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What do you find particularly horrifying about the world Forster creates in

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What do you find particularly horrifying about the world Forster creates in "The Machine Stops"? In "The Machine Stops" Forster creates a world set in the future, where machines rule. In fact, machines run life so much so that human beings, by this time, have adapted accordingly to life and the lifestyle it brings. "In the arm-chair there sits a swaddled lump of flesh - a woman, about five feet high, with a face as white as a fungus," Forster writes. This is a pretty horrific description because it shows us that in the world Forster has created, people get no exercise whatsoever. There is in fact no need to get any exercise with the life the humans lead under the control of The Machine. "Infants [are] examined at birth, and all who [promise] to endue strength [are] destroyed...it would [be] no true kindness to let an athlete live; he would never [be] happy in that state of life to which the Machine had called him." Therefore, humans have whittled down to shorter heights as they do not get outside of their rooms often, therefore diminishing this need, and they also consequently get no sunlight. These factors combined lead to people who are deathly white and resemble out-of-shape "blobs" from basically being hunched on a seat constantly. ...read more.


They have everything they need in their rooms and so never leave! "[Their rooms], though [they] contained nothing, [were] in touch with all that [they] cared for in the world," Forster writes. The rooms are also all identical, small and "hexagonal in shape." This just seems so frighteningly isolated. The image created is that of a lonely life, and in the world we live in today, that is considered to be fairly scary. Also, this brings in the fact that the Earth in this world is the same all over. So therefore life under The Machine has its own problems. Life is so regimented that even the plan to come up with new ideas is planned in advance! Nothing is customized either, even the beds are the same size everywhere - and this doesn't fit everyone perfectly! Due to this uniformity, emotions are rarely felt, originality is hard to come by, and no one really has the possibility to grow into their own person. No one can develop a soul, no changes ever really occur, and life is not truly lived! Instead, people fundamentally live in a rut - a secure one, granted - but a rut all the same, where no rules are broken and no boundaries come even close to being stretched. ...read more.


We say "space is annihilated," but we have annihilated not space, but the sense therefore." This indicates that Kuno realizes that life under The Machine binds people, rather than giving more freedom instead. People, due to the lifestyle of The Machine, can't even maintain eye contact anymore, as it is too direct. Forster writes that "the desire to look direct at things" has all but diminished. Even though the world is believed as being advanced with The Machine, ironically, it is regressing at the same time. In fact, the life in the world Forster creates can be summed up in one sentence. Forster writes: "Men seldom moved their bodies; all unrest was concentrated in the soul." This world is scary because it seems that in the present day, in the real world, society is only one step behind that in the story! And so the question presents itself: what would life be like if we let the technology we have now go one step further? The life is frightening, and there is a lesson to be learnt. We should not let ourselves become so dependent on machines, because "[machines] are much, but they are not everything." After all, we still want change in our lives; we also still want some nature. But finally, and above all, we still want to feel - emotions and touch - or else, as in "The Machine Stops", our world is doomed. ...read more.

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