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Old 01-31-2010, 05:03 PM   #31
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A thought that occurred to me was regarding parallels between 'The Machine Stops' and 'A Passage to India' (a previous MRBC choice) - Cyril Feilding, the Britisher who tries to break out of his social constraints and connect with the Indians, is similar to Kuno who is also trying to break out of his environment. In a sense they are both seeking to bring about a paradigm shift.
There may also be resonances between the books around 'spirituality v religion' - in the way Godbole, in 'A Passage to India', seeks deeper truths than the face of religion presents - but I haven't delved very far into that aspect of comparisons between the works.

It is interesting to consider what concerns of Forster's occupy him so much that they manifest themselves in more than work.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:06 PM   #32
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Hello -oo -oO!

Anybody there -ere -eRE...?!

Some of you were so keen on discussing this story, but the discussion seems to have run out like the sand so quickly and silently... Don't you have anything more to say/ask/question/suggest/put forth/point out/etc.?
I think They're all Gone with the Wind.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:44 PM   #33
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A thought that occurred to me was regarding parallels between 'The Machine Stops' and 'A Passage to India' (a previous MRBC choice) - Cyril Feilding, the Britisher who tries to break out of his social constraints and connect with the Indians, is similar to Kuno who is also trying to break out of his environment. In a sense they are both seeking to bring about a paradigm shift.
There may also be resonances between the books around 'spirituality v religion' - in the way Godbole, in 'A Passage to India', seeks deeper truths than the face of religion presents - but I haven't delved very far into that aspect of comparisons between the works.

It is interesting to consider what concerns of Forster's occupy him so much that they manifest themselves in more than work.
It certainly is. I've just finished first proof-read of 'Maurice', which I've recently scanned (13-14 years since I read it last), so I'm sort of steeped in Forster at the moment. Am re-reading and proof-reading again right now.

I think themes such as 'spirituality vs religion' and 'culture vs nature' are probably the core themes of his works, so it's no wonder that you recognise it - in this instance in 'Passage to India'. That breaking with social constraints is - I would say - almost typical for Forster. It also typically shocks almost everyone else, as is the case here.

As for religion vs spirituality, I personally have too little experience with either and find it diffiult to understand it - though the ideas seem to be there.

Forster puts much worth in nature, natural instincts, over - especially - class+culture, but also intellect and logic. Kuno leaps over the boundaries to discover a new world - mostly driven by curiosity and inquisitiveness, while his mother reads/views other people's work and has no wish to go out, to experience for herself. Kuno is like the excited student, while she is the jaded lecturer, who've seen it all before. It is her (and her generation's) downfall that she has stopped recognising the signs of change.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:46 PM   #34
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I think They're all Gone with the Wind.
People seemed so enthusiastic before the discussion.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:09 PM   #35
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... It is her (and her generation's) downfall that she has stopped recognising the signs of change.
One of the greatest shortcomings of Vashti's generation was that they had lost the ability to think for themselves and chose instead to invest blind faith in authority. They had forgotten that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:28 PM   #36
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Of course. I do not disagree.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:30 PM   #37
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.... They had forgotten that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Love that line/quote/idea!
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:41 AM   #38
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It is a great idea, and as a quotation is most frequently (and inaccurately) found in that form. The exact quote is:

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."
— John Philpot Curran (24 July 1750 – 14 October 1817), Irish politician. From his speech upon "The Right of Election" (1790), published in Speeches on the late very interesting State Trials (1808)

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Old 02-01-2010, 05:09 AM   #39
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They had forgotten that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Maybe that was a price they thought worth paying. Given the choice between a contented life and a free life, many people might choose the former.
In the end, we're shown one generation suffering for their complacency, but many generations would have lived contented lives beforehand.

It is not necessary for everyone that they must be free in order to be happy.
In many ways we shackle ourselves throughout our lives.

Last edited by Sparrow; 02-01-2010 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:40 AM   #40
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It is a great idea, and as a quotation is most frequently (and inaccurately) found in that form. The exact quote is:

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."
— John Philpot Curran (24 July 1750 – 14 October 1817), Irish politician. From his speech upon "The Right of Election" (1790), published in Speeches on the late very interesting State Trials (1808)
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:41 AM   #41
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Maybe that was a price they thought worth paying. Given the choice between a contented life and a free life, many people might choose the former.
In the end, we're shown one generation suffering for their complacency, but many generations would have lived contented lives beforehand.

It is not necessary for everyone that they must be free in order to be happy.
In many ways we shackle ourselves throughout our lives.
Ah yes. Just read (most of) an interesting little book called "The 4 Agreements"
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:42 AM   #42
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Maybe that was a price they thought worth paying. Given the choice between a contented life and a free life, many people might choose the former.
In the end, we're shown one generation suffering for their complacency, but many generations would have lived contented lives beforehand.

It is not necessary for everyone that they must be free in order to be happy.
In many ways we shackle ourselves throughout our lives.
You can have freedom, or you can have security; rarely can you have both. It’s true that many in my country have chosen the latter since that infamous day the Twin Towers fell, but it was not so with the founders of the nation. Fresh from a war that could have cost them their fortunes, their reputations, and their very lives, they enshrined the remarkable Bill of Rights in our Constitution as a reminder of how precious were the freedoms upon which this country was founded.

In like manner, you can have the comforting myth, or the unvarnished truth. Many choose to believe that which provides the most comfort and have little desire to discover disquieting truths that may rock them out of their state of complacency.

It’s the same question, posed in different ways to each generation: will you choose the Red Pill or the Blue one?

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Old 02-01-2010, 07:38 AM   #43
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You can have freedom, or you can have security; rarely can you have both.
How are we defining 'freedom'?

None of us are 'free' from our own mortality, the laws of our various lands, the physical constraints of our bodies, the impulses of instinct and the subconscious, the need to eat, sleep and shelter.

What is this 'freedom' whereof you speak?
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:15 PM   #44
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People seemed so enthusiastic before the discussion.
Really, this is the longest and deepest discussion thread we have had it quite a while! I'm surprised you think the thread is short/lacking.

BOb
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:18 PM   #45
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I guess I just expected something else
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