An Analysis of Anti-technology Themes in The Machine Stops and WALL-E

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In 1909 E.M. Forster wrote the ground-breaking short story “The Machine Stops”, it foretold of a dystopian society where mankind entrusted itself to a machine which took care of al their wants and needs, and ultimately lead to their demise. In Forster’s “The Machine Stops”, he illustrates the need for man to become less dependent on machines and technology for their livelihoods and life in general. In Disney’s “WALL-E” we se many of these themes again. In both cases humans have become so inept at taking care of themselves that the loss of the machine or machines that care for them would be catastrophic and deadly. Humans have invested so much trust and power into these machines that they no longer have any real control, in …show more content…
Auto is under the impression that Earth is uninhabitable, so when WALL-E and the humans try to return to Earth, Auto does everything in his power to stop them. Since Auto is completely autonomous they have no control over him he nearly stops them before they are able to switch him off. Another theme that arose in both cases was how technology caused an extreme alienation from nature that the people in the stories experienced. In “The Machine Stops” everyone lives in underground mechanical cities completely run by “The Machine”. In their cities they have absolutely no contact with the outside world, so much so that even contact with outside air can cause blood to pour from the ears and nose(Reader, 151), and usually death. The closest they come to nature is on the airships which ferry them between underground cities. Even here most of nature is shout out and the mere thought of being touched by sunlight is horrifying(Reader, 145). Outside of their physical separation from nature, there is the mental aspect. People no longer think about nature, there is no longer a need to answer any questions about nature since everything is “perfect” the way it is, it is so removed from their society that they don’t even know what snow(Reader, 146) is anymore. We see this same alienation in the people from “WALL-E”, they have spent their entire lives on space ships, having never seen Earth. They have no concept of nature or it’s beauty. In one scene the captain of the ship

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