The Caves of Steel Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is one thing that may be difficult for Lije in working with the robot?

2. How do they determine if Lije is healthy?

3. In what field did Roj Nemennuh Sarton specialize?

4. What is Enderby's response about Daneel?

5. What do the robot and Lije encounter on the way to Lije's home?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does R. Daneel disprove Lije's theory and is Enderby's response appropriate?

2. What possible theme is already apparent in this first chapter?

3. How do you think Lije feels about bringing home a robot who is his professional partner?

4. What is the process Lije has to go through to enter Spacetown and does this seem an invasion of privacy?

5. How and why is light regulated in the City's artificial environment?

6. How has Lije's knowledge of robotics grown enough that he is able to use that knowledge to get Daneel's cooperation?

7. What is Lije subjected to again as he enters Spacetown?

8. What is the unexpected result of Lije's accusations about R. Daneel?

9. How does Dr. Fastolfe explain the Spacers's paranoia about contact with Earthmen?

10. How do you think Lije's prejudice towards robots hinders his murder investigation?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

There are a number of interesting questions raised by this book. Questions that most likely Asimov wanted the readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the author's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Asimov's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of examples in the book where it is obvious that human society is more strictly regulated and structured in the time of THE CAVES OF STEEL than at the present time in the United States. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the way the world of THE CAVES OF STEEL is structured and regulated. Evaluate its effectiveness and its problems.

2. Compare/contrast the society in which Lije lives versus an average American today.

3. Are there countries that are as tightly controlled in the "real" world as that in THE CAVES OF STEEL? Compare the two.

Essay Topic 3

When Daneel shares the information that gamma radiation can kill him, Lije is surprised. No Earthman is aware of this because Spacetown does not want humans knowing a robot's vulnerabilities, especially because of their plans for infiltration. Daneel only tells Lije because they are partners and believes it is necessary to know each others' strengths and weaknesses. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think R. Daneel is capable of feeling trust (and/or mistrust)? Why or why not.

2. Is it wise of R. Daneel to reveal a serious weakness to a human, especially one who has a wife who is hostile to robots.

3. What can R. Daneel gain by revealing this weakness? Is R. Daneel capable of knowing intuitively that he needs to offer his trust to Lije?

4. Is it possible that R. Daneel is becoming more than what he was created to do? Is this one of the dangers of artificial intelligence?

(see the answer keys)

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