The Machine That Won the War Questions and Answers
by Isaac Asimov

Start Your Free Trial

Who is the protagonist in "The Machine That Won the War" by Isaac Asimov?

Expert Answers info

Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Calvin University

bookM.A. from Dordt University

calendarEducator since 2014

write6,437 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

That is a good question.  After thinking about it for a bit and going back through the story, I do not believe that the story has a single protagonist.  I believe that "The Machine That Won the War" has three protagonists.  They are Lamar Swift, Max Jablonski, and John Henderson. The three men get just about equal page time and speaking parts, and the story focuses on the three men talking about their involvement in the war effort against the Denebians.  As they discuss Multivac, and its problems, the men discover that all three of them were more involved in winning the war than they initially thought.  All three men didn't fully trust Multivac, so each man manipulated either the input, output, or final decision of Multivac by his own intuition.  Consequently, the reader realizes that a machine didn't win the war.  The decisions made by all three of these men together won the war.  Because each man is equally important to the final outcome, I feel that each character deserves the label of protagonist.       

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial