in response to “the Machine Stops” by E.M Forster

Reading the story “the Machine Stops” was not an easy task. In the year 2013, I feel that we are kind of immune to dark futuristic visions, although it’s always interesting to see how science fiction novelists predicted the times we live in and how similar or different from reality were the visions. In 1909, E.M Forster predicted a very grim picture in which the human population loses the ability to live on the surface of the earth. Physical contact is scarce and most communication between humans is conducted mainly through a machine, “the speaking apparatus”. People have become dependant on the machine to the point that they know nothing else and that seems to be mainly what the author comes to warn us from .

It is pretty amazing to think of when this story was written and how it does resemble our lives today in many ways. I think this type of warning is relevant today, ever since smartphones came into the picture, we have become so very dependant on them. They show us the way to walk, they are a main channel of communication between humans and it is very hard to get by without one, or when your device is lost or taken from you. This also reminded me of the way me and my mother communicate through Skype but I feel that the son/mother roles are different than what you would expect.

I tend to be cynical when it comes to these types of messages and the way it is conveyed in this story felt very didactic and simple but I do think it’s worth paying attention too. Also, who the hell am I to criticise  a famous English novelist whose been dead for many years.

 

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