“The Star” is a science fiction short story written by H.G. Wells. It portrays to its readers a realistic event that could happen in our future of planetary collisions and the catastrophic disaster that would be left in its wake. It is interesting as to the way that Wells portrays the humans in his story as oblivious and ignorant.
When there is news of Neptune going to collide with the white star, people are ecstatic, excited, and enthusiastic of the event. There are shouts and talks all over the world and many did so “jestingly.” The whole world seems to participate in a grand festival as they marvel the approaching star. They seem oblivious to the effects and dangers of the collision. Instead of worrying, humans make themselves the audience ignorant of the fact that they are a part of the play. It makes one wonder if it is human nature to remain ignorant to impending threats until it is too late. People are experts and display true professionalism at making excuses, lies, and looking at the “brighter” and sweeter side despite the poison and danger that lurks beneath.
This nature is reflected in Forster’s “The Machine Stops,” as the humans do not realize the extend of the problem that the Machine has cause. The keen and sharpness once portrayed in humans have been dulled due to their over-reliance on the Machine. There have been warnings and signs of the Machine stopping, but the people just played it off as temporary. Steps and precautions could have been taken, but humans remain content in their make-believe world. It is not until they are faced with the consequences, the death of the Machine that they realize their mistake.
Wells’ characters’ nature is paralleled again in our own society. In our society, the impending threat of global warming and environmental issues are becoming increasingly visible, yet nothing is done to try and fix this problem. The vast majority, the “nine human beings out of ten [are] still busy at their common occupations.” The water is still left running while people brush their teeth and the light remaining on despite having no one in the room are all examples of our continual ignorance. People may have acknowledge the problem, but they distant themselves and makes excuses like “It is not immediate,” “There is still time,” and “It has nothing to do with me.” What is considered immediate? Is it until the consequences hit us at full force considered immediate? By the time that people realize it, there is no time left and now it has everything to do with you.
Humans, at least the vast majority of humans, are all lazy and self-centered. As long as things do not concern or benefit them, they make no move. People cannot be content with their life as is, we need to take precautions for the future impending threats. The older generations may have a harder time to change, but children need to be taught the importance of the double “A”s, awareness and action.