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Analysis of the extract from “The Fun They Had”

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 691
  • Category: Reading

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The story under the title “The Fun They Had” was written by a highly prolific American writer, one of the three grand masters of science fiction – Isaac Asimov. The key in this text is lyrical. The theme is probably “the influence of technology on the process of teaching.” In this story the author uses colloquial speech and jargonized words, such as “gee, I guess, I betcha“ here, to show us that these children are rather ordinary, and looks similar as the children of our age. The events of the story take place in future in 2157 year. The story starts with two children, Margie and Tommy by name, finding a “real” book. It seems very unusual for them to have such book because they have only screen books. The children read about a type of a school which people had centuries ago where only men were teachers. They have never thought that a simple man could teach. Though then they understand it to be better and much cheerful to study in old types of schools where all children sit together and do the same tasks. But it is high time for the children to study and Margie goes to a classroom where a machine teacher is waiting for her. The story ends with Margie adding the fractions and thinking about “those funny schools”.

The main characters of the story are eleven years old Margie and Tommy, who is thirteen years old. The author doesn’t describe them directly, but it doesn’t do us any hard to understand what kind of people they are. Isaac Asimov shows us the character’s personalities through the actions, dialogues and thoughts. I see Tommy as a very serious boy who is fond of reading. In my view point Tommy is a curious boy because he has managed to find a very old book in the attic. He behaves with his young sister little bit arrogantly. He considers him to be much cleverer and know more than she does. That is why he laughs at her wrong suggestions. As for Margie, I sympathize with her. She seems to be a clever girl no matter what points she has in geography because it is her mechanical teacher’s fault. She goes to study knowing about old types of schools which seem to be definitely better for. I think Margie feels a little jealous of the children who study there. She is fed up with studying at home with a heartless mechanical teacher. She even wishes the teacher not to be put together after being taken apart by the County Inspector.

I think this fact proves her bad attitude to modern school. The story is written in simple language, that’s why it’s quite easy to read it. The author uses many epithets while describing the children’s process of reading the book. Margie writes in her diary about a “real book” with “yellow and crinkly pages”. This epithets show us that the children really have never seen such books with pages before. To describe Tommy’s attitude to Margie the author uses epithets. Tommy looks at Margie with “superior eyes”. Using this stylistic device the author shows us that Tommy thinks him to be cleverer than Margie. The story also contains many hyperboles and similars. Tommy says that “their father knows as much as his teacher”.

But Margie doesn’t believe him, she can’t even imagine that somebody can be as clever as a mechanical teacher. The gradation “large and black and ugly” is used to emphasize that a mechanical teacher is just a robot not a real man. This story, written by I.Asimov makes the reader to think about the teaching process nowadays. If we remember that it was written in the middle of the 20th century, we can say that the details in this story are well chosen. I think that it has a certain purpose – to warn the reader about the possible future problems, because the era of Internet and wide spread of the computers has certain impact on our generation. So, it is for us to decide, which way of education is better.

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