Study Guide

Foundation Part IV, Chapter 3

By Isaac Asimov

Part IV, Chapter 3

  • When Ponyets enters Gorov's room, Gorov is surprised to see the trader. We'll see whether or not it's a good or bad surprise.
  • Ponyets says he's technically there as Gorov's "spiritual advisor," and Gorov approves of the strategy (so, a good surprise).
  • Gorov tells Ponyets the Grand Master wants gold, which is their medium of exchange. (Basically, like asking someone to may you in dollar bills. Seems reasonable.)
  • As a bonus, the Grand Master will keep Gorov alive so long as the promise of gold is in the air.
  • Ponyets has two problems though: (1) Where is he going to find gold? (2) Once he gets out, Gorov is just going to return to Askone to try and sell those nucleics.
  • So, if Gorov is just going to be caught again anyway, doesn't that defeat the purpose of giving the Grand Master his gold?
  • Ponyets wants to know the whole exposition story.
  • Askone helps keep the Foundation safe in the Periphery. But their religion views science and technology as a sin, since their ancestors fought the technology of the Empire when it was still strong.
  • Since the Foundation tech comes with the stigma of religion, trading their tech is a no-go. They're like the Amish of the Periphery, but without the cool beards.
  • The plan is to force the planet to adopt technology by getting a diplomat to accept Foundation tech and then change the law.
  • Once they adopt technology, the Foundation will have a foothold in Askone's society—just like at Anacreon from the last story.
  • Now, it's Ponyets problem. Good luck, mate.