The Machine Stops Essay

Topics: Control / Pages: 4 (992 words) / Published: Nov 11th, 2013
Technological advances in today’s world have come to such an extent that people have now begun relying on it for essential needs. The Machine Stops is a short story by E.M. Forster that warns us of a possibility of a world that is dominated by a machine. The story is set in the distant future when humans are forced out of the surface of the Earth and depend on a machine housed underneath the surface for their every need; food, communication, housing etc. In return, this dependence has allowed mankind to be controlled by the machine. Finally, the machine becomes the law or the religion for most people living in it. E.M. Forster uses characters, symbolism setting and irony to explain the importance of our over reliance on technology and what the consequences might be.

Vashti, one of the main characters in the story, is totally reliant on this machine, a controlling body that meets every need and wants to satisfy everyone living in it. It provides 'everything' from music to a bed to sleep in, all without leaving the comforts of their own armchair. The author shows this to us when he says that Vashti had a bath, talked again, and “summoned her bed”. The author uses Vashti as an example of what the rest of society is like and gives the viewer better insight showing how reliant most humans are under this machine. It is through this over reliance that she begins to worship the machine “O Machine! And raised the volume to her lips; thrice she kissed it”. Forster also uses capitalization to emphasize how the Machine is given an almost omnipotent status in society and is considered almost as a God. However, Kuno, Vashti's son, is an exception and is not content with living on the machine. He wants to experience life for himself and see her 'face-to-face'.” I want to see you not through the Machine”. However, it is when the Machine does stop that Vashti realizes she and the rest of humanity are doomed and that their blind reliance on a mere machine has caused their own

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