Klara and Astroboy

ENGL 4110 “Commonplace Book” Entry 8

When I was nine years old, my family went to the movie theater and saw Astro Boy, a film adaptation of a manga wherein a robot is created to replace a scientist’s dead son, leading to a whole host of further complications.

I was terrified.

Now, reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun, I feel the same.

It seems that robots are a very common theme in speculative fiction, particularly speculative fiction, and I think that’s because when dealing with the speculative in literature and entertainment, people are obsessed with intelligence. Mad scientists learning to create a monster, time machines created by brilliant inventors, and worlds that can only exist in the most creative of minds are staples of the genre.

The problem is that people love to gatekeep intelligence. It is viewed as a very human characteristic, and the second that a robot gets ahold of it and claims it as their own, those people get defensive.

I wonder why!



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