The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster is a short story that falls under the genre of science fiction. The Machine Stops is set in a machine at the center of the earth where the inhabitants believe is the only form of their existence. The main character Vashti has put all her faith in the machine, like many of her cohabitants. In The Machine Stops the characters blind faith in technology is the cause of the end to their existence.
The characters in the novel placed a lot of value on the machine. To them it was like a religion and in a religion you have faith. In the machine stops the narrator states, “The word “religion” was sedulously avoided, and in theory the machine was still the creation and the implement of man” (19). This statement shows how the characters have blind faith in technology because here is a generation who regards belief in science over religion who however adopts the idea that the machine was still the creation and the implement of man using the absence of science. The characters in the short story show their ignorance and how they may have arrived at such faith. The inhabitants of the machine do not respect originality. In a customary lecture it is stated dated, “First hand ideas do not really exist. They are but the physical impressions produced by love and fear, and on this gross foundation who could erect a philosophy? Let your ideas be second hand, and if possible tenth hand, for then they will be far removing from the disturbing element—direct observation” (18). This shows reference that people on the machine were taught to accept preconceived ideas and notations over their own.
The machine was destroyed because they had faith in the machine alone. They did not seek knowledge of the inner workings or condition of the machine. It was not until it was too late that someone suggested people learn how to manage the system. Placing to much value in technology can be disastrous. In the short story the narrator states, “Beautiful naked man was dying, strangled in the garments that they had woven” (25). This metaphor is beautifully used to explain the damage that man has done own themselves. As a result of men reliance on technology and decline and self-reliance they doomed themselves.
Anyone who reads this short story can take away a lesson. The lesson is that technology should not be the center of your life. Everyone should still concern themselves with knowledge and not let technology take over.