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The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster - Book Report/Review Example

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In the last chapter of "The machine stops" by E.M. Forster, "The homeless" Forster present the imaginable future of modern humankind, which becomes literally and figuratively controlled both physically and spiritually of the Machine. The key image of the Machine overtakes all human activities and electronically directs thoughts and actions and all various aspects of daily life.
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The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster
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The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster

Why not have second hand ideas or even tenth-hand. The implications that Forster is making are connected with the reductions of primary sources as conveying knowledge. In fact history does not matter, since the Machine we live in provides us with all necessary wealth and goods. The Machine is not only the place people dwell in, but it is also the source of history itself. Central Committee and a Committee of the Mending Apparatus are in charge of humankind. Forster as a narrator of the story as well as the characters repeatedly use verbs of agency for the machine. It feeds, clothes and houses human beings. It automatically operates and process information and people do not have to strain their inventive skills. The two distinguishable features of the machine are that it takes decisions on its own and that it evolves by itself.
In his attempt to properly depict the probable future, Forster uses expressive language combinations, metaphors and newly coined words. The Machine is explicitly visualized as communication system. Forster tries to predict what it would be like when people start to use "cinemathophote". The use of machines to intermediate the communication between people limits human's perceptions of each other. That is why they no longer require meeting and seeing each other. In fact, they live in their own isolated rooms, talking to friends with the help of the machine. Forster's hidden message behind the Machine is that after inventing it, the creation had begun to control its own master. He expresses his idea throughout the chapter implying how unaware people are of their own destruction.

An example of people's ignorance of accepting their mortality and how they are controlled by the Machine is the dialogue between Vashti and one of her friends. The affirmative sentence "The machine stops" can not be grasped. "What does it mean The phrase conveys nothing to me." The characters are bewildered as to how it is possible for the Machine to stop. It is eternal. Thus, the stopping means nothing to them. In Forster's world human imagination is rudimental. Apparently, they have lost their ability to envisage. Not only that they fall into a state of denial - self-denial as well as a denial of the death of the Machine. "No one confessed the Machine was out of hand". This is again undisputable and unrealistic event. Very slowly Forster introduces that indeed the end of the humankind is near, noting that "quietly and complacently, it was sinking into decadence."

The re-establishment of religion indicates the brain-washing of the people. The worship of the Machine is a divine act. The reintroduction of religion stimulates the faith in the Machine. "The Machine is the friend of ideas and the enemy of superstition: the Machine is omnipotent, eternal; blessed is the Machine." The Machine is God. People have to praise and obey it, not to question its decisions and to pray to it. The cult to the Machine destroys the basic human relations and poisons people's perceptions. Forster's citizens are no masters of their world, they are puppets in the hands of the Machine. People inadvertently find themselves controlled and guided by the Central Committee and the Committee of the Mending Apparatus. Forster's citizens look to whatever guide they find to make their lived purposeful. "The Book", or the ... Read More
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