The Cold Equations Questions and Answers

The Cold Equations

In Tom Godwin's science fiction story “The Cold Equations,” a young girl makes the fateful decision to stow away on a spaceship, hoping to visit her brother on a galactic outpost. She doesn't...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2016 8:33 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Cold Equations

Barton and Marilyn are the only characters we meet in the story, but the problem they come to face onboard the spaceship builds up from surrounding problems . The main issue Marilyn deals with...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2017 10:36 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Cold Equations

There are two "cold" equations used and referred to in Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations." The first is the equation used to calculate the exact amount of fuel needed for an Emergency...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2016 3:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

The phrase "The Cold Equations" refers to the calculatons that determine Marilyn's fate. All Marilyn wants is to see her brother, whom she hasn't seen in ten years. She decides, without doing her...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2020 12:19 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Cold Equations

The science fiction story "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin tells of a pilot named Barton who is carrying emergency medical supplies from a starship to colonists on a frontier planet. He is...

Latest answer posted June 22, 2020 5:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

In Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations," Marilyn's goodbye conversation with her brother, Gerry Cross, is at first very tense but softens, giving Marilyn the courage she needs to be ready...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2016 2:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

Barton: Barton is the EDS pilot. He is a compassionate man who is frustrated by the "laws" that circumscribe him. In the story, Barton does everything he can to prolong Marilyn's time on board the...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2018 3:44 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Cold Equations

In Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations," Marilyn's jettison from the ship is inevitable, and Barton has no choice but to do so. To be jettisoned does, indeed, mean to be thrown overboard a...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2016 12:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

The central difference, which of course relates to the title of this chilling short story, is that life in the space frontier is much harsher and crueller than life on earth. Note how the narrator...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2011 7:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

Literal language portrays things as they really are using words that do not vary from their standard definitions. The emergency dispatch pilot describes his ship as “small and collapsible [...]...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2018 3:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

The conflict of Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations" is that because of a mistake, Marilyn has to die, and Barton has to be the one to send her to her death. Set in a more scientifically...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2018 2:52 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

One of the most important literary techniques, also called literary devices, found in Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations" is imagery. Imagery is used to create mental pictures within a...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2016 9:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

This is a tragic story in both mediums. The way that Marilyn has to die because of a foolish mistake and lack of knowledge that could have so easily been averted makes her death both tragic and...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2013 5:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

In Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations," the pilot Barton resolves his internal conflict by doing all he can to save Marilyn while also accepting the fact that one person must die to save...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2016 1:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

Barton, at the beginning of the short story, is presented as a man who is absolutely committed to his job and is able to live by the logic of the cold equations, even when that necessitates him...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2013 5:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

In Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations," Commander Delhart gives commands rather than suggestions just as any commander of a ship or interstellar cruiser would. However, he shows the...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 6:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

In the short story, "The Cold Equations," the unforgiving circumstances of the frontier require that the law governing that society be just as equally unforgiving. Young, naive Marilyn Cross had...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2013 3:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

Brutal as it may sound, I would argue that the pilot's actions are good. He is simply upholding laws and ensuring the safe passage of everyone who was legally on the cargo ship heading for Woden....

Latest answer posted September 3, 2020 10:50 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Cold Equations

It is clear from the opening paragraph that the story opens in a space shuttle in the future: He was not alone. There was nothing to indicate the fact but the white hand of the tine gauge of the...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2010 7:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

Third-person limited point of view creates emotional distance between the characters, particularly the protagonist, and the reader. Emotional distance is inevitably created because, instead of...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2016 8:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

This is an interesting question from the vantage point of our modern sensibilities. Today, we live in the era of vast technological accomplishments. For example, we are experiencing the emergence...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2018 7:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Cold Equations

This may be a story about the future, but the sexual politics are definitely from the 50's, when this story was published. The story's central point is that the laws of nature are immutable and...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2018 11:45 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Cold Equations

Characterization is one of a writer's most important jobs. Characters that act and sound like real people—like people we know or perhaps can identify with ourselves—make a story much more...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2016 9:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

There are a few examples of symbolism in Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations." For example, at the beginning of the story, "the white hand of the tiny gauge" on the narrator's control panel symbolizes...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2019 10:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

One way an author creates suspense is by developing a rising action that leaves the reader uncertain of what's to follow. In his short story "The Cold Equations," author Tom Godwin creates suspense...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2016 10:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

"The Cold Equations" tells the story of a spaceship carrying medical supplies to a colony planet. Within the context of the story's setting, interstellar transport has been streamlined down to the...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2019 10:33 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Cold Equations

In the opening of Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations," the narrator describes the pilot Barton as so used to the sight of men dying in the new frontier that he no longer feels any emotion...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2016 9:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

One important difference this story shows between life on Earth and life in space is that on Earth, there is room to make mistakes and rules are not so harsh. On Earth, people are allowed to try...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2016 11:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

Marilyn wants her family to remember her in a positive light, as someone who has always loved them. She doesn't want her family to remember her with regret. In the story, Marilyn is a stowaway who...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2016 5:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

Tom Godwin offers the story of a lonely teenage girl desperate to see her only sibling. Marilyn decides to travel to her brother, but she is unprepared and ignorant. Although she knows the correct...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2019 6:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

This is a matter of opinion, but personally, the most difficult part for me (assuming you mean emotionally difficult rather than challenging to read) was when the girl says goodbye to her brother....

Latest answer posted June 30, 2016 2:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

In the short story "The Cold Equations," author Tom Godwin draws the very sad and effective comparison between Marilyn, the teenage girl stowaway, and a puppy to describe her guilty face as she...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2016 1:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

Cold Imagery 1. The EDS (emergency dispatch ship) has a sterile environment. The closet door that Marilyn is hiding behind at the story's beginning is white, and Godwin includes makes mention of...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2010 4:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

In the short story "The Cold Equations," author Tom Godwin wants us to believe Marilyn's death was an inevitable sacrifice for the greater good.Godwin depicts the inevitability of Marilyn's death...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2016 8:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

In Tom Godwin's short story "The Cold Equations," pilot Barton's internal conflict does not begin until the stowaway emerges to reveal herself to be a girl. Prior to that moment, there is no...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2016 6:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

The famous science fiction story "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin tells of a naive teenage girl named Marilyn who stows away aboard an EDS, or emergency dispatch ship, sent from a starship to a...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2019 5:54 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Cold Equations

Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations" is a very utilitarian science fiction short story. Utilitarianism is a moral theory that bases right and wrong on the number of people the action benefits or...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 3:35 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Cold Equations

To summarize any work of fiction, in either a paragraph or more, start by identifying in the opening sentence the title of the work, the author, and the central characters. A sample opening...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2016 4:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

In his short story "The Cold Equations," author Tom Godwin uses the image of a tornado in order to create a realistic image to help the reader see that the pilot Barton is embarking on a genuine...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 7:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

As the story begins, immediately after Marilyn is discovered, she is excited. While she may be a bit nervous at being found, she is overcome by excitement to see her older brother, which is the...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2015 4:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

"The Cold Equations" is told from a third person limited point of view. This means that it is not told from the perspective of the man or the girl on the spacecraft; instead, it is told from a...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2015 10:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

The classic science fiction story "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin tells of the pilot of an Emergency Dispatch Ship, or EDS, who discovers a stowaway aboard while he is delivering vital medical...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2019 2:39 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Cold Equations

Early within "The Cold Equations," the story reveals a policy by which any discovered stowaways would be thrown into space. However, the short story proceeds to note that "it was a law not of men's...

Latest answer posted June 10, 2019 11:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

The massive difference between these two characters lies in the way that Marilyn is innocent of the cold equations that make up the brutal and harsh world of interplanetary space travel and her...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2013 5:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

The source of the suspense lies in the tension between the dictates of morality and the demands of the relevant regulations. Barton knows all the regulations chapter and verse. If he's to make his...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2018 5:26 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Cold Equations

Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations" is the story of Marilyn Lee Cross, an eighteen-year-old stowaway on an Emergency Dispatch Ship which is delivering medical supplies to a colony on the galactic...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2018 1:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

The story is indeed full of imagery expressing the "coldness" inherent in the decision to jettison Marilyn into space. Here's an example: “And it won’t come back—but there might be other cruisers,...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2017 1:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

As a literary device, jargon consists of words that are broadly used within an occupation, subject, or business. For example, we have legal jargon, which may consist of stock phrases, definitions,...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2016 6:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

In the short story "The Cold Equations," author Tom Godwin creates a very strong juxtaposition between Earth and outer space. The narrator describes Earth as a happy, peaceful place, where its...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2016 9:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Cold Equations

The problem is solved by ejecting the girl, Marilyn, into space and to her death. The problem is that Marilyn stowed away on a space transport, headed for a planet where her brother is a colonist....

Latest answer posted August 31, 2010 11:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

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