie away. One positive effect of the human condition is Glorias love and devotion for Robbie. She loves Robbie wholeheartedly. She can not and will not forget about him. Even when her parents think she may have forgot about him she mentions him. Everything Gloria does revolves around finding Robbie.