2001 loves strength and skill. Moon-Watcher is awesome because he is smart, and being smart lets him figure out better ways to kill things. Then humans move on up with their gadgets and space ships and take to the stars, and the novel loves describing just how all those nifty ships work—and how smart the people who run them are. Techy details, bureaucratic efficiency, super-smart immortal awesomeness—they all go together. Weaklings need not apply (and even neurotic computers get the ax).
Questions About Strength and Skill
Does the novel celebrate Moon-Watcher's strength when he murders his rival? Or does it have moral qualms about that?
Is Bowman bad at anything? Is he ever less than skillful?
Are the aliens good? Are they just strong? Does the novel make a distinction?
Chew on This
In 2001, to evolve means to become stronger and more skillful.