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Living in a Material World

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

" It was naked, humanity seemed naked, and all thses tubes and buttons and machineries neither came into the world with us, nor will they follow us out, nor do they matter supremely while we are here."

This quote struck me when I read it because it made me think of our desire to own "things" in today's world. We are defined now a days by how much we have, and most times we're driven because of the things that we want, whether its a new car or house. But really all these things mean nothing, when we die we can't take them with us. We were born into this world not needing them, so why are material things so important?


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Comments (3)


This is a very good point. Why do our material possesions mean so much to us, when in the end they are of no value to us at all? But then again, I don't hate having a house, a car, and clothes to wear. I'm not going to turn down a birthday present because I can't keep it forever. It really does make you think about what is important.

I think the material comes into play through humanity's need to escape itself - similar to what the machine caused people to do - escape each other through their own technology.
That is why the material matters more to some than to others - not necessarily because the people who value the material are not in touch with humanity, but because the values all around them are also deteriorating, so they need something to cling to.

Mike Poiarkoff:

I think you're right on with humanity's need to escape itself. Today's society is obsessed with change, and since we can't change what we were born with, we strive to change the material world. Humanity obsesses itself with technology and possesions to escape the monotany of a normal life.

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