“The Machine Stops” Reponse – Allen

In “The Machine Stops”, at first you may think it’s based on a utopian society but in reality, it is a dystopia. This is a science fiction based dystopian story which is primarily centered around this thing called The Machine and the main character Vashti. From what I analyzed, it seems Vashti and perhaps others living in this society have become accustomed to this new way of life of machinery. It seems everything they do relies on the works of these machines such as touching a button to call for food, clothing and even music. Vashti also refers to this “Machine” quite often, as if its a living thing or a higher being of some sort. The beginning of the story gives us a brief summary on what has happened to earth and what “rules” the world now, which is the Machine. People who are living in the Machine might seem happy but people like Vashti’s son Kuno, wants to explore the world outside of the Machine or what they call the surface of the earth. What really intrigues me is this line, “You talk as if a god had made the Machine.”(Forster 2) This really shows the despise Kuno feels for the Machine because in a way he blames it for turning his mother into this machine relying person who can’t do anything without the machine and who is ignorant of the outside world. It really saddens me to see how reliant Vashti is on the machine. In her isolated room in the machine, she has a book called the book of the machine which has instructions on how to deal with any future events that may happen or contingencies. It’s so sad it even tells her what buttons to press and all. After reading throughout the middle part of the story, i start to believe the possibility that the Machine may refer to their god. In page five she quotes, “O Machine O Machine! Thrice she kissed it, thrice inclined her head, thrice she felt the delirium of acquiescence. Her ritual performed.” A normal person would not go this far to worship somebody unless they were some kind of higher being. Another line from the story that I found really fascinating was “So the human passions still blundered up and down in the Machine.(Foster 5)” After reading this line multiple signs, it supported my idea on what this society is really like, a dystopia. This line suggests that human passion was unnecessary and is foolish to consider. Blundered up and down, meant that careless mistakes still existed in the machine. This suggests that in the Machine, mistakes are unrealistic and abnormal. I feel that mistakes are what societies need. Mistakes are how people learn and grow, they learn from what they did wrong and try to improve themselves on being better people. In the middle to the end of the story, it displays some irony. Vashti starts to see the flaws of the Machine and realizes the thing she worshiped so much, was only a step back into despair which separates her, from her son.

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