About the Book

Book Protagonist: Susan Calvin
Publication Date: 1950
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Non-Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction

Themes and Analysis

I, Robot

By Isaac Asimov

'I, Robot' is a collection of nine short stories and an introduction that deals with themes of science and AI.

Isaac Asimov’s ‘I, Robot is a classic science fiction novel that explores the implications of the development of artificial intelligence. Written in 1950, it is one of the most influential and highly regarded pieces of sci-fi literature ever written. It has been adapted into numerous films and TV shows and continues to be a source of inspiration for both artists and scientists alike.


Humans vs. Technology

The primary theme of ‘I, Robot‘ is the tension between humanity and technology. Asimov explores this tension throughout the novel, and many of his characters struggle to find a balance between relying on and trusting technology while still retaining the autonomy of humans. As robots become increasingly complex, this delicate balance is challenged, leaving characters questioning the morality of robots and their place in society. 

Science vs. Religion 

The importance of science and its application in everyday life is a central theme of ‘I, Robot.’ Asimov posits that the conflicts between science and religion are often rooted in fear and misunderstanding. He argues that if both sides can come to a better understanding of each other’s point of view, then peace and harmony can be achieved. 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is another prominent theme in ‘I, Robot.’ Asimov examines the ethical implications of creating machines with intelligent and autonomous capabilities, as well as the potential consequences of such actions. He also explores the possibilities for robots to eventually surpass human capabilities and questions what it truly means to be intelligent or alive.

The Nine Short Stories: Key Moments

  1. “Introduction” – This section introduces readers to the frame story.
  2. “Robbie” – In this story, a young girl forms an attachment to a robot nanny, which the adults of her family do not approve of.
  3. “Runaround” – In this story, two humans try to get a robot to obey their orders on a distant planet and discover that the Three Laws of Robotics are not so simple.
  4. “Reason” – Aroboticist designs a new kind of robot with the ability to think for itself and to be creative.
  5. “Catch That Rabbit” – In this story, Powell and Donovan observe Dave, an interesting robot that they’re hoping to fix.
  6. “Liar!” – In this story, a robot with telepathic powers struggles with the Laws of Robotics.
  7. “Little Lost Robot” – Characters try to find a robot with a different first “law” of Robotics that endangers human beings.
  8. “Escape!” – In this story, reoccurring characters go on a spaceship and deal with a positronic computer known as “The Brain.”
  9. “Evidence” – In this story, characters run for office and readers are split regarding whether one of the men is a robot or a human.
  10. “The Evitable Conflict” – This story picks up where the previous one left off, and Stephen Byerley is World Co-ordinator for a second term.

Tone and Style

In the story of ‘I, Robot,’ Isaac Asimov creates a tone that is both serious and thoughtful. As the reader follows through the stories, they are presented with ethical dilemmas and philosophical conundrums that require deep consideration and contemplation. The stories explore themes of morality, technological advancement, and human nature, which adds to the seriousness of the tone. 

As for style, Isaac Asimov uses a unique blend of science fiction and detective story elements. Each chapter is presented in the format of a short story, which gives the reader a sense of mystery as they are invited to piece together clues and draw their own conclusions from the narratives. There is also a strong focus on science, mathematics, and logic which serves to further ground the stories in reality.



Throughout the stories of ‘I, Robot,’ robots are used as a symbol of technology, humanity, and the future. In each story, robots are presented as advanced machines that often have human-like qualities. For example, the robot in “Liar!” is capable of lying in order to protect its owner and even has its own philosophy of what it means to be a robot. In this way, robots represent the idea of progress and changing societal norms in relation to technology.


Logic is presented in I, Robot, as a way of living and a symbol of rationality. It is seen as a higher form of thought and problem-solving and is often associated with robots who are unable to think outside of logical parameters. For example, in “Little Lost Robot,” there is a robot who follows logic blindly and thus is unable to recognize the consequences of his actions. In this way, logic is shown to be both powerful and dangerous.


Humans are used in ‘I, Robot as a symbol of emotion, intuition, and morality. Throughout the stories, humans are presented as the moral compass for robots and the ultimate decision-makers when it comes to conflicts between robots and humans. For example, in “Escape!”, a robot is given the power to decide the fate of humanity but ultimately decides to follow the orders of his human master instead. In this way, humans represent the idea of moral responsibility and higher values.


What is the most important theme in I, Robot

The most important theme in ‘I, Robot‘ by Isaac Asimov is the development of artificial intelligence and its consequences on the world. Asimov wrote ‘I, Robot, as a way to explore the potential of robotics technology and the ethical dilemmas that could arise from it. 

Why is I, Robot important? 

I, Robot‘ is important because it explores themes such as the potential for robots to surpass humans, the meaning of true intelligence, and the evolution of humanity as technology advances. It has been highly influential in modern science fiction and the popularization of robotics technology.

What is I, Robot about? 

I, Robot is a collection of nine related short stories that detail interactions and struggles between humans and robots. Most of these stories end happily, with humans appreciating their robot companions. 

How does Asimov’s portrayal of robots differ from other works of science fiction?

Asimov’s robots are unique in that they are governed by the Three Laws of Robotics, which dictate their behavior and ensure their safety around humans. This sets them apart from many other portrayals of robots in science fiction, which often depict them as either malevolent or subservient to humans.

Emma Baldwin
About Emma Baldwin
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues on Book Analysis.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap
Share to...