Study Guide

2001: A Space Odyssey Part 4, Chapter 24

By Arthur C. Clarke

Part 4, Chapter 24

Broken Circuit

  • Hal wakes Bowman up to tell him that there's another busted AE-35 unit.
  • Hal is acting neurotic and weird; he gets sort of defensive when Bowman suggests the problem might be in his processing rather than in the unit.
  • Hal says he can't make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, even supercomputers. As you'll see.
  • Bowman and Poole get in touch with Mission Control, which starts to tell them that the problem is not in the unit, but then the signal goes on the blip.
  • Hal tells them it's the AE-35 circuit causing the problem. Thus proving he was correct. (Hint: he was not.)
  • Bowman tries to recontact earth manually, but the antennae won't stay focused, like something is moving it around. (Hint: it's Hal's fault.)
  • Bowman isn't scared; there are other ways to maintain earth contact. But they're not sure what to do until they know for certain what's wrong with that dang AE-35. (Hint: it's Hal.)