« Call of the Wild | Main | A poetic experience »

February 06, 2006

Something to believe in?

Forester, E. M. The Machine Stops

"O Machine!" she murmured, and caressed her Book, and was comforted.

I'm with you Dena and Erin. I too think that this story is kind of mimicking how lazy our sociey has become today. But I seemed to get something a little different out of this story. I saw more of a religious connotation. From the quote above, even though Vashti said that religion has gone and they don't worship anything anymore, she is definately worshiping something. To me religion is what you believe in when you feel insecure. It's something that is bigger than yourself and you can give yourself to it. That is exactly what Vishta is doing with "the book." The Machine is indeed her god whether she admits it or not.

"They wept for humanity, those two, not for themselves. They could not bear that this should be the end. Ere silence was completed their hearts were opened, and they knew what had been important on the earth. Man, the flower of all flesh, the noblest of all creatures visible, man who had once made god in his image, and had mirrored hisstrength on the constellations, beautiful naked man was dying, strangled in the garments that he had woven."

What I get from this lengthy quote at the end of the story was that they were finally realizing that they couldn't do it on their own. Perhaps that is what Forster was trying to say with this play that thought things that we make may be doing okay for a while, we can't do it on our own and we need to put our strength and beliefs in something bigger, in God.

Posted by AndrewLoNigro at February 6, 2006 11:20 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


It was very religious Andy. Everyone put their faith and hope in this machine. The mother in the story carried the book every where she went. She would not be seen without it. I think they gave up on God and thought that the machine takes better care of them; it is always there for them, they don't need to pray.
I thought this story was a weird mix: machines and religion. WOW!

Posted by: Denamarie Ercolani at February 7, 2006 02:30 PM

I think its rather uncanny that Forster was able to predict alot of the technology we use today. And while we aren't as lazy as the folks in the story... I can certainly see us getting that way.

Posted by: Mike Rubino at February 7, 2006 07:54 PM

I agree, Mike. In my blog I'd written about how even the personal experiences of socializing and going to school are becoming less and less personal through everyone just typing and not actually discussing experiences and dreams face to face.

Posted by: Erin at February 8, 2006 11:01 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?