Reading Response

In the text,” The Machine Stops”, there are two different characters named Vashti, Kuno’s mother, and Kuno, Vashti’s son,  that have a different perspective on a way to life. Kuno is more of the direct one where he enjoys someone’s physical company rather than Vashti and how she likes to communicate through a Machine. The author made sure to portray a sensation of separation between them two to show what technology can make of someone.

In the starting point of the text, Kuno requests that Vashti pays a visit to him since he has not seen his own mom for quite some time now. His mom denies the request because she feel as if she should not have to travel to her son and enjoy the physical company, while the ‘Machine’ exists and can just see him through this Machine. As of today,society rely on technological advances to become their 3rd hand which is what is occurring with Vashti and the Machine that is deterring Kuno from seeing his mom in person. Throughout the text, Vashti encounters a problem with having direct experience with others because she never physically talk to anyone in person before. Vashti is shown to be more explicit and Kuno is an implicit type of guy for the simple fact that Vashti have no remorse in telling Kuno she does not care too much for the physical pleasure.

Technology as a whole can change the way people take a look on life due to its features and how society has consumed it to do everything from social to business aspects. It takes away the nature of wanting to spend quality time with someone in person regardless of who they are. It creates a sense of cognitive estrangement between people after a while. The author stated,” You talk as if a god had made the Machine.” cried the other. “ I believe that you pray to it when you are unhappy. Men made it, do not forget that. Great men, but men. The Machine is much, but it is not everything”( The Machine Stops, page 2). The author is illustrating Kuno’ s frustration with Vashti’s obsession with the Machine and believes that this Machine is a technological advancement that came from God. Kuno wants his mom to understand that depending on technology to do everything for her will not last for too long. The best form of communication is to meet and the only way them two can meet is if Vashti boards the Airship.

Towards the middle of the story, Kuno’s mother finally takes the chance to go meet with her son and gets on the Airship with other passengers she never met. Vashti realized once she arrived to Kuno’s room that she should have came to see her son sooner when she was notified as to why it was so important that she come see him. Kuno was facing homelessness due to him going to the ‘Outside’ which is the surface of Earth. All he wanted to do was see what is life like on the outside of his world where people do not know what it is like outside of the dark world. That is exactly where cognitive estrangement comes into place in the text.


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