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THE MACHINE STOPS CommonLit Answers – FREE Access
Find the answer key for the topic “THE MACHINE STOPS ” below:
Note: Be prepared to share your original ideas in a class discussion.
Discussion Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. What similarities do you see between the world created in this story and the reality in which we now live?
Ans: There are many similarities. The use of technology to communicate and entertain is two of them. We use our cell phones to Facetime each other and all the music we listen to now is digital.
Technology surrounds us in our homes with smart speakers like Alexa that will turn on your lights or change the temperature in the room. We have remote controls that allow us to turn the channels without ever having to leave our seats.
Q.2. Imagine and list the downfalls of relying too heavily on technology.
Ans: Technology is great but the major downfall of depending on it too heavily is that technology can fail. What happens when a machine breaks down and no one knows how to fix it because we rely on machines to fix everything?
Imagine if Google ceased to exist. Most people don’t even know how to look up information in the library. We have to rely on our own brains in order to be self-sufficient.
Some of the list includes Social isolation, Job loss, Health problems, and Addiction are the downfalls of relying too heavily on technology.
Q.3. Is technology always bad? Give some examples of how it can/does make a positive impact on our lives.
Ans: Technology is not always bad. For example, medical technology has made significant advancements in saving lives and improving healthcare. It has allowed for the development of life-saving treatments, surgical procedures, and medical devices that have greatly improved the quality of life for many individuals.
Additionally, advances in wireless communication technology have revolutionized the way we connect with others. It allows people to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues across the world effortlessly. This has made it easier to maintain relationships, collaborate on projects, and share information globally.
Furthermore, computer technology has made information much more accessible to the public. The internet and digital platforms have enabled people to access a vast amount of information on various topics with just a few clicks. This has empowered individuals to learn, research, and stay informed about a wide range of subjects.
Moreover, technology has also improved safety in automobiles. The development of advanced safety features such as anti-lock braking systems, airbags, and collision avoidance systems has significantly reduced the number of accidents and fatalities on the roads. These technological advancements have made driving safer for both drivers and pedestrians.
Q.4. Consider your answers to the previous questions and answer: How should technology play a role in our future?
Ans: Technology will play a significant role in our future by making our lives easier and more convenient. For example, the development of self-driving cars can potentially eliminate a lot of accidents on our roads, as they can navigate and operate more efficiently than human drivers. Additionally, our appliances may become more automated, allowing them to perform tasks on their own, such as ordering groceries when they run low. This can save us time and effort in managing our daily tasks.
Technology has the potential to revolutionize education. With the advancement of the internet, information can be easily accessed and transferred online. This means that traditional schools may no longer be necessary, as individuals can obtain knowledge and education through online platforms. This can provide more flexibility and accessibility to education for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Q.5. In addition to progress and technology, isolation is a major theme of “The Machine Stops.” In the context of this story, what does it mean to be alone? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature or art in your answer.
Ans: In the literary piece which is entitled The Machine Stops written by E.M. Forster, being alone is somewhat one of the main themes that is tackled in the story. In this modern times especially with the pandemic going on, almost all people in the world have to go through quarantine in order to stop the spread of a particular virus.
I encountered being alone personally because I spend most of my time at home with myself because of my virtual classes. Being alone has its advantages and disadvantages which humans encounter during this situation. It really gives me comfort when it comes to just being with myself and not going out but I sometimes crave the presence and bonding with other individuals.
I believe that we people are social creatures and we require the company of our friends, colleagues, family, and acquaintances in order to survive.
Assessment Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. Summarize a typical day in the Machine with evidence cited from the text.
Ans: The Machine Stops takes place in an advanced society where humans have lost the ability to survive on the Earth’s surface. Therefore, individuals are isolated and packed into small beehivelike structures underground. Furthermore, travel is allowed but often avoided and unnecessary. The thought of direct contact is believed to be impolite and vile.
Moreover, everyone is provided with the right equipment to survive much like a life-support system, or they will die. The Machine is there to supply the basic human needs and everything takes place with the click of a button. Travel to the surface of the Earth is permitted only with the approval by the government group. Most humans are kept underground to generate “ideas” for the Machine and they will share these “ideas” through the speaking apparatus which is similar to video chatting.
Q.2. PART A: In paragraph 31, Vashti declares: “I dislike seeing the horrible brown earth, the sea, and the stars when it is dark. I get no ideas in an airship.” Which of the following best summarizes how this line establishes humanity’s view of the earth?
Ans: This remark tells us that much of humanity has lost its appreciation for earth and nature, to the point of resenting its mere appearance.
Q.3. PART B: Which of the following passages best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: Paragraph 113
Q.4. In paragraph 60 the narrator describes Vashti’s room as “containing nothing” but being “in touch with all that she cared for in the world.” What does this description reveal about her?
Ans: She lives sparsely and has few needs, all of which are met by the Machine.
Q.5. PART A: Which of the following best represents how the author draws upon history, culture, and/or other works to develop this text?
Ans: The mentions of specific places and major landmarks, such as the Himalayas.
Q.6. PART B: Which of the following best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “In the plain were seen the ruins of cities, with diminished rivers creeping by their walls” (Paragraph 119)
Q.7. In Part II Kuno repeats the phrase “man is the measure.” What does this phrase mean?
Ans: Kuno uses this phrase to celebrate humanity’s advanced place in the universe, valuing its physical and figurative forms.
Q.8. How does Kuno’s trip to the surface develop the plot of the text?
Ans: His trip to the surface sets his fate of Homelessness in motion.
Q.9. Which of the following best explains what Kuno’s description of the Mending Apparatus reveals about his and Vashti’s different points of view?
Ans: Kuno describes the Mending Apparatus as “evil” and something to be feared, but to Vashti it is simply an aspect of the Machine, which cares for her almost maternally.
Q.10. What does the term “unmechanical” most likely mean as used in paragraph 95, paragraph 105, and paragraph 249? Cite evidence in your answer.
Ans: The term “unmechanical” means illogical or human. In the story every time a character speaks of being “unmechanical” they infer to the fact that they did something that was human-like instead of being logical and absolute like the machine that they revered so much.
Q.11. Which of the following best identifies how the author builds suspense in Part III of the text?
Ans: The gradual worsening of conditions in the Machine
Q.12. PART A: Consider the silence at the end of the story. How is this detail important to the development of the passage’s central ideas?
Ans: Silence represents the unknown, like the darkness, which also comes when the Machine stops.
Q.13. PART B: Which of the following quotes best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “…and then came darkness and, worse still, silence which pierced my ears like a sword. The Machine hums! Did you know that? Its hum penetrates our blood, and may even guide our thoughts.” (Paragraph 159)
Q.14. PART A: Which of the following best describes a major theme in the text?
Ans: The costs and benefits of technology.
Q.15. PART B: How does the story’s resolution contribute to the overall theme of the text?
Ans: In the end technology failed mankind. Technology is simply a tool to be used by man but it shouldn’t be depended on. As Kuno said, “Man is the measure”. Humans created machines to serve us not the other way around. To become dependent on technology can be a dangerous thing and in the case of Vashti and Kuno it became a deadly thing.
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In CommonLit, “THE MACHINE STOPS ” is one of the students’ favorite stories written by E. M. Forster for grade 12 students.
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Hi, I’m Annie Smith, and I’ve been a teacher for over 5 years and have taught students at all levels. I love to help students get ahead of their exams and provide helpful guides on various topics.