2001: A Space Odyssey Summary
Stanley Kubrick

Everything you need to understand or teach 2001 by Stanley Kubrick.

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey Summary & Study Guide
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2001: A Space Odyssey Summary

Early in its making, Clarke had said, "If this film can be completely understood, then we have failed," and his third law of science fiction states, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Yet the novel explains a good deal of the climactic transformation. The transcendence of the novel, much more than that of the film or of Childhood's End (1953), remains within an explicable science.

The themes of the novel share this ambivalence. Like the film the novel concerns aggression, but Moon-Watcher does not learn target practice, only to kill. Several times sighting involves either a telescope or a radio antenna; the monolith on the Moon is centered, both in Tycho and in its magnetic field.

Thus the novel suggests that aggression and communication function together, each incomplete without the other. Society arises from their fusion.

A major theme, therefore, as in Childhood's End and The City...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The 2001: A Space Odyssey Study Pack contains:

2001 Short Guide