Epicac Analysis

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Analysis of EPICAC
A short story written by Kurt Vonnegut
The short story EPICAC is written by Kurt Vonnegut. It is a fictional text about a very intelligent and expensive computer, EPICAC, built by Dr. Ormand Von Kleigstadt to solve complex worldly problems. The narrator works with EPICAC on the night shift along with another mathematician; Pat Kilgallen, whom the narrator wishes to marry, but because of his lack of romance and poetic skills she keeps turning him down. That is how one day the narrator “invents” a number-for-letters code explaining his real problem in life to EPICAC. EPICAC recognizes the code and answers to it. The narrator wins Pat’s hand in marriage because of the poetry EPICAC has written to her, but because the
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5, lines 10-11)
That is when the narrator realizes how grateful he is that EPICAC was his friend - and maybe that is why the story tributes EPICAC so beautifully.
The language used in the story is informal and there is no use of complex syntax or difficult vocabulary - in fact it is quite the opposite. With swearwords like hell and a use of irony and sarcasm between the narrator and Pat, the language and tone causes a sense of a relaxed relationship between the characters and adds a humoristic side to the otherwise almost sad story about EPICAC’s lost love and unrealistic dream.
Furthermore the tone helps to create a certain relationship, in particular between Pat and the narrator, and the reader obtains insight and knowledge about the different dreams of the two of them.

My first impulse when I finished reading the short-story was “what is the difference between man and machine really?” and that is why I believe there is a certain purpose with the story; to make the reader reflect on whether the narrator deserves Pat’s love more than EPICAC does. Ergo could the message be something about where development and technology are headed and furthermore to what extent love can be explained. Exactly because the narrator had to trick and lie his way out of his conversation with EPICAC and by that justify why he deserved her, it makes you wonder; how come just telling the truth wasn’t enough?
To sum up, I

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