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Human Is A Window on the Universe Themes

Human Is

  • Lester is described as a machine when he is working; complete opposite to Jill, who is emotional – Lester can’t stand anything that interferes with his work
  • Lester has no emotion, like a robot: he doesn’t understand Gus’s childish imagining of his cat as a tiger
  • Unlike a robot, though, he is actively cruel (e.g. teasing Gus by suggesting that they see the animals in the laboratory, and laughing at Jill when she wants to come on holiday with him)
  • Clues when Lester comes back that he isn’t himself: different personality and doesn’t know things about his life
  • Jill’s emotion allows her to become blind about Lester’s change: she likes his new personality, and he even says Gus can live with them – requires some coldness and distance to recognise the dangers of what has happened (Frank)
  • Jill has to be “without emotion” to cope with the enormity of what has happened, and then the emotional connection to her new, happier life means that she allows the dangerous alien to remain on earth
  • Questions about what it means to be human: the alien seems more human than the real Lester; is it more human to make people happy and be kind?

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