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Trurl’s Machine

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 798
  • Category: Machine

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Stanisław Lem (staˈɲiswaf lɛm) was a Polish science fiction, philosophical and satirical writer. His books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. He is perhaps best known as the author of Solaris, which has twice been made into a feature film. In 1976, Theodore Sturgeon claimed that Lem was the most widely read science-fiction writer in the world.

His works explore philosophical themes; speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of mutual communication and understanding, despair about human limitations and humankind’s place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books. Translations of his works are difficult and multiple translated versions of his works exist.

Lem became truly productive after 1956, when the de-Stalinization period led to the “Polish October”, when Poland experienced an increase in freedom of speech. Between 1956 and 1968, Lem authored 17 books. His works were widely translated abroad (although mostly in the Eastern Bloc countries). In 1957 he published his first non-fiction, philosophical book, Dialogi (Dialogues), one of his two most famous philosophical texts along with Summa Technologiae (1964). The Summa is notable for being a unique analysis of prospective social, cybernetic, and biological advances. In this work, Lem discusses philosophical implications of technologies that were completely in the realm of science fiction then, but are gaining importance today—like, for instance, virtual reality and nanotechnology. Over the next few decades, he published many books, both science fiction and philosophical/futurological, although from the 1980s onwards he tended to concentrate on philosophical texts and essays.

He gained international fame for The Cyberiad, a series of humorous short stories from a mechanical universe ruled by robots, first published in English in 1974. His best-known novels include Solaris (1961), His Master’s Voice (Głos pana, 1968), and the late Fiasco (Fiasko, 1987), expressing most strongly his major theme of the futility of mankind’s attempts to comprehend the truly alien. Solaris was made into a film in 1972 by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky and won a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972; in 2002, Steven Soderbergh directed a Hollywood remake starring George Clooney.(less) Characters :

* He is a constructor who built an eight-story thinking machine. * He is so disappointed that his machine can’t answer his mathematical questions. Klapaucius
* He is a constructor like Trurl.
* He tries to convince Trurl to exhibit his machine, because for sure people would flock to the stupidest thinking machine that ever was.

Trurl’s machine
* It is the most stupid thinking machine.
* A machine that is sensitive, dense, stubborn but quick to take offense.

Setting :

It happened once upon a time in Trurl’s town. In this place Trul made a machine, the stupidest one. The machine can’t answer Trurl’s mathematical questions correctly. Trurl is so disappointed with his machine so even though he was warned by the machine, he kept on kicking it. Because of this his town was destroyed and buried the finest town citizens.

Point of View :

Stanislaw Lem, an ex-Communist member, had many complaints about the order in which the Communist party operated. In his short story, Trurl’s Machine, Lem satirizes Communist control over thought. He employs setting, symbolism, and character to create a subtle, yet powerful blow against attempts to control the masses. The combination of these three tools forms a humorous and insightful read.

Omniscient :

Lem uses a lot of symbolism. The Machine symbolizes the Communist party and its drive to have power over the human race. Trurl symbolizes the common man and his fight to stay independent and free. His friend, Klapaucius, symbolizes the follower of Communism, who will accept what is given to him if it avoids a confrontation. When the machine asks Trurl what two and two makes, Klapaucius promptly replies, Two and two is seven, nice machine!´ completely ignoring the fundamental fact that two and two is actually four. Even the cave symbolizes how trapped a person can be if they areforced to comply to things that they do not believe in. Plot :

In the beginning, the machine declares that 2+2=7. When it meets resistance in the form of Trurl and Klapaucius, who mock it, the machine becomes angered and escapes its foundations in order to chase its tormentors. Here the tormentors become the oppressed. The machine goes on a rampage; it destroys the town that Klapaucius and Trurl hide in and continues to chase them up the mountain. In its anger, the machine causes too much collateral damage and ends up destroying itself.


Trurl’s Machine successfully portrays the struggle of oppressed people against those who would censor their beliefs.

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