The Machine Stops

The Machine Stops by E.M. Foster was an interesting read.  In a way it foreshadowed the future.  The Machine Stops basically showed the reader the way life will be in the future, especially with the fact that society depends so much on technology.  One today can’t go a day without using some sort of technology, whether it is a cell phone, a television, or a computer.

In The Machine Stops, Foster used a lot of imagery to allow the reader to picture the machine.  This machine that the characters lived in was some sort of underground contraption that shielded the people of the world.  The protagonist of The Machine Stops, Vashti was so consumed with life in her machine that it physically sickened her when trying to leave it.  She even worshiped the machine manual and was in denial whenever her son, Kuno brought her obsession to her attention.  This relates to the world we live in today.  We consume ourselves with technology, and at the rate that technology is advancing, maybe some day in the future we will be living in underground machines like Vashti.

There is a comparison that can be made between the lives of the characters to life today.  In The Machine Stops, people no longer saw the use in traveling to different places and being on earth.  Like E.M Foster explained, if everywhere is the same, what’s the point of traveling?  I personally feel like in todays day and age, people take what we have for granted.  Not enough people go out and see the hidden wonders of the world.  We use the world as our personal garbage can and end up with problems such as Global Warming.  One day we may just end up having to wear masks to walk around on earth and we may get stuck underground and be “isolated” as the characters of The Machine Stops.

The world that the characters of the short story lived in was not much of a Utopia to me.  It can be considered a Utopia to people like Vashti being that she was born into that world where the sun isn’t needed and the earth isn’t important.  Living in the world we live in today and reading The Machine Stops, I could only hope we don’t end up in a world where we are isolated from others and have to talk to our friends and family through a machine.  (Even though we already do that, for example Oovoo and FaceTime)  We use modern technology to ease our lives, so we should focus today on the wonders that are before us, outside of modern technology and learnt o appreciate whats before us.

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