The Machine Stops

The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster was a thought provoking story. As an aspiring environmental engineer, my biggest concern was; how people let pollution spread for such a long time. I believe that if we continue on the path we are on, we will destroy this place we call home. One day we are going to open our eyes and see that we are too late to fix all the damage we caused.

The relationships throughout the story were unbelievable. I tried to imagine my life without the loving touch of another or the comforting presence of a friend. I realized that I would not be able to survive without them. There are many important aspects of life, and relationships are of the most important. Without my friends, family, and support I could not have come this far. I would not want to live secluded from others; with no aspirations or meaningful relationships because everything was at the tip of my fingers. The citizens were the definitions of machines. They were machines with monotonous lifestyles: no emotions, no goals and no unique aspects in their perfectly engineered lives. It was similar to what Hitler was trying to accomplish. Hitler wanted to create a race of ‘perfect’ people with blonde hair and blue eyes. The “machine” only wanted people who did not have “rebellious tendencies” to reproduce. The machine wanted citizens who were the same in nature.

For a society to succeed and grow, there needs to be people with unique aspirations, ideas, and personalities. People need to challenge themselves and others to find their true potential to come up with new ideas. The machine controlled each citizen’s every move. By doing that, each person lost their unique perspectives; personalities; and ideas, inhibiting the growth of the society as a whole. People need to experience different things and consistently learn to contribute to the growth of a society.

For the first semester I.D.E.A.S seminar the overall question is, What is technology? How does is affect our daily lives? I believe in this instance technology was defined as the machine itself. From the holograms to the temperature controls technology helped them with every aspect of their lives. Technology was the center of each person’s life in The Machine Stops. In society today we are slowly getting closer and closer to that reality. There are eight year olds getting tablets for Christmas; I didn’t get my first flip phone till I was fourteen. How long can a teenager go without his or her phone? From my experience, no more than a couple of minutes. Many members  of society are using technology as a medium through which they are living. So consumed in how many likes they receive on Instagram or how many retweets their tweets get, most of us? are guilty of not living in the present.

In the short story the author would mention “the committee”, I am curious as to what the committee is. How were the people elected for the committee, is it their form of government. The story covered many social and every-day aspects but it did not delve into politics.

The type of person that any society needs to grow is one who crosses the lines, explores new ideas, asks why and thinks outside the box. The young boy in The Machine Stops is one of those people, who if allowed could have changed their lives for the better. The first seminar was incredibly thought provoking. My classmates are immensely intelligent and help me see things I could have never picked out myself. I am eager to learn more from my classmates as the year progresses.


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