The Machine Stops, Reading Post

I must say this was actually my favorite story so far. I think in part mostly because it’s something that you may even imagine happening to the world. We live in a world were technology is advancing quite rapidly every day. I compared the story a lot to our society today. The first part that caught my attention was “A faint blue light shot across it, darkening to purple, and presently she could see the image of her son,” (pg.1 Forster). This reminds me of the technology we have today in which we are allowed to FaceTime using our smartphones. We can speak to whoever we want to whenever using this technology which resembles the round plate Vashti uses in the story to communicate. Vashti would be considered the protagonist in this story.
In this story the machine is considered something that does everything for everyone. You have access to a whole bunch of buttons for almost everything you can possibly think of doing. In the story Vashtis son Kuno says “I believe that you pray to it when you are unhappy. Men made it do not forget that.” (Pg.2 Forster). Kuno believes his mom sees the machine as a god, someone she worships, and something that gives her happiness. As well as like in today’s world we have people that use their smartphones everyday and almost consider it their life. I compare it a little bit to religion where as some people consider the bible a holy book that they abide by and like in the story it says “By her side, on the little reading-desk, was a survival from the ages of litter — one book. This was the Book of the Machine.” (Pg.4 Forster). This book is considered something sacred in which Vashti believes in blindly. She considers this book the answer to all her questions. As some people would feel like with the bible.
I also compared the story to a book I’ve read in the past. It reminded me of The Giver when it said “Parents, duties of,” said the book of the Machine, ”cease at the moment of birth. P.422327483.” (Pg.6 Forster). It reminded of The Giver because it was a bit similar to the birth givers in the book. They were just there to give birth to the children so they never had to take any responsibility for the child because the child would be chosen a parent. One part I didn’t understand was in the story it says “When Vashti swerved away from the sunbeams with a cry, she behaved barbarically — she put out her hand to steady her.“How dare you!” exclaimed the passenger. “You forget yourself!” The woman was confused, and apologized for not having let her fall. People never touched one another. The custom had become obsolete, owing to the Machine.” (Pg 8-9 Forster). I wasn’t sure of who fell and who touched who. I know that no one is allowed to touch anybody but I was confused as to who the characters were.
I also didn’t understand to much of the end of the story. When the machine starts to end. In the story it says “They are hiding in the mist and the ferns until our civilization stops. To-day they are the Homeless — to-morrow—” “Oh, to-morrow — some fool will start the Machine again, to-morrow.” “Never,” said Kuno, “never. Humanity has learnt its lesson.” (Pg 25 Forster). What I didn’t get was are there currently people living on earth. Did someone shut the machine off because if it states the someone has to turn it on then I’m guessing someone has to turn it off. It also states that humanity has learnt it’s lesson but aren’t all of those humans dying and if they are then who’s left to know this lesson. It was confusing towards the end but overall a good read. I definitely enjoyed it.

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