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The Machine Stops

The Machine by E.M. Forster is a story that I didn't understand entirely the first time that I read it over, and thats partly because of the manner in which it was told. We are only given a few bits of exposition and then a jump right into the mechanistic world of the future. I wasn't sure quite how to take it all in. It wasn't like it was the first time I had read a sci-fi/future story. (Dr.Wendland Popular Fiction) But for some reason I just didn't like this variation of the genre. I tend to be more enthralled by CyberPunk like Johnny Pneumonic.

Initially I thought that the idea of an air-shp was reffering to a blimp but apparently it was a type of air plane that came up from under the earth's surface. (Go Figure) The language in these types of stories is always so unique as well with examples such as 'Pneumatic Post.' The idea that 'the beds were of the same dimension all over the world' indicates that unity and conformity are valued in this society more so than any type of individuality. There is a concept of suffiecency that is brought about...it suggests that if you have good enough of a solution then there is no need to strive for/pursue a better one.

In the story, art becomes representative of what is real in the world. The only hunger of Vashti is for music. She lives for the machine and music. Because the machine is viewed as a God to these people, when it stops working that is representative of the crucifiction of Jesus Christ. Another allusion to Christianity is the Machine's manual or book. It is signifigant in the sense that it is like the Bible for these people. The idea was also brought up that Isolation equalled a loss of transcendent values. To those that did not conform to the ways of the machine, they were viewed as having become un-mechanical and in the same regard un-Christian/immoral.

The Machine Stops ASN.

Other important ideas:
Eugenics

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 3, 2005 3:50 AM.

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