Alan Turing The Enigma Analysis

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Alan Turing: The Enigma is a scientific biography of one of the most brilliant minds in history. Andrew Hodges provides a detailed account of Alan’s life and shows his various contributions to history, mathematics, science etc. It also shows how instead of giving him an exceptional status he was forced to live a horrid life that ultimately led him to commit suicide. Andrew Hodges is a British mathematician, which helped him give a clear insight in Alan Turing’s life and his theories. The book opens up by describing Alan’s life in Britain and his family background. Alan was a very shy boy who had problem socializing with people as he was always too engrossed in work and had a completely different perspective about everything. He was left…show more content…
This is where Turing used the design of his ‘universal machine’ (p.140) to decipher the messages transmitted by Nazis. This breakthrough by the British transformed the entire war, where they were the ones always calculating and deciding which attacks had to be defended whereas the Germans had no idea that the supposedly unsolvable code generated by Enigma had now been broken. Alan Turing not only helped British forces win but also reduced the war duration by approximately 4 years and saved millions of…show more content…
over a long period of time. The book contains hundreds of letters actually written by or sent to Turing to provide the readers with better detail. One of the main themes of the book is how this prodigious man was not given the prominence he deserved because he was a homosexual. Alan Turing had a few affairs with men; in fact he once got engaged to a coworker at Bletchley Park but couldn’t go through with the marriage because of his sexuality. Homosexuals were mistreated by the British government and Alan Turing was brought to court for ‘perverted actions’. “There was no concept of right to sexual expression in Britain in 1952.” (p.596). The treatment to ‘cure’ Turing involved injecting estrogen in his body which caused various health problems and physical disfigurements that finally made him impotent. This period of suffering broke Turing’s patience and he finally committed suicide in 1954 (p.614). Andrew Hodges being a part of the gay liberation himself criticizes the actions taken by the government at that time against homosexuals and provides a clear picture of they were mistreated. However Hodges clearly accepted the fact that Turing committed suicide even though it was a sudden and mysterious death with various theories of accident and murder related to
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