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  • Broken Base: Is the story itself misogynistic, or is the reader not supposed to agree with Edison on his views? Ewald actually calls him out on his sexist views, and it is made clear that Edison doesn't know everything (He is a scientist in a story featuring magic, and has only just started to learn about Psychic Powers.) and this ignorance could extend to his views on gender. Then there is Ewald's relationship with Hadaly, which really only starts working out once he starts to realise that she is sentient. In other words, when he starts treating her as an actual person with feelings, wants and desires, and not just a possession which is only there to look pretty.
  • Designated Hero: Thomas Edison. He might mean well, but the plot still hinges on him spying on people, recording them without their knowledge and lying to his employees in order to commit identity theft. He also comes off as rather sexist and being a bit too casual about killing people, and he is not exactly humble about how smart he is, either. It's telling that, while Metropolis takes some inspiration from this story, Edison's counterpart is turned into an antagonist and becomes an outright villain.
    • There is also some Fridge Logic regarding his friendship with Sowana. He does pity her for going broke and being forced to beg for money to support herself and her children, but Edison is not only said to be quite rich, he is also her boss. You'd think that he would be able to help her by, say, raising her salary. Especially since she is such an important part of his current big experiment.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Even if you don't think the story itself is that sexist, it still carries the message that it is okay to steal somebody's identity if you are nicer than them.
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    • This might be the reason for why most later uses of the Robot Me trope either turn the androids into villains, or have them work with/for the people they were based on.
  • Fridge Brilliance: One of the authors whose writings Edison intends to teach Hadaly is E. T. A. Hoffmann, who - among other things - wrote The Sandman, a short story featuring a Robot Girl whom most people tend to avoid because of the unnatural ways she moves and talks. No wonder Edison wants to make sure that Hadaly can pass as human without any problems. It might even be an intentional nod by the author if he was inspired by that story, (which is plausible, as they have pretty similar Robotic Reveals towards the end.)
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Chapter 23 is pretty heartwarming the first time you read it. Ewald has gotten together with Hadaly, having been convinced that she is sentient. This belief has been vindicated by her creator Edison, whom Hadaly has invited to come and visit them at some point in the future. Hadaly is then deactivated and put into a coffin to be transported to Ewald's home. She never makes it, as she pretty much dies in her sleep on her way there, making this her last conscious moment.
    Hadaly's last words: "My friend, after the crossing, you will awaken me. Until then as of old, we will see each other in the world of dreams."
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Mary Stilwell - Edison's first wife - died of a disease note  after Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam started writing the book but before it was published. This puts Edison's goal of creating a woman who "will not know life or sickness or death" into a whole new light.
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    • Most of the book becomes this once you reread it and realise that Hadaly will die before she even has time to move in with Ewald.
    • Edison thinks that the advancements in technology will soon lead to world peace, but Ewald doesn't believe him, saying that that is "just a dream." The story seems to side with Edison here, as it generally carries the message that dreams can and should be fulfilled, but considering that, in Real Life, technology has made wars far more destructive than they were when this story was written, it seems like Ewald was right all along.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A brilliant scientist known as "Professor X" who uses PsychicPowers and has an interest in people with superhuman abilities, inviting them to his house so that they can develop them in secret?
    • It's mentioned that Ewald has a hard time seeing Hadaly as anything but a person in a suit of armour. In hindsight this becomes a pretty funny Leaning on the Fourth Wall joke, as this is exactly what many movie robots really are.
    • Edison says that he gave Hadaly a limited moveset partially because he considers "a woman who gesticulates a great deal" to be "an insufferable creature." This story was adapted into a newspaper serial in 1926, the same year as the screenplay for Metropolis, which features Futura, a very hammy Robot Girl who does gesticulate a great deal. And he would be perfectly justified in hating her, considering that she tricked a thousand workers into helping her cause a massive blackout, destroy their homes and almost kill their children.
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    • Right before Alicia - the woman Hadaly will be modelled after - arrives, Edison says "Here she comes." "Here she comes" also happens to be a Bonnie Tyler song originally written as Futura's Leitmotif for Giorgio Moroder's special edition of Metropolis.
    • Ewald is said to have gotten "a new hope" when Edison tells him that he has a solution to his relationship problems, later revealed to be Hadaly. Futura - who was probably inspired by Hadaly - went on to inspired C-3PO, who made his debut in a movie with that very title.
    • The irony that this fictionalised version of Thomas Edison did everything he could to avert The Uncanny Valley when he created Hadaly while the real Thomas Edison fell head first into that trope when he made his own talking dolls is either this or Harsher in Hindsight.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Thomas Edison. He is morally ambiguous at best, but it's still hard to not feel bad for him at the end when he finds out that Sowana, Hadaly and Alicia are all dead and that all the time he spent working on his andraiad had been wasted.
    • Ewald could also count. He gets into conflicts with almost everybody he talks to, and sometimes thinks about killing people, but he is suffering from suicidal depression.
  • What an Idiot!: Ewald notices that Alicia is acting strangely. (That is, being unusually nice to him.) He knows that Edison is fine with the idea of conning people and that he has finished building Hadaly, a robot who looks exactly like Alicia, is much nicer than her, and has been said to be a Master Actor. He is currently with "Alicia" because she wanted to talk with him in private, which is exactly what Hadaly told him that she wanted to do in a letter he received earlier the same day.
    You'd Expect: Ewald to put two and two together and realise that he is talking to Hadaly. (Even she is surprised that this doesn't happen.)
    Instead: Ewald starts theorising that Edison has either used Mind Manipulation to make her that way, (Not entirely unlikely, but it would - at least as far as he is awarenote - be pointless for Edison to even create a robot if he could do that.) or that she is just in a good mood because it's a nice evening. Hadaly pretty much has to tell him who she is for him to get it, at which point he is totally shocked.note 
  • The Woobie: Sowana/Hadaly. Her husband cheats on her, wastes all of his money and commits suicide, throwing her and her children into poverty and forcing her beg for money to survive. She then contracts a disease which takes a toll on her body. However, Sowana uses her newfound Psychic Powers to turn Edison's andraiad Hadaly into a self-aware Soul Jar, with all of her "feelings, speech, and powers of reasoning." Hadaly approaches Lord Ewald in an attempt to comfort him, but gets rejected as he considers her to be Just a Machine, which makes her walk away crying. Ewald does finally fall for her, but Sowana's disease kills her right afterwards, and her artificial body is destroyed - likely by being burned alive - when the ship she is on sinks.
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