How does Roald Dahl portray obsession and dedication themes in "The Sound Machine"?

Quick answer:

The themes of obsession and dedication are depicted in "The Sound Machine" through the actions of Klausner, who spends hours fine-tuning his hearing machine, then becomes singularly focused on listening to sounds of flowers and trees that are inaudible to the human ear, and finally insists that the doctor put iodine on a hurt and sobbing tree.

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This story focuses on the obsession and dedication of a character named Klausner, who has invented a machine that can pick up sounds not normally audible to the human ear.

Dahl shows Klausner's obsession and dedication through the amount of time he spends working on the machine. For example, early in the story he checks each wire carefully, spending about an "hour" on this task. He speaks with great interest to the doctor about it. When he thinks he hears a rose that is being cut scream through the machine's headphones, he hurriedly goes to his neighbor, Mrs. Saunders, to demand she cut another rose, so obsessed that he pays no attention to the crazy way he comes across to her. Later, he shows his dedication to his experiment as he listens to the sounds daisies make when he picks them.

His obsession and dedication come out most fully at the end, when he realizes a tree is sobbing in pain. He has the doctor, who can't sew the tree together, apply iodine to the cuts in its trunk.

While obsessed, Klausner also shows he is humane. Particularly with the tree, when he finds out it is in pain, he does what he can to alleviate its suffering.

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