What does Tom Godwin's title "The Cold Equations" refer to? What details from the story make you think this?

The "cold equations" referred to in Tom Godwin's title are the calculations which confirm that the ship Stardust cannot accommodate any extra weight, and that, in accordance with laws pertaining to EDS stowaways, Marilyn, who just wanted to see her brother, must be jettisoned.

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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 homework, to sneak onto a cargo ship bound for the frontier planet Woden, where her brother lives. What Marilyn doesn't know, thanks to her lack of research, is that interstellar law states that all stowaways will be thrown overboard because there isn't enough fuel to accommodate any extra weight. Marilyn is acting under the mistaken impression that if caught, she will merely have to pay a fine.

Unfortunately, the "fine" she will pay is her life. This is due to the cold, clinical equations which calculate the amount of fuel required to reach Woden and the corresponding carrying capacity of the vessel upon which she has illegally boarded.

A distinction must be made between the "cold" nature of the decision making that leads to Marilyn's death and cruelty. The action of jettisoning Marilyn, while...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 964 words.)

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