Constant state of despair.

This was a really good read. I’m not on the “OMG DIS WAZ AMAZING” boat. It was more like calm “this was pretty good” reaction. I think the reason for that was because everything was not over the top. There was a somber tone throughout the book. Even when Deckard went for the final kill it was calm. Well more like he was calm. “He let Roy Baty fire once: he held his own fire until the laser beam had passed by him as he twisted out of the way.” This stood out to me because even though everything he went though, all the garbage he had to put up through. He was still able to remain calm and get the job done.  I guess the trap that Roy planned did not work on him. I kinda saw this coming, why else would he mention it.

I love how seamless Deckard and Isidor switch places. When they finally came face to face, it was quick and effortless. It made me understand that the person is not the important factor in that equation. Its more whats behind the scene. This was immediately shown when Deckard saw a physical manifestation of Wilbur Mercer. Even after it was discovered Mecersim was all a fake, Deckard slowly became the chicken head. We see Deckard slow fall into madness after finishing his mission still not felling any satisfaction. Or it could be he was having withdrawal since no one was feeling emphatic towards him. His constant attempt to talk to his superiors looking for that “You did good son”. “If I could just talk to Dace, he thought, I’d be alright”(pg. 232) is an indication of this.

Allow me if i can step back for a moment to mention how much of a horrible person Rachael is. When she was first introduced, I immediately had a bad taste in my mouth. When ever tries to swindle you, whats to stop them from doing it again. We are also told that this is not the first time the Rosen Association has done this. They have purposefully gone out on many occasions to stop bounty hunters from continue to hunt. I don’t clearly know what their purpose was but from what I understand Rachael knew the lose andys. Could be she was working together with them, or the Rosen Association just wanted to stop the hunting of their units all together.

What caught me off guard was in the middle of chapter 20 I paused to hop off the train. That whole walk home I felt pointless and sad. It wasn’t until i finished reading the book that I pulled my self out of that. Somehow my mind felt like I was Rick Deckard. Philip K. Dick did an excellent job immersing me into this world making me feel and think how this world works. By starting off with the introduction to this dark world. To even helping my understand that this world is not easy by crating happiness and instantly destroying it. It help me understand that this world is not a pleasant one. The future is not all dandelions and gum drops. Things can get a little scary but somehow there is a silver lining.

More Feels. More to consider.

It’s challenging to not encompass the rest of the novel in my post. After reading the whole thing I feel the need to talk about all of it, especially my thoughts about the story’s conclusion. Regardless of that, there is no shortage of things to talk about in the span of ten chapters. If I do however mention some things that go past chapter fifteen, then I do apologize in advance.

Unlike the previous chapters, these following ones seem to pick up the pace. The setting has already been described; less focus is dedicated to giving the reader a visualization of the world. Deckard the main protagonist has a clear objective, and the route to that objective is clearly defined. The objective being the elimination of the remaining six androids. In retrospect its easy to remember the course of events as each chapter is either Deckard working towards that final objective, or an aside third perspective on Isidore’s interactions with androids. More on Isidore below. As his pertinence to the story, among other characters, is something I questioned my entire read.

Such a simple and clear cut plot on the surface can ,and is , literally summed up on the back of the book; Joe-Shmo hunts rouge androids in a futuristic society. The real treat here is the interactions Deckard and Isidore makes with the androids. How through the course of the narrative, they are ultimately changed in some significant way, at it’s conclusion.

Deckard at the end of chapter Fifteen had to buy a goat to alleviate the stress incurred from his latest android ‘retired’, and his wounded ego from his experience with Phil Resch (p.170). I find two things interesting with this development. First is that he had ‘acquired’ an animal in exchange for the money he made killing a sentient being. Especially after killing Luba Luft, I’m sure Deckard had some internal conflict about buying that goat. Secondly, the repeated use of the term ‘retire’ in reference to ‘killing’ an android, seems a bit forced as to dehumanize androids. I think it would be kind of funny had the author used ‘end’ instead of ‘retire’, especially by today’s connotations of the phrase ‘end you’. We can clearly see where Deckard’s ’empathy’ for androids of the fairer sex is leading him(p183). I’m sure Resch had a hand in this respect (p143), however Deckard already admitted to having an attraction to female androids before his encounter with Resch(p95).

Isidore’s journey through the novel is some what of an enigma to me. I’m unsure of his importance, if any, in this story. My main understanding of Isidore is that he is the author’s tool to convey certain ideas. What those ideas are, can be up to debate. From my perspective, Isidore embodies the prospect of accepting androids as equals. This can be evidenced in that Isidore considers androids, humans, and animals equally alive and deserving of some measure of respect (p72,77). His character’s social standing in the story, mirrors societies perspective on androids. I find it intriguing that the author chose to embody such a concept, in a mentally deficient mutant.

However a lofty of a position in the narrative that may be, the execution of his tale is a lot less poignant. Most of his scenes with the exception for his introductory chapter, is him interacting or reflecting on artificial life.

I’d like to think that I was pretty spot on in my assumption that empathy, or at least the concept of it, is the central topic trying to be conveyed in this novel. When I say empathy I’m condensing the questions I’ve asked or implied in my previous post: What is it? What is it to Humans vs. Androids? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having it?

These are the questions I’ve gleaned from the story; as trying to either answer or bring it to peoples attention. In terms of what it is? I think the widely accepted definition of “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” explains it adequately enough. However, in this story you are constantly asking: “can a machine do this”?

If empathy as Deckard explains it in chapter three, boils down to a mechanism for beings of higher intelligence to better cooperate with one another. How does that explain the situation of the three remaining Androids? Actually, the original eight from Mars, since they had to band together to carryout their plan of escape. I constantly asked whether they felt camaraderie and ’empathy’ towards one another, in the latter chapters. Their bond could be described as something derived from a need to survive or better their situation in life. However, that line of thinking conflicts with the actions of Garland, Luba Luft, and Pokolov who chose to integrate themselves into Human society. Especially in the case of Luba Luft, who appreciated human art and music. She also showed a deep understanding of human vs. android psychology, stating “there is something very strange and touching about humans” (133).

In closing I’d like to leave everyone with some extra food for thought:

In regards to empathy, could we reference pack mentality viewed in animals? When I mention pack mentality, naturally many people would think of wolves or other predatory animals. However in many cases, especially with herbivores and omnivores, animals tend to gravitate to creating groups. Why? I’d suspect for an increased survivability, but is there something more at work? I’d like to pose that perhaps the P.K. Dick specifically killed off animal populations in this narrative to symbolize the death of the ‘natural’ empathy animals display towards one another.

Lastly, I’ve been thinking that interaction between humans over the internet, and there interactions between androids and humans in the story bear some resemblance. Over the internet it can be observed that people communicating through text show a large gap in terms of accountability. What I mean is that people act differently when interacting over a great distance rather than face to face. Often times that leads to a lack of ’empathy’ towards others over the internet. Text language is very neutral, almost devoid of emotion. This makes it hard to decipher the intentions of the other party. Can this lack of accountability be seen in the androids of the story? Perhaps the androids are considered to have no accountability for the emotions of others, android or human.

Are we being fed andy propaganda? Tune into the Buster Friendly show to find out.

Although the story has really picked up plot-wise, I feel that there is not much to add to the ideas I previously expressed in my last post. Instead, most of these chapters contained good evidence I can use to support my ideas. For example, in my lost post I emphasized the language Dick uses to express the symbolism of the animals, and on pg 168, when Deckard is in the animal shop, the salesman says (about the goat), “…And it has a FREE, NATURAL SOUL which no cage can chain up”, this is further evidence of the animals symbolizing the need to feel independent; the need feel both in control of ones self, as well as unable to be controlled by others. There are also more uses of synthetic-like adjectives being used to describe the humans in the book, something I predicted would occur continuously through the book. So, what I want to focus on in this post are three things that specifically caught my eye and drew my attention despite not quite being a deep analysis of the overall themes of the book.

The first thing that really caught my attention was the scene in which Resch shot at Luft, resulting in Deckard having to put down Luft (pg134). Although this is just a scene that serves to further prove that Dick’s goal with this book was to make us to question what defines being human and, what defines being alive? I particularly like this scene for its amazing imagery. Dick wrote the character, Luft, in such a human way by making her a singer, then he shows her appreciating a piece of art. Music and art, such human things, such individual things; each person having their own specific combination of likes and dislikes for both. Then to see Resch, a human, just shoot her so coldly, it was shocking to say the least. As I read I could hear Lufts’s screams of agony. This was just a powerful scene that makes the reader empathize with the andys, as well as question who truly is the human in that situation.

The second thing I want to address was a beautiful, quick, subtle touch in the writing on pg 170. “They entered the elevator together and they moved nearer to GOD“, how, just how did I miss this!? Dick put the animals on the roof for a reason, and I feel so stupid for not realizing it earlier. The animals in the book symbolize certain human elements, but what is on the biggest things used to define what a human should be, as well as being a human exclusive experience: RELIGION! Because the animals represent human elements, Dick, brilliantly and subtly placed these animals on the highest location to represent the spirituality that humans have clung on to for centuries now. Humans use religion to define their lives, to give it a meaning, and to express a certain importance and superiority to that of their surroundings. Specifically, in the christian religions humans are defined by having a soul, something an andy could never obtain, for they were not made by god; therefore, the humans can segregate themselves from the andys and definitively define themselves as a superior being by having souls. Additionally, taking the specials into account, in our society there is a controversy that those who are mentally challenged do not posses souls; they are not completely human. That is why in the books they are considered low life forms.

Lastly, I want to touch upon the Buster Friendly Show. This show is always airing, and in multiple scenes in the book it is on the background, but the importance of this show has made itself visible on pg 74. Isidore begins to question how exactly the Buster Friendly Show is always able to be on the air, yet never repeat itself, always staying fresh. BUSTER AND AMANDA ARE ANDYS! WHAT? MIND BLOWN! This raises so many questions of which I don’t how to respond to. Is it known by the government that andys are are in control of the media? Or maybe, andys have infiltrated the government with no one noticing. After all, later on we encounter an entire police department controlled by andys. It would explain why, as isidore points out, the Buster friendly show seems to be anti-mercerism. This is just delightfully ironic, a show that all of society tunes into is run by andys, the very things they look down upon. It also makes me question just how many andys have infiltrated society. This also reminds me of the animals on the roof, they all look real, but they’re not, and Dick does not give us any clue to just how many of them are real or fake.

I absolutely can not wait to see what happens in these last couple of chapters, as well as discuss this on Thursday.


Can a machine have a soul?

The title of the book, “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” is sure to catch the attention of some passerby, but it brings up the question, can a machine have a soul?

The world of this book takes place after a terrible war has wrecked planet Earth. A war that cut down the population of humans and changed the way everyone lived. It is an interesting premise for a science fiction story, especially since its set place on the damaged planet rather than one of the many alien worlds. The androids of this world are also another interesting component, especially the ones that murder their masters and run off. It brings the question, why? Did the android get tired of having no purpose of its own? or did it feel superior to its master? I am sure that their reasons will be given later in the book, but comparisons can be made to slavery. These androids look as human as an actual human being, and are capable of being much smarter than the average human being. They are chained to the will of their masters, and their only reason for existence is to serve the will of their owner, as a workhand or a servant. On page 17, there is even a reference to slavery, “-duplicates the halcyon days of the pre-Civil War southern States!”. That’s how they are marketed, as your personal slave. They are just machines so it does not matter! A feeling I’m sure the androids don’t agree with.

Another major component that I have noticed is the importance placed on animals. The character Rick Deckard, who I believe is the protagonist, is consistently thinking about animals. He owns an electric sheep, basically an android version of a sheep, but desperately wants to own a live animal. His constant inquiries into the purchases of animals and his possession of a catalog which he carries with him all the time and uses all the time speaks volumes to the importance of animals in this world. It is not clear why that is, but by inductive reasoning, it can be assumed that after the war wiped out many of Earth’s creatures, there was a large effort placed into keeping these animals alive. Perhaps it is a way for humanity to atone for their sins? To correct the damage done to the planet? It is unclear where the importance of animals came into the world, but they are used as a way to prove that the owner of the animal has some empathy.

Empathy is important part of these people lives. It is practiced through the care of the animals, as well as through the use of a device called the empathy box. It seems the empathy box allows people from all over the galaxy to join together in the struggle of a single man  on his difficult journey. Together they experience his hardship. Somehow this helps people become more empathetic, a feeling that is greatly valued. Again like the animals, it is a mystery as to why that is. Did the war cause so much horror people needed a way to retain their humanity? I have no idea, but I hope the book can provide an answer.

A theme I have noticed throughout the book is silence. Several times silence, or emptiness, is described as an actual thing, rather than just being the absence of noise. On page 20, a description is given as to how silence moves in after the television set has been shut off. It is also mentioned with all the empty houses that exist in this desolate world, as well as loneliness.

The ideas of empathy and emptiness point to an idea that the Author is trying to convey. This combined with androids, machines who are unable to empathize, and the question as to whether a machine is capable of having a soul has caught my interest into the story that Philip Dick is trying to tell.

Responses to “The Machine Stops” and ‘Metropolis’

A Response to:

The Machine Stops by E.M. Foster

The date of publication gives a good idea behind the motivations and intentions of this short story. During early 1900s new technologies and inventions emerged; among these were the Zeppelin and Internal Combustion engine. It’s probably no wonder these inventions and many other of the time were referenced. If anything The Machine Stops serves as a cautionary tale, due to the rapid changes in culture and technology of the day. Much of the technology described in The Machine Stops appears archaic by today’s standards, however this does not hurt it’s experience. Rather through the narrative’s execution, it lends it a certain uniqueness and authenticity.

Plot wise, The Machine Stops is very simplistic. A mother goes to see her renegade son, disowns him due to his radical ideals, then regrets it later when her world crumbles around her. Rather than a series of events to engage and tell the ‘tale’ of the world of The Machine Stops, Foster goes on to describe the world in depth from the characters perspective; principally Vashti the mother. From the Cells of the living galleries, to the scenes from the airships, to the recount of Kuno’s escapade outside the machine on the surface of the earth, each scene is packed with information used to fuel Visualization. As I read the short story, the visualizations I came up with reminded me vaguely of Ann Rand’s Anthem. Although different in terms of descriptions of technology; Anthem focused more on societies deficiencies, whereas The Machine Stops relied heavily on descriptions to tell its tale. I draw parallels with Anthem because both stories revolve around going against the status quo, in a world after a disaster.

The interaction between Vashti and her son Kuno could be viewed as a microcosm of the society as a whole. The only problem with that line of thinking is that Kuno is the only known renegade in the story, while Vashti personifies the vast majority of the populace living within the machine. Vashti’s character could be taken as the common citizen of the machine, who realizes too late the consequences of not questioning the circumstances of her life and her environment. Her only redemption was that she had her son and his experiences to make sense of the calamity at the end.

The question of whether or not the society of The Machine Stops was a Utopia is a hard one to answer. It’s never explained why the machine stopped working. If it continued to operate indefinitely then what? To the ‘people of the machine’ it was truly a utopia. All basic needs were provided. All higher needs such as communication, interaction, fulfillment, and information were also provided by the machine. Although an individual’s freedom was limited, that didn’t mean the individual was not content; pretty much everyone was content and then some in the machine. From an outsiders prospective and bias, the idea of the machine is basically that of a glorified prison. So which is correct? Can that be even answered? We are not even aware of the previous generation’s intentions when they built the machine. What if their circumstances were worse off than Vashti and Kuno’s. The fact that these questions are swimming in my head, leaves me a little bitter with the conclusion of the story. What would be more interesting would be to see how the ‘people of the machine’ and the ‘people outside the machine’ would have had to co-exist with the machines destruction. Or how the two cultures would clash had the machine continued to operate.

It could be argued that The Machine Stops is too ‘black and white’ in it’s social commentary of technology and society as a whole; given there is such commentary to begin with. By that I mean that the story tries to label everything the machine stood for as ‘wrong’. To make a correlation with today’s world: what if we were to take away electricity? If we viewed our combined technology and power grids all over the world as the ‘machine’ and took that away, would we be in the same situation as Vashti and Kuno? I doubt it, as The Machine Stops seems to to take a hyperbolic outlook on technology. However since a correlation can be drawn, it can be said we would be in a sorry state if such a thing came to pass. However that does not mean our technology does not give us a great deal of benefits. What we trade for some of our more natural properties, we gain something in return.

I would also like to point out a few things to add as food for thought:

  • References to “God” and the creation of a religion surrounding a machine. It seems like a natural phenomenon of humans to want to worship something. Why is that? First thing that comes to mind is a sense of security.
  • The idea that direct experience is bad, and only second hand information is valuable. I find this to be an interesting point. After all isn’t this what we do every day? For example as students we look up information on the internet or libraries, which is essentially second hand information. The difference between us and the ‘people of the machine’ is that we don’t have an aversion to direct experience. It’s just not practical to strive for direct experience, as we can’t be everywhere at once.
  • Youths’ openness to change, or rebelliousness towards the status quo. This is represented by Kuno rebelling against the ideas of his mother.
  • Can we apply the supposed message of “The Machine Stops” to today’s take on global warming and climate change? I reference the fact that many people ignore blatant scientific evidence to support global warming.
  • Do names such as Vashti and Kuno from an Indian or Asian influence? Is this due to British influence around the world during the early 1900s?

A Response to:

‘Metropolis’ (Friz Lang)

Metropolis’ impetus can be summarized in one word: Empathy. Had Freder not had that quality, the events of ‘Metropolis’ could not have happened. Had Joh Fredersen not ultimately expressed this quality, he probably would have died and/or had his city crumble around him due to uprisings. The movie opens with great promise and expectations. We’re introduced into a ‘futuristic’ city with a dual class society. The privileged live above ground living a life of luxury, while the ‘workers’ live below the city surface in a sort of subterranean ghetto. The visuals along with the movie’s context fuel the viewers imagination.

Unfortunately after the first half of the movie, things go down hill. It boils down to it being too predictable. Richest guy’s son becomes the catalyst between social classes, Rich son falls in love with the female cultist on a whim, biblical references, and so on. I suppose its a trend with older stories to relegate conflicts into simplistic “black and white” circumstances.

Another frustration I had with the movie is that events of the story simply happen without any apparent cause and effect; seemingly for the sake of just moving the plot along. Examples of this are everywhere: Maria just walks into the gardens with a hoard of kids seemingly unopposed her whole trip from the ghetto, Rotwang just happens to have an entrance to the catacombs in his house, destroying the machines just happens to cause flooding to the ghetto, there just happens to be no police or military to deter worker uprising,Rotwang’s switch just finally flips and he decides that the real Maria is Hel at the end of the movie, etc. This kind of spontaneous storytelling degrades the overall experience.

In terms of acting, it is a little hard to get used to. Most of the cast rely on exaggerated gestures and movements to convey their respective parts. The frustrating thing about this is that it not needed. A person’s expression and unique actions in response to given stimuli can tell us all we need to know. I don’t need to flap my arms around and waddle in circles to convey anger now do I? However since this was a time when stage acting was making a transition into screen acting, I tried not to mind it as much.

In my opinion, due to my above gripe, I consider the man who played Joh Frederson to be the best actor of the cast. This is due to the fact he does not use exaggerated movements or expressions to convey emotions. For most of his screen time he uses reserved and authoritative expressions to convey a wide range of emotions. He only resorted to dramatic gestures when the scene called for it; namely when his son was fighting a lunatic on a roof. Perhaps his reserved acting style worked against him in this role, as he didn’t seem as tyrannical or ruthless as the plot would have you believe.

The defining aspect of the film has to be the “metropolis” itself. The idea of a state, country, or world spanning city is an intriguing prospect. Even though the actual size of the metropolis is never mentioned in the film, I suppose that worked in it’s favor. The audience can then use their own imagination to determine the size of the city. The concept of human society adapting to living within a gigantic city has always intrigued me; which is why I gave this movie a chance in the first place. How would people organize themselves in a mega city? What kind of culture and values would come about? What kind of organizations would exist in such a situation? What organizations would hold power? What kind of technology is needed to make mega cities? What would the economy look like? What are the benefits and disadvantages of mega cities? These are the types of questions I would ask when imagining such possibilities.

The idea of a two dimensional city in the conventional sense doesn’t have to always be the case. In the ShadowRun table-top and novels franchise we see arcologies; self sustaining densely populated living spaces. The Fallout franchise popularized the idea of subterranean city sized fallout shelters. In Star Wars we see the capital world of Coruscant, literally a planet sized city. The point I’m getting at is that the idea of mega cities, has been around for awhile and continues to be a subject of interest within the community.

The second defining aspect of the film would be the inclusion of artificial human life; or as the movie called it “the machine-man”. Interestingly, as many science fiction stories do, the humanoid machine is cast as an antagonist. I’ve always wondered why in many stories the machine has to be ‘evil’; this movie is no exception. I suppose the reason is simply that the “machine-man” was just a tool used by the slightly unhinged Rotwag. In any case, there is a strangely intense interest in giving what is essentially an inorganic object the ability to emulate human intelligence and behavior. Why bother with such shenanigans when we could simply talk to another human? I’m not sure but I’m all for it.

All in all ‘Metropolis’ was an alright movie. My aversion to the movie’s simplistic plot and underdeveloped characters, was outweighed by my interest in it’s take on a mega city and artificial life.

An interpretation of “The Machine Stops” and “Metropolis”

All though both of these works are of science-fiction genre, they have very little in common. “The Machine Stops”, is presented in a cautionary fashion, it presents, at first, a future society that is leaps and bounds different from our modern say society. Later, the story goes on to have the characters talk about the past and how they have “evolved” compared to us. The major themes involve individuality, technology, and perceptions. “Metropolis”, on the other hand, is presented in a much different manner. Although it also is a cautionary tale, it focuses on a matter that is more personal, rather than something that can connect to everyone. “Metropolis” was clearly made by and for god fearing men; religious symbolism plagues every scene of this film, making it, at times, sound extremely preachy. In this, however, lie the similarities between these two works; they are both cautionary and use religious symbolism/parallels to convey their message.  One, however, uses religion in a more insulting manner, while the other favors it.

Let me start with “Metropolis”, as I have the most to say about it. This movie represents machinery/technology in not only a negative way, but in a down right evil way. To begin with, the intro quote “The mediator between brain and hands must be the heart”. Now this could have been used in various intelligent ways to caution mankind of how over zealous it has become with technology, and how man should always listen to their conscious in the pursuit of advancing technology, as the ethics of technology are just as important as the need for advancements in those fields. Instead this movie uses the quote to present a messiah/eve like figure to connect to the quote; ending the movie in a terrible and cheesy way. Let me elaborate, one of the first scenes where the religious symbols comes into play is in the garden scene of the prelude. The garden in this scene is shown in a innocently ignorant fashion; here Freder can be seen blissfully enjoying his time in this garden, at this point Freder is ignorant to what goes on under the city of Metropolis. In comes Maria, Maria at this point can be seen as a parallel to Eve. In religious texts it is Eve that convinces Adam to taste of the forbidden fruit, and in the movie it is because of Maria that Freder comes to know the horrors of what lies under Metropolis in the depths. The parallels of Maria to the virign mary/eve, and of Freder to christ/adam to not only end there but let me get back to that later. In a later scene when we are introduced to Rogart and the Machine-man, behind the Machine-man, on the wall there is a inverted pentegram (talk about subtlety), additionally, a pentagram can be seen on the front door of the building that Rogart works in. Inverted pentagrams symbolize the rejection of the holy trinity from the christian mythos; therefore, the message that Fritz Lang is trying to convey is that machines are evil and the work of the devil. In the scene after this, we see Maria preaching in front of a collection of crosses (again, your subtlety is art, Fritz Lang); therefore, she is represented as a force of good fighting against the evil that is the Machine-man. The scene in the catacombs also has a scene where Maria refers to Freder as the mediator, further proving that the movie paints him as a messiah-like figure, such as christ. In a later scene Rogart gives the Machine-man the appearance of Maria to trick the laborers of the city to revolt and destroy the machines. Additionally, in another scene a priest reads an excerpt from a bible that represents women simply as man’s desire; therefore, Fritz Lang chose the Machine-man to take the shape of a woman to further emphasize the machine man as evil; the addition of the female form attaches the idea of the seven deadly sins to the Machine-man. This is also supported by the club seen in which men gawk at the Machine-man and become violent, thus causing the statues of the seven deadly sins, seen throughout the film (again with that subtlety, how do you do it Mr.Lang?), to replace the men that are holding the Machine-man up on a pedestal; at this point Machines/technology have become synonymous with sin. In the scene where the Machine-man convinces the workers of the city to revolt, it uses quotes such as, “Who is the living food for the machines in metropolis?” and “Who lubricates the machine joints with their own blood?”.These quote are use to represent that all men serve evil, thus paving the way for next scene. The city begins to flood during the films climax, this is a parallel to the great flood from the bible, but on a much smaller scale and no one dies (aw shucks). There is not much to this scene other than Lang creating a slight parallel with this seen with the water as symbol for washing away the evil of man through the destruction of the machines, as well as the goodness of Freder and Maria being further emphasized. Lastly the movie ends with Freder bringing peace, again messiah-like imagery. I could go on but I’m short on time as I’m doing this with a couple minutes left until the deadline. Side note, that soundtrack was AMAZING!

Moving on to the “Machine Stops”. I thought this story was actually really funny and it reminded me a lot about Wall-E. I think this would serve better as a black comedy. Now over all I liked this story a lot more than “Metropolis” as it felt purely like a cautionary tale, with no religious agenda. It perfectly paints a picture of our over reliance on technology, and man-kinds further over-dependency on technology. Although things like Skype are great for getting in touch with people who you do not have easy access to, it is a dangerous precedence in a society that is growing ever lazier. One of the only things this short story shares in common with the “Metropolis” is the fact that they use religion to convey a point. In the “Machine Stops” religion is used to paint a picture of just how over reliant on machines man has become. At one point Vashti becomes insulted when Kuno says she is basically praising the machine as god, but Vashti responds by saying religion is foolish and a thing of the past. Despite Vashti’s response to religion she has parallels to religious people such as her constant need to seek guidance from The book of Machine(pg6), they way she holds the book reverently(pg4), and how she has a mini ritual where she repeats things in threes before opening the book(pg5). This blind faith the people of this society have in The Book of Machine, however, uses religion in a negative light; their inability to have their own thoughts and relying on the machine as God, has led to the down fall of their society, and the deaths of all who inhabit it (brutal). Again I could go deeper, but last minute!!!! I’ll do this ahead of time next time (maybe).