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One is One and All Alone

Synopsis

“One is One and All Alone” by Nicholas Fisk is a science fiction story, set in 2045.  The main character is Trish, an 11-year old girl who is the only child on a spaceship to Trion. Her father is the Executive Officer of the spaceship and her mother is in Trion helping to set up a space station.  She will only meet her mother in mid January 2047.After three months, she feels lonely and bored as she does not have any real friends to talk to except her private, multi-functional diary: the Voice Printer (VP). VP is an intelligent computer which keeps Trish entertained with its ability to perform many functions. Through her dialogue sessions with VP, Trish learns about clones and the cloning process. The idea of cloning fascinates Trish and she soon decides to create a clone to keep her company in the spaceship Bio lab without her father’s knowledge. She names her new identical twin “Clo” and initially it becomes her perfect friend and companion.  They have fun playing and sharing their time together. However, certain mannerism of Clo begins to irritate Trish as the clone behaves and thinks like her.  Soon they start to argue and disagree with each other over trivial matters. The last straw happens one night when Clo starts referring to Trish’s mum as her mum and this upsets Trish as she feels her privacy is being invaded. The next day, Trish opens up her diary and confides in VP that she does not like to be “swamped, invaded and taken over.”  At that instant, she decides to dispose off Clo forever through the “DISPOSAL” hatch near her cabin. The story ends with a twist when it is Trish who is disposed by Clo. Clo then assumes Trish’s identity and Trish’s dad is not aware of the change at all. Clo then enjoys being “one is one and all alone” and her new lease of life as Trish in the spaceship.

                                                                                                

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in One is One and All Alone

 

Characters

Trish

Main character 11 years old; the only child on the spaceship heading towards Trion. Lonely and bored. Misses personal interactions with her parents as her Dad is busy with his work and Mum is away. Relies on the Voice Printer (VP) for companionship and information. Intelligent: she masters the cloning technology and created a clone of herself. Short sighted as her cloning plan backfires. Clo becomes a nuisance to her. Clo in turn gets rid of Trish through the Disposal Hatch instead.

Clo

Identical twin created by Trish in the Bio lab using cloning technology. Trish’s friend and companion before she ‘got sick’ of her. Quick thinking as she out manoeuvres. Trish and gets rid of her creator. Cautious, as she assumes Trish’s identity at the end of the story.

Trish’s dad

Executive Officer of the spaceship. Busy and preoccupied with work as the captain of the spaceship. Tries to spend time with Trish, his daughter at the diner; indulging her with chocolate milkshakes. Does not realise that Trish has been replaced by Clo at the end of the story.

                                           

                               

                               

                                                

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2011 in One is One and All Alone

 

Settings

SOCIAL SETTING

PHYSICAL SETTING: SPACESHIP

Time: The story takes place in a spaceship which is in orbit in 2045 and will only reach its destination, Trion, in 2 year’s time. 

Period: The era of space exploration and advancement in computer technology enable human cloning to become a reality.

 Corridor:  The passageways that run along the length of the spaceship. 

Toilet/loo: Situated down the corridor where Trish and Clo accidentally saw themselves face to face.

 Diner: Venue where Trish and her dad spend their time together having chocolate milkshakes.

 Cabin: Trish’s personal living cubicle which is equipped with an intelligent computer called VoicePrinter (VP).

 Biolab: A biology lab where ‘Clo’ was cloned.

 Store: A room where basic necessities like toothbrushes, towels, etc are stored.

 Disposal System: 5 disposal hatches around the spaceship where unwanted things are disposed off into infinite space.

 

                                                                   

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2011 in One is One and All Alone

 

Themes

Cloning

Trish clones herself in order to have a companion during her lonely days in the spaceship.  However, her utopian plan backfires and in the end Trish is disposed off by ‘Clo’ and her place taken over by ‘Clo’

 Friendship and companionship.

Being the only child on a spaceship with both her parents unable to spend time with her, Trish longs for friendship and companionship. The Voice Printer cannot provide all her needs and she resorts to cloning to ‘make another Me’ so that she can have a friend and companion of her own age.

 Loneliness

Despite having the latest technology around her, Trish feels “sick of computer images and sounds”.  She wishes for someone to talk to, a companion to share her feelings and emotions. She longs for someone of her own age.

                                                        

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in One is One and All Alone

 

Literary Devices

Point of View

The story is told in the first person point of view.  The first person narration enables the writer to vividly describe the actions and emotions of the characters in the short story.  The readers have access to the thoughts and emotions of the main character, Trish, and later, Clo, after she murders Trish.

 Style

A simple science fiction written as diary entries, in the form of dialogues.  The diary entries allow us to get closer to the main character and her thoughts through simple and straightforward writing.

Repetition

“I’m sick  of Me.  I’m sick  of being the only child on the ship.  I’m sick of computer

images and sounds” (p. 44)

 “ When Clo has nothing to do, it’s always pick, pick,pick ” (p.48)

 Trish repeats the word “sick” to emphasise her disappointment and frustration of being the only child on board the spaceship.  She repeats the word “pick” to show her disgust of Clo’s irrirating picking habit.

 Imagery

“Rolling bits of skin around a fingernail.”  and “They writhe and fiddle all the time.” 

 (p. 48-49 – Para 1 – Line 6-8)

One can visualise what Clo is doing with her fingernails.  One may find this an irritating habit.  This obviously annoys Trish.  However, looking at her age and her ability to understand, she fails to realise that Clo is just a mirror image of herself since they are both duplicates. By reprimanding Clo, she is indirectly reprimanding herself as she has the exact same habit.  In fact, Clo points out,

“Look – do you mind? Stop picking at yourself

 Irony

“I can’t stand the way Clo’s mind works.  I can’t stand Clo’s corny jokes, and her dismal sulks.  I can’t stand Clo’s laugh or eating habits or her finger picking” 

 (p. 52 – Para 2 – Line 2-4)The irony of the situation above is, Trish finds Clo’s habits irritating and it begins to irk her. However, she fails to see that Clo’s habits are just a reflection of her own habits.  Clo is her exact replica.  Hence, Clo’s corny jokes, sulks, laughter and eating habits, the very things she can’t stand, are the things that she does herself.  This is truly ironic.  Trish may have created a clone but her immaturity in understanding this, brought about her own downfall.

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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in One is One and All Alone

 
 
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