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February 11, 2007

The Narrator is the Machine!!!

Forster, ''The Machine Stops'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"She replied that she could scarcely spare time for a visit" (1).

"She told him to continue" (7).

I selected these two very short lines because I found the summarized dialogue very interesting. Each time Vashti's words were just simply summarized instead of quoted directly shows how distant she is from her son and how little she cares about what he has to say because it is against the Machine and the accepted way of life. It really struck me because each time her dialogue was summarized it made me feel frustrated that we weren't getting her exact words when I thought I should have been. But, receiving the words as they were filtered through the narrator is like the words being filtered through the Machine in the story. Forster's use of indirect dialogue is incredibly effective.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 11, 2007 9:11 AM


I didn't really have a problem with Vashti's words being summarized. However, looking back now, I do realize that her direct words were held from us. I really wish they weren't. I also found the concept of parenting fascinating in the story. I was really intrigued by the line,"'Parents duties of,' said the book of the Machine, cease at the moment of birth." It's understandable being that everything is so impersonal. But could you imagine your parents being like that? I definately couldn't.

Posted by: Chera Pupi at February 11, 2007 6:51 PM

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