Reading Response #1: The Machine Stops

The story, “Machine Stops”, is set in the future. You can tell by how everything is operated by one thing and that is the Machine. There are a lot of buttons in each room that people live in and so everything literally everything is done by pressing the buttons. Now days things are still operated by humans and few machines. Another reason is that everything was really organized. What I mean is that everything was controlled. For example, how all the rooms in the world were exactly the same and so was every place all the people lived. Everybody lived underground, and everybody was separated neatly, and all floors had the same layout in all places in the world.


A lot of things have been removed. For example, human interaction was no longer a thing they just talked to each other electronically. So, people did not really like each other, they would not even go check on each other even though some of them are next to each other. The two protagonists in this story, Vashti and her son Kuno. Kuno asked his mom to come over to see him and that idea really annoyed her, since people in that age got annoyed easily and human interaction was a huge thing in a negative way. It’s really bad to the point where if you touch someone it will really annoy that person. One big thing that was supposedly removed was religion. This subject, however, is quite ironic. Even though no religion existed people still worshipped the Machine. Everyone had a book, which was about the Machine, and people around the world would go to it to kiss it or caress it when they weren’t feeling well or getting anxious about something and that would make them feel better which is very weird.


When Vashti visited her son, he told her about everything. He told her about the surface world. How he went there to visit and how he was slowly understanding what it means to be a human and not controlled by a machine. This fact angered a lot of people, so he was threatened with “homelessness”. It means you will be removed from your room and that will cause you to die. People who were removed from their room probably did not die because the outer air won’t kill anyone as Kuno found out.


People literally thinks the Machine is a god. It went to the point where they brought back religion just, so they can worship the Machine for all the things it did for them. Which honestly is nothing since people built the machine and they were the ones operating it. That just shows how if we keep relaying on technology to do everything for us we will end up like the people in the story controlled by the Machine. And panic like it is the end of the world when it stops. This story shows that too much reliance on technology will slowly kill us and instead of advancing we will be stepping back a civilization and nothing will be accomplished. Everything will stay the same and humanity will slowly go extinct.

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