We all have to face difficult decisions in our lives where we have the choice to either do good for ourselves or serve others. In the story “The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin Marilyn is faced with a tough choice to either save her own life or give it up for others to live. Through irony, setting, and character Godwin shows us the value of sacrifice; even if it doesn’t give us ourhappy ending that we hoped for, we can truly make a difference in other people’s lives by going out of our comfort zone.
First Godwin uses dramatic irony to demonstrate the importance of sacrifice. When Marilyn come onto the spacecraft, she had no idea what she would have to do later on. Although while we’re reading the story we can tell she’ll have to die, she thinks all she’ll have to do is pay a small fine.She says “I’m guilty, so what happens to me now? Do I pay a fine, or what?” (Godwin 12) Marilyn clearly had no idea what would happen to her and was not warned about the huge step she would have to make. Through dramatic irony Godwin shows the importance of sacrifice.
Second, Godwin shows the value of sacrifice through setting. Outer space has cruel and harsh laws that are almost impossible to avoid.” It was the law and there could be no appeal” (Godwin 12) In the real world, Marilyn would be able to find a way out of the mess she was in, but here she had a really tough decision. In the end she made the right choice and proved to us that sacrifice is a priority.
Finally Godwin showed the theme of the story through his character Marilyn. Marilyn’s character really shone through the story and portrayed what the truly cared about, and he selfless she was. “She stepped into the air lock and turned to face him, only the pulse in her throat to betray the wild beating of her heart. “I’m ready” she said. (Godwin 27) Even though she had to die, she still came to terms with her death, and did a good thing in the end. She left a lot behind but the biggest thing there was to remember was the sacrifice she made for her family.
In the story “The Cold Equations” Tom Godwin shows us the importance of making sacrifices in our lives. By using irony, we can see throughout the whole story what Marilyn will have to do in the end, while she had no idea what she’ll have to give up. The setting also demonstrates sacrifice through its bitter and cruel laws that are almost impossible to avoid; in the normal world Marilyn would usually find a way out of her situation, but not in space. Marilyn’s character really shone through this story, and showed what she truly cared about and how selfless and willing she was to give up her life in order for others to live. Marilyn’s sacrifice should inspire us to be selfless and willing to give up our comfort in order for other to have theirs.