Discussion Facilitator: Josuee H
The story can be read here: http://www.ele.uri.edu/faculty/vetter/Other-stuff/The-Machine-Stops.pdf
E. M. Forster is typically known for his literary novels Howard’s End and A Passage to India, but in 1909 he published a short story called “The Machine Stops.” An early piece of science fiction, Forster’s story concerns humans living in a future wherein all their needs are met through automated means. They spend their days discussing theory and producing knowledge via instant communication with other humans, but never in person and always in the isolation of their own room.
Eventually, this leads to some people questioning the purpose of existence under such conditions, while at the same time, strange things begin happening with the Machine that is charged with providing for everyone’s care.
Topics of discussion are: What is the purpose of E. M. Forster writing this short story? How did he visualize the future from over 100 years ago? Was he right in some aspects of the themes he’s critiquing, and wrong in others?
Please join us for this discussion on September 18th!