The Fun They Had chapter is a fiction story written by Isaac Asimov, an American writer. The Fun They Had summary highlights the conversation between two students Margie and Tommy, who are living in the year 2157. They have found a real paperback book with wrinkled and old pages and became surprised to see that there were real books in the past. They got curious about the past and how students study, and how were the schools in the past? Surprisingly, the book was of Tommy's grandfather where he mentioned about his school and childhood memories. The book and the thoughts of schools in the past and the feeling that all the students from different areas got collected at a place where they studied, played, and took lunch together, fascinated them.
They realised that technology changed everything around them, and they are missing the fun that their grandparents used to have in their childhood. They compare their virtual classroom with old physical schools and how technology has dominated all over the world. The idea of all students going to work together made them excited. They were lost in thought "The Fun They Had".
Margie and Tommy were two friends. Margie was an eleven-year-old girl who hasn't read many books in her lifetime while Tommy was thirteen years old boy who has read a few. Margie wrote in her diary in 2157 that Tommy found a real book. Actually, they do not have books with paperback, and they have to study on screens where words keep on moving. So when Tommy found a real book on the rooftop, it amazed them. The book was full of dirt and was crushed and wrinkled with yellowish pages. They were so curious to know about the book that Tommy even didn't bother to look at the book. He was busy reading it and by chance, the book was about school. Their curiosity increased even more, and they wanted to unfold all the secrets of the past. Although Margie hated her school, she couldn't understand what's there to write about a school and that too in the whole book. They arrived at the fact that the book belongs to their grandfather. Tommy didn't like the idea of having books printed as if once you read the thing, you have to throw it away. Margie too did agree.
After reading the book, Margie and Tommy came to know about the schools of the past. The schools in the old times were buildings where students from so many areas visited and studied, played and took lunch together. It was so fun. They all were taught the same thing and given the same homework so they could help each other in doing it. The books too were printed, and a human teacher taught them, unlike the robots who teach everything to Tommy and Margie on the computer screen.
The school in which they are studying today is next to their bedrooms, and they have to study on screens where words keep on moving. Robots teach them, and a County inspector visited to check the robots whenever they were functioning. They have no real friends or classmates as each child is taught according to his abilities differently as per their wisdom level.
Students were taught by human teachers in the past. Margie couldn't imagine that even a human teacher can teach them. She loved it that all the students moved to the same building where they could enjoy while her school is next to her bedroom only and without any fun. All the homework she gets, she has to do it alone without taking any help from others. Their books have moving words, but the books in the past had still words that amazed them because they have never seemed still words. However, this was futile according to them because once the book is read, it has to be thrown. Even the idea of having a strange man to teach them also seemed to be awkward for them. Tommy was understanding, and he asked Margie not to underestimate a human teacher. Margie couldn't think of a human teacher who even had emotions, to teach the students. The old book was a kind of summary of The Fun They Had in past time schools.
Summary of the chapter The Fun They Had aimed at the technological development that is taking place today. We are not much far from the schools and life of Margie and Tommy. The technology is growing at such a fast pace that we will not even be much surprised if we have robot teachers. The story shows how technology has overcome every aspect of the future.
Q1. What is the Theme of the Story “The Fun They Had”?
Ans: The theme of the story “The Fun They Had” is transformation by technology. The whole story focuses on two eras: One is Digital Era in which Tommy and Margie live and the other is the Normal Era, about which they learned through their grandparent’s diary. Both the eras are completely different from each other and in the story “The Fun They Had”, the author has compared them. The story gave us the glimpse of our future where everything will be replaced by technology and people won’t be able to go to physical schools as we do now because in future, there will be an only virtual classroom where robots will teach everything and people will not have many friends as everything will be done on computers.
Q2. What was found by Tommy and what was incredible about that Thing?
Ans: In the story “The Fun They Had”, Tommy found the old diary of his grandparent in which he has mentioned about his childhood and his school. Margie and Tommy found the description of old school and school life incredible because in the era they live, they don’t have such kind of schools. Margie and Tommy go to the virtual school every day on their computer screen, which is next to their bedrooms and there they are taught by robots. While in Diary, they learn about physical schools, where all the students meet their friends daily. These schools were comprised of real buildings and human teachers used to teach all the things to the students. This is what Tommy and Margie miss in their era and by reading all the experience, they think about the fun their grandparents had in their era.