Geneva, Switzerland

Victor Frankenstein's home town, where he left for university and returned a few years later after creating his creature. 

Capital of the European Region in Asimov's "The Evitable Conflict".


Latitude: 46.183633727510
Longitude: -353.847656250000

Timeline of Events Associated with Geneva, Switzerland

Date Event Manage

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley 1818


Initially, the novel begins with a captain who wishes to be the first to go to the North Pole. However during such pursuit, he stumbles upon Victor Frankenstein, who, when asked how he got to such a place, begins to tell his tale as he speaks on his childhood and curiosity with science. He then goes on to explain how he went to an university with his best friend, Henry, where he pursues the same knowledge he learned from the books he read when he was young. It is here does he first gets the idea to build his creature. He explains he has done so successfully, yet terrified by his creation, and ran away back to Geneva to continue his life.

From that point on, the creature, saddened due to his abandonment and constant beratement, pursued Victor and his family in order to learn why his master and creator has made him only to abandon him. The creature first attacks and kills William, Victor’s brother, which he plants on Justine leading to her death. This causes Victor to confront him. It is then that the creature tells his tale, and threatens Victor to make him a companion, or he will be with Victor on his wedding night. Victor complies only for a moment before he is madden about wasting his time, and destroys his project before he even finishes. With that, he goes to marry his fiance, Elizabeth, and as predicted, he is visited by the creature who kills his wife. The novel then comes full circle back to the beginning as The Captain now knows Victor and the creature are pursuing each other across the North pole. Victor then dies, and the captain watches as the creature cries over his body.


Frankenstein’s monster was inorganically created using human body parts, making him primitive form of Artificial Intelligence. Frankenstein “worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body” (Shelley, 35). He created life where life seemingly could not be created, and was so horrified by his creation that he abandoned it and fled. The scientific assembly of his body makes the creature “artificial,” and the creature was created in such a way that gives him the capacity to imitate and gain intelligence. Like modern day representations of A.I., Frankenstein’s monster learns through observation and imitation. When the creature is hiding, he observes the occupants of the neighboring cottage through a crack in the wall. He notices they communicate through language, and mimics their mouths and the sounds, developing an understanding of their language and a means to communicate. Frankenstein’s monster is not human, but it closely resembles humans: it is beautifully built yet terribly ugly. Because of its horribly close resemblance to humans, its flaws reveal problems of our human society.


Fear itself can distance the human from numerous negative associations that are actually exclusively connected to humanness. Frankenstein’s creature is a monster; “monster” in itself is a word that seems to lie on the opposite of human, the human’s enemy by design. Yet, the creature’s origins lie in the human desire to create; his teachings in morals strictly coming from the way humans around him treat him and themselves. Even the pieces that make up his physical composition are human body parts. Yet he is the ‘unknown’ or must remain that way to in order to stop the real fear of self-reflection amongst society and the questioning what humanness actually is. That is to say, it can be seen as quite a human trait to be affected by corruptive environments; to manipulate and lie much like the creature did for Justine when he framed her for William's death. To seek revenge for mistreatment and abandonment. This is true fear: to see monstrous traits as human. 


Frankenstein, Mary Shelley 1818


-Hannah and Kayla

Jun 1950

Isaac Asimov, "The Evitable Conflict"

This science fiction short story was first published in Astounding Science Fiction, a popular science fiction magazine. It was later published as the final story in Asimov's short story collection 'I, Robot'. 


The story is set in the year 2052 when the world's economic system is governed by super-intelligent robots referred to as the Machines. They have created an idyllic society free from evils such as unemployment, over-production, and war. However, World Co-ordinater Steven Byerley (from previous story "Evidence") is concerned about a few aberrations he has noticed in the smooth functioning of the world's economy. The Regional Vice Co-ordinators of the four Planetary Regions tell him about odd events such as people losing their jobs due to improper information from the Machines. Byerley finds connections between the issues and the Society for Humanity, an anti-Machine organization, who he then suspects is responsible for tampering with the Machines. He seeks counsel from expert robopsychologist Susan Calvin who explains to him that the positronic brains of the Machines ensure that they follow the First Law of Robotics, "No Machine may harm humanity; or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm." She explains that the Machines are causing economic disturbances so that they can remove threats, such as members of the Society for Humanity, from positions of power, so that they cannot harm the Machines themselves and by extension the human race, sacrificing individuals for the good of humanity.

Major Theme:

In a world where governance has been handed over to the superintelligent positronic brains of the Machines, the theme of human control, or lack there of, is very prominent. A Vice Co-ordinator even mentions that he thinks of his position as primarily administrative, as the Machines are in charge of everything. The story concludes with the idea that the Machines are programmed to make decisions in the best interests of humanity as a whole and individual humans have no say in the matter. The story expresses anxiety over the lack of human control, with decisions about humanity's future being made by robots that are so advanced that humans can no longer even understand how they function. However, Asimov also presents the lack of human control as a constant feature throughout history and the development of machine superintelligence as a natural progression of mankind. The tension between these two perspectives is ever-present throughout the story.

Cover, Isaac Asimov's I, Robot Cover, Isaac Asimov's I, Robot