The Machine Stops Literary Analysis

1969 Words 8 Pages
Technology has created a society where most people have no idea on how to satisfy their needs. People rely on technology and other sophisticated systems for their care. We use our phones to navigate, keep in touch, and buy food shipped from all over the world. Even obtaining water is as simple as lifting a simple lever and water flows from a tap. Although this suggests that simpler times were better, it doesn’t change the fact that technology has isolated us from our fundamental human capacities that we should never forget.

Forster wrote “The Machine Stops” in 1909 during the second industrial revolution. At the time, thoughts on the state of technology have been of grave concern and wonder. The story tells of grim future thousands of years
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Although most of these characters share the same feelings, each one of them has a distinct reason for feeling that way. Isidore seems more isolated than the rest. As a supporting protagonist, he lives alone in an abandoned apartment. The description of Isidore’s living situation fills one with loneliness because, at the beginning, he has no one to develop an interpersonal relationship with. The fact that he still lives on Earth further deepens his isolation. His social class, intellect, and radiation poisoning have made it almost impossible for him to leave Earth. He is described as a “chicken head,” the lowest social class (Dick). This social class explains why he lives alone in a “baron building” (Dick). From the beginning of the novel, Phillip Dick makes the theme of alienation important in developing Isidore’s character. Isidore acts as the representation of humanity due to our dependence on personal relationships. Many people in our society feel lonely and isolated due to the value they place on interaction with others. Phillip Dick uses Isidore to indicate that the community is overly reliant on relationship. That is detrimental because a lack of these relationships can lead one to yearn for interactions, and it may also cause loneliness. Isidore’s alienation from his species leads him to befriend some …show more content…
It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where people live underground because the surface is not habitable. The people rely on a giant centralized machine for their survival. This work, produced in 1909, provides an interesting entry into the man vs. machine concept. It provides a lens into the far future by interlacing apocalyptic imagery with hope. The novel also highlights the need for real human interactions that are not dictated by technology. “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” is another post-apocalyptic work of fiction in which isolation and alienation are the main themes. Both novels present the shifting and enigmatic nature of reality, the difficulty of differentiating the real from the artificial (technology), and the constant sense of paranoia and unease in human beings. The theme of isolation is prevalent in both novels. Overall, we can conclude that human relationships are not always necessary if one seeks to live a productive and meaningful life. However, the use of machines should never force us to lose sight of one of the most fundamental need of humanity; the necessity of

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