2018-06-12 07:15:49 UTC
A robot wakes up after a war that seems to have killed everyone and everything. Shortly meets another robot survivor who at first seems to be either an enemy or crazy or an idiot.
-spoilers beyond this point-
-really, dumping the entire plot-
The story is really about prejudice about stereotypically male vs female outlooks, or science vs art, etc.
It's told from the pov of the "male" robot, and shows "him" at first distrusting this new robot he meets because it doesn't behave in ways that make any sense to him, seems to have lied to him, and then he discovers it didn't lie, but instead must be an idiot.
While the reader recognizes the new robot is neither irrational nor insincere nor idiot, but is simply different from the pov robot. Specifically, in many of the same ways that females are (stereotypically anyway) different from males.
She behaves strangely (from his pov) because she is simply different from him. For instance if she is out in the open, he can only guess it's some kind of bait for a trap, but there is no trap or anything, she just doesn't think like he does. He thought she lied to him because she claimed to be trapped when she wasn't. Then he discovers she wasn't lying, and decides she was instead an idiot, because she *was* actually "trapped" in her hidy hole after all, but only because she simply couldn't figure out how the simple mechanical latch on her door worked.
Meanwhile he's having some sort of mental problems dealing with the situation they are in and is losing grip with reality and reason. She ends up being as intelligent as he, and having skills that are as valuable as his, but which are entirely different from his. She ends up helping him regain control of himself and not go crazy and die.
And the end of the story is him recognizing all of this. Holy cow, someone could be different from me and yet be as rational and as valid as me, and in fact I am ignorant of things that other people are knowledgeable and skilled at, and I may need those other things from them the same way they need what I'm good at from me.
I read it as pretty much an Aesops Fable for males to respect females, or for engineers to respect artists, or for warriors to respect philosophers, etc. And I think pretty much only in that one direction. I don't remember the female/nurse/psychologist robot ever having scorn for the male/warrior/mechanic robot, or having to grow and learn in order to overcome any prejudice about the male robot. The story is pretty much the male robot starting out with this prejudice, or more accurately merely ignorance, and losing it.