Analysis Of Tom Godwin's Short Story 'The Cold Equations'

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Tom Godwin’s short story “The Cold Equations” illustrates how one should think of and become accepting of their consequences whether it's deserved or not. The story is about an Emergency Dispatch Ship, also known as an EDS, with the pilot on a mission to give a group of six men who have a fatal fever. The pilot, Barton, during his mission finds a stowaway named Marilyn found in a small closet on the ship. Marilyn was a young girl trying to go to Mimir, for she had a destination waiting and hoped to see her brother who she hasn't seen in 10 years, but little did she know that there was a previously set protocol that determines the life of a stowaway. Barton had sympathy for the girl and did his best to help her by contacting headquarters and asked if there was any way he could spare Marilyn’s life…show more content…
Another example happens when Marilyn learns about the protocol from Barton. “You're going to make me die and I didn't do anything to die for--I didn't do anything--”(4). Marilyn cries about how she hasn't done anything, but in reality she was the one who walked on the ship to see her brother who she would've seen in a year if she waited. Now she could never see him. She walked past the sign that said “UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL KEEP OUT,” absentmindedly not thinking about the true consequences of her actions. The last quote is when she was talking to Barton about the protocol with more intel. “There isn't enough fuel for me to stay; when I hid on this ship I got into something I didn't know about and now I have to pay for it.” Once Marilyn learned that it was either her life or 7 others she decided to sacrifice her life. She became more accepting of the consequence and even said her good-bys. She then willingly walked off the ship knowing she had to. “The Cold Equations” written by Tom Godwin illuminates one should acknowledge and be accepting to their consequences if it was deserved or
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