The Fun They Had

The Fun They Had Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What appeals to Margie about the schools from a century ago?

    The narrator communicates very clearly that "Margie hate[s] school." The reasons for this hatred have less to do with the education itself than with the mechanization of learning that is the standard in 2155. For example, the narrator notes that Margie doesn't think the lessons themselves are "so bad," but rather that she hates the mechanical teacher's slot where she uses a punch code to enter her homework and tests. When Margie learns about an era when education existed without this rote use of technology, she is excited. Most importantly, she envisions the education of centuries past as being a home for a community of students—kids all her age, playing together—unlike the lone room where Margie undertakes her education all by herself.

  2. 2

    What is the role of irony in "The Fun They Had"?

    Irony is the central literary device of "The Fun They Had," and it functions in multiple ways. First, Margie imagines the children of centuries past had a lot of fun in school. Of course, today's readers will all understand that this is not universally true. But from Margie's perspective, school would be much more fun than being homeschooled by a mechanical teacher. Second, Asimov uses irony to examine technology with a critical eye. In his era, just as in our own today, technology is seen as a way to enact a better life. Yet for Margie, technology has failed to deliver on its promise, at least in education.

  3. 3

    What picture of the future does "The Fun They Had" paint?

    Told from the eyes of an eleven-year-old, "The Fun They Had" depicts a future made boring and lonely by the use of technology. Margie wishes she could socialize with other children in a schoolhouse, but instead is relegated to a room within her own home to study alone every day. Students in 2155 like Margie have much less human interaction and are even taught by a robotic teacher. In this sense, the future depicted in this text is a bleak one.