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The Machine Stops Essay

1352 words - 5 pages

In The Machine Stops, E.M. Forster projects life years from now where people live underground with extreme technological advances. Also, people live separated in little rooms where they find a variety of buttons they can press in order to perform any task they desire. They do not communicate with people face to face as often as we do now. Without a doubt, their society is very different from ours. All of the inhabitants are used to living along with the Machine and it is hard for them to imagine life without everything the Machine is able to facilitate. People are so caught up with technology that they find it absurd to spend time in nature. Because of the dependence people have towards the Machine, they have somewhat lost their humanity and become a machine themselves. The characters Vashti and Kuno perfectly represent how inhumane or humane a person could potentially be in such an environment.
Vashti and Kuno play the two major roles in The Machine Stops. Vashti is Kuno’s mother but despite this, they do not live together or even near, they were separated little time after Kuno was born. Vashti lives in the Southern Hemisphere and Kuno lives in the Northern Hemisphere which is on the other side of their underground society, therefore, they rarely see each other. In order to communicate they talk from time to time using a device that permits them to see an image of each other. One thing that is rapidly noticeable about their relationship is that Vashti does not get exited when talking to her son; she gets very impatient and wants to finish the conversation as quickly as possible.
Like most people, Vashti stays in her room the majority of the time and then goes back to sleep. Even though she does not do much with her life, when her son Kuno asks her to please come visit him to the Northern Hemisphere she says she does not have time to do that. It is weird to see this kind of behavior coming from a mother because mothers usually worry a lot for their children and try to dedicate as much time as possible to them. At last she decides to visit him and uses the air-ship as transportation. As Vashti expresses her experiences in her journey, one notices how inhumane and out of touch she and everyone else is. She is shocked when a man dropped his book and he, himself, picks it up from the floor without any help from the Machine. Vashti becomes very anxious because she is not used to this type of behavior and neither talking or interacting with people. It was three months ago the last time she actually had a face to face conversation with someone and so feels very intimidated and scared. “People were almost exactly alike all over the world, but the attendant of the air-ship, perhaps owing to her exceptional duties, had grown a little out of the common. She had often to address passengers with direct speech, and this had given her a certain roughness and originality of manner.” (p.118) Because she was feeling uncomfortable in this voyage she...

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