Ways Of Communication In Forster's 'The Machine Stops'

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In Forster’s dystopian short story “The Machine Stops”, the ways of communication are different from the conventional practice. Most characters seldom communicate face-to-face, which is a way of direct human contact they avoid. This leads to conflict between the characters. Vashti, Kuno’s mother, finds the conversation with Kuno a waste of time and remains unwilling to visit him until he insists. Kuno, who seems to be a misfit in that world, wants to see his estranged mother, not through the Machine which Vashti worships and heavily depends on. Other forms of communication also appear, such as Vashti’s monologue-like lectures. The various forms of communication are similar in the way that they usually end abruptly and unharmoniously. The unresolved…show more content…
For instance, Vashti gives lectures through the Machine screen without receiving the listeners’ verbal response. Although she feels “somewhat pleased” (Forster, 20) about the lecture, she later attempts to contact a friend who is a specialist in sympathy for consolation because of having a breakdown and being terrorised of the silence (Forster, 20) during the progress of deterioration of the Machine. As the death of the Machine approaches, people “touch each other” (Forster, 20), “talk, not through the Machine” (Forster, 22) and have direct human contact after they “opened [their] prison[s] and escaped” (Forster, 21). It is tragic that they still do not realise the importance of humanity and that the Machine should not be blindly worshiped. For instance, Vashti still stubbornly thinks that “some fool will start the Machine again” (Forster, 22). Seeing the “untainted sky” (Forster, 22), which is always observed by Kuno but not the others, all the people suddenly have an epiphany that isolation and the norms of being Machine-centred in the new civilisation are infeasible. The beauty of human experience and connection is brought
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