Short Story: The Machine That Won The War

1084 Words5 Pages
"Short story". What a wonderful phrase! A short story is one of my favorite things: a story that is short! Suspense, climax, and resolution all packaged into one bite-sized blip. But did you realize that a lot of short stories can be similar? Differences in setting, place, and time can throw you off, but if you dig deep enough you might find that two very different stories might even be what I like to call "parallel opposites." Even a story set in the past can tie itself to a story set in the future by having the same points but different resolutions, and that is what I hope to show you right now. The first story I am going to compare is 'The Machine that Won the War ', by Isaac Asimov. This story is about the aftermath of a war. We see three men looking upon a great computer called Multivac. Lamar Swift, John Henderson, and Max Jablonsky are seeking a calm place to think and talk. Each had a part to play in the war, and, now that it is won, Henderson has guilt to get off his shoulders. Multivac relies upon human input, but the data Henderson was receiving from the generals was drastically skewed. Each leader wanted to make themselves look good, and to fix this Henderson tampered with the data. He messed with the numbers until they looked right, and for this he feels ashamed. Until Swift admits he did not rely on the data from the great Multivac, and instead used an older machine to decide what to do. He flipped a coin to make the great decisions. 'The Machine that Won
Open Document