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What do you find particularly horrifying about the world, which E.M. Forster creates?

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Introduction

What do you find particularly horrifying about the world, which E.M. Forster creates? 'The Machine Stops' by E.M Forster features Vashti as the main character and explores the impact of technology on our world. Forster uses explicit shocking visceral imagery of the predicted future, symbolism, dramatic dialogue and other literary techniques throughout the novel to create images and messages that are horrifying about a world that is dominated by technology. Forster introduces the novel protagonist using visceral imagery to highlight to the reader the unattractive appearance of Vashti and her health condition in the Machine World: "there sits a swaddled lump of flesh- a woman ..." Forster's use of sibilance coveys the disturbing image of Vashti's physical appearance. He describes Vashti as a 'lump of flesh', which indicates that she has formless muscles, probably the result of lack of exercise. Forster uses 'flesh' rather than 'woman' to describe Vashti, which dehumanises her overall personality and physical appearance. It also implies that she does not behave like a human and does not have any moral value in the Machine World. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore she is pale and has not grown. The simile that compares Vashti's face with fungus indicates to the reader her difference to us. The alliterative repetition of 'F' makes the reader pause and reflect the words used to relate the protagonist to the 'fungal imagery'. It reinforces the harshness of the 'fungal imagery' and the health condition of human beings in the Machine world. The 'fungal imagery' also symbolises that this lifestyle can be 'contagious' and 'poisonous', just like that of a virus. In addition, Forster describes Vashti's house explicitly by using confined space imagery to explain why she is unhealthy: "...small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee..." She lives in such a small, unusual shaped room-hexagonal that there is virtually no space for her to move. A beehive is dark and small therefore this confined space is detrimental to her health and lifestyle. Forster uses a simile, 'like the cell' to suggest that she is trapped in her house, an organic prison cell. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition, the Book is compared to the Bible. Forster uses a personal pronoun, 'their Book' to highlight that humans worship the Book as if it is a Bible and provide answers to everything. Even when humans are in trouble towards the end of the novel, they spend their strength praying to 'their Books' instead of saving themselves manually. Ironically, the Machine is an 'enemy of superstition' but in reality, humans treat it as a 'god', which is a superstitious act. Therefore, Forster shows that humans have lost their belief in their own abilities to control their lives, which is particularly horrifying. Forster uses similes, different types of imagery, dramatic dialogue and a prolonged comparison of the Machine to God to create what I consider to be a particularly horrifying representation of a dehumanised Machine world, where humans have lost their humanity and worship the man-made Machine. Forster criticises these negative aspects of technology in modern society. He also echoes his concern of the impact of modern technology has on human beings' health and lifestyle through rich imagery. This is perhaps a warning or a prediction for the further generation to consider the impact of technology has in modern society. ...read more.

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