2001: A Space Odyssey

by: Arthur C. Clarke

Parts Three and Four (Chapters 21–24)

In Chapter 24, Hal starts to exhibit more human characteristics. First, he begins to preface some of his statements with an "electronic throat clearing." In telling Bowman that the AE-35 has malfunctioned again, he begins "Er…" as if he were feeling sheepish in needing to convey the unpleasant news. Further, once the Ae-35 unit fails, Hal seems to require the coddling of a once offended human. First, he reports not simply that the unit failed, but that "the AE-35 unit has failed, as I predicted." Hal seems to be gloating about having made a correct diagnosis, whose accuracy Poole and Bowman questioned. Second, Hal asks Bowman, "is your confidence in me fully restored?" Once again, Hal seems like a person, seeking external validation. These decidedly human quirks are deviations from Hal's expected efficient and emotion-less behavior.