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Analysis Of Karel Capek 's Rossum 's Universal Robots

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Fearless Robot Labor
In Karel Capek’s Rossum’s Universal Robots, the factory which Helena visits and lives at mass produces robots sold as workers around the world. Originally, old Rossum began experimenting with the artificial creation of a human being in order to uproot and imitate God. The young Rossum then simply wanted to extinguish the need for human workers by creating robots that would completely take over all the work that is necessary to sustain the human race. The robots that he then created do not feel emotions and only exist to work for the humans. The role that labor plays in R.U.R helps distinguish between robots and humans because when the robots work, they are working for no reason other than because they are ordered to do so by humans. Degrading work is not only found in R.U.R, but also in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and when analyzed, it is possible to determine when work is a meaningful human pursuit and when it is merely dehumanizing slavery, based on the purpose behind it and the humanity of the workers.
Throughout Capek’s play, work is viewed as degrading because it has become something that is only done by robots. Humans shouldn’t have to do any work in the world Capek creates because the factory can mass produce human-like robots that can do all the work humans could do but like "A gasoline engine [that] doesn 't need tassels and ornaments” (Capek 9). Busman explains how "a Robot costs only three-quarters of a cent an
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