Responding to “Bicentennial Man”
Lori Ramey
6

In Asimov’s “Bicentennial Man,” the key problem presented is Andrew wanting to be recognized as a human. However, there are many characteristics that qualify a human to be characterized as a “human.” With this being said, Andrew begins to develop human characteristics such as developing emotions, even to the extent of falling in love with “little miss’s” daughter Portia. The most important part of the short story is when the World Congress agrees to recognize Andrew as a human, which validates his and Portia’s marriage, and she dies right after. I truly have to disagree with Asimov’s answer to “what makes a human a human.” I disagree because Asimov essentially declares that once something has the ability to die, they become or should become recognized as a human. I believe that human life is very unique and it takes much more that looking and acting like a human to be classified as one. To me, being a human is being sent to earth from God as one, which is something that no man or million dollar company can recreate. I enjoyed the short story and I was intrigued with some aspects of it, especially the part about the technology and I am interested to see exactly when that technology will be availible to the human race. I also was intrigued by how Andrew developed emotions without the personality chip, despite the fact that he was programmed to never have any.