The Star Blog

“The Star” written by H.G. Wells recounts the story of a comet approaching earth and the way people react to this impending danger that they dent really realize is actually a danger to them yet. What I found interesting in this story is the way it takes on  a completely opposite approach to that of “The Machine Stops”. Whereas in this tale people are renouncing a more scientific approach to understanding there dilemma and ridiculing the mathathmation for his understanding in ” The Machine Stops” they renounce the idea of more spiritual thinking and in both cases this sort of thinking leads to both populations demise. 

I find it interesting how in both of these tales isolation in one form or another plays a key role in the way they experience problems. In this story the beginning tells us how isolating the solar system can be and because of this it brings with it ignorance of what lays beyond the solar system. “Few people without a training in science can realise the huge isolation of the solar system.” (page 1 Wells). The very begging of the second paragraph alone tries to make us comprehend how even as we are surrounded by planets and people we as humans are still alone. The bleakness of the sentiment illustrates how even as the entirety of the human race was dealing with the same issues they were still alone in their predicament without anyone to really help them face this obstacle. Even as this monumental issue is fast approaching it still isolation amongst people as a whole. Rather then coming together and understanding the issue at hand people divide themselves and ridiculed those among them that shared an opinion or some insight. “The master mathematician’s grim warnings were treated by many as so much mere elaborate self-advertisement…So, too, barbarism and savagery, already tired of the novelty, went about they’re nightly business”(page 5 Wells). Even as the impending danger approaches the people in this narrative lose respect for the novelty and continue there lives as if nothing strange is occurring. 

Overall I didn’t really understand the point of the story at hand. Even though you get the sense of a dividing humanity in the tale it isn’t really expressed as a detrimental factor to the story. Yes, the stars approaching rapidly but there isn’t much that can be done about it. The issues at hand are inevitable and with it no further development is presented amongst the few characters. I feel like the story in a lot of ways was pointless because even with the problem they presented with no real solutions the people just kind of had to deal with what was happening to them. Even the Martians offered little elevation to the story as to what could possibly be the meaning as to why this occurred. The story overall felt more like a shrug of shoulders were this is whats happening and thats about. I find that the story is very irritating especially in the beginning because you don’t really get the sense of whats happening or even where. 

2 thoughts on “The Star Blog

  1. Vishal Naraine

    I agree with you, Karen. In “The Star” by H.G. Wells, humanity has proper reaction to the comet that is approaching Earth. Unlike in “The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forster, humanity loses all hope when the Machine stops working. Both texts have different plots but I think that the message is the same, doom is inevitable. In your second paragraph you state, “Rather then coming together and understanding the issue at hand people divide themselves and ridiculed those among them that shared an opinion or some insight”. I think that humanity did not realize that how huge of a situation it clearly was. Wells describes the ‘Star’ as this huge entity that outshines all the other stars and transforms night into the second day. It is odd, that humanity would turn away from what the mathematician is saying. Again, no one took heed of the mathematician because humanity thought of the ‘Star’ as no big deal. But in the end, it turned out to be an enormous problem.


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