Nover Review Essay on Friday by Robert A Heinlein
In the novel Friday by Robert A. Heinlein he introduces us to a protagonist that is an artificial human named Friday. This novel shows the corruption from the government through the protagonist. It showcases the corruption being done to Friday. Through the obstacles Friday endures she introduces us to self-reliance. The barriers life throws her gives her the strength to continue fighting.
It is arduous to have self-reliance in a world where artificial people can’t express nor be themselves. Through Friday the readers can see a glimpse of freedom and self-reliance. By her actions and tools she utilizes her power and strength to be able to protect herself and come off as a heroine. The novel shows the adventures of Friday by portraying a genetic engineered human. She is physically and mentally superior from ordinary people, but she deals with low self-esteem. Due to her identity she has complications with her identity. This book explores themes that often recur in other works of Robert A. Heinlein: freedom, self-reliance, and polyamory. Through this story, Friday is seen as a sex symbol and anyone/everyone who meets her is wanting to have sex with her. Friday is an artificial person who works as a delivery person all over the world or close to Earth colonies. She often contains confidential information. Her trips are usually dangerous which leads her to use her physical skills. In comparison to the regular human on Earth it shows empowerment.
Friday is an artificial person (AP) is seen as a heroine, "a test tube trial baby." She is created by an egg from an unknown individual (woman). Which is what artificial persons say about their creation, "My mother was a test tube – my father was a knife!" (Heinlein 42) This signifies what molded her during her upbringing and the intensity of it. There was an aggressive hatred towards artificial persons. Friday found that the bigotry of haters was something that wasn’t true in any way, which she began to fight against. Friday is seen as a battle messenger and was proud of her record of completing each mission she accepted. As stated in the novel, "My dear, you must cure yourself utterly of all fear, guilt, and shame. I think you have rooted out self-pity" (Heinlein 263) It was stated by Boss who adopted her. Although she was not liked by society and was portrayed as not good enough by the way she looked. She surrounded herself with people who enhanced and helped mentally grow such as Boss. Even though she lacked self-confidence; her self-reliance came from her inner self. After a mission that ended poorly, Friday goes on holiday. While she is trying to savor it many elements of the world clash and turmoil breaks out. A list of murders and attacks comes out and lead to a political situation which makes it complicated to travel. Friday faces many problems even to find her boss. During the novel, he is more negative than before about the world situation.
Friday ends up forging papers and all traces of her birth have been taken off by her boss so she can travel. Friday and other characters encounter disagreements through prejudice against artificial persons. She comes out as a self-reliant individual by empowering herself through reassuring herself she is enough. Although society tells her otherwise. When she states, "People who are busy and happy don't write diaries; they are too busy living." (Heinlein 363) This indicates her state of mind and how she portrays life itself. This shows a glimpse of how badly she wanted to live her own authentic life and was struggling.
In the world depicted on Friday, provides many states with power. On some occasions it’s pointed out that the real power is held by some mega-corporations. Many of his novels, Robert A. Heinlein describes possible revolutions against non-democratic governments. In this case, he points out that it’s problematic to make war. In fact, in this case, the identity of those responsible for the killings and the chaos only indicates that they got away with them. In the novel Friday if AP are not satisfied with their life on Earth they can emigrate to one of the colonized planets. They must be careful in choosing well their destination. The laws in the various colonies are very different and have negative sides; each of them aren't advertised. Friday is also able to store enormous amounts of data, which is why the Boss chooses her to become the World's Greatest Authority. Friday also occupies great strength, speed, and skills. All these things are vital to her job as a courier for Systems Enterprises and beyond. A few people know that Friday is an artificial person; but it is kept secret. Many people do not approve of the work done by geneticists. While APs can feel some emotions they aren't seen as humans.
Friday is an interesting, particular novel. It shows empowerment and self-reliance through Friday by accepting her duties and lifestyle. She embraces her gain of power and knowledge. Throughout the novel we observe the ability Friday contains and the amount of power/strength she has in her. Many questioned if she contained any emotions by not being fully human but through it all she is seen as superwoman in many occasions. She gained pain by not being accepted in a world she has been helping/fighting for. Especially knowing she was only wanted because of her skills and strengths she provided to people and their companies.
As stated in the novel, "When I was younger, I thought I could change this world. Now I no longer think so but for emotional reasons I must keep on fighting a holding action." (Heinlein 241) This exemplifies the foundation Friday was following. This was said by the Boss which had plenty of influence on her since he was someone who saved her in many occasions. Self-reliance not only means independence Friday has and portrays throughout the novel. She also uses her own powers and sources rather than ask anyone else for help besides her Boss. The barriers life threw her gave her the strength to continue fighting even when she saw important people die and paying others by having sex with them. She encountered many situations where she is used for people's personal benefits. Although she was a sex symbol to many she showed self-reliance by empowering herself. Even though she had imperfections and had no acceptance because she wan an artificial human, she triumphed through it all.
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