Throughout the whole of this short story, 'The Machine Stops', we are shown the possibility of a world dominated by machines. In a similar way to 'The Terminator' or 'The Matrix', it tells of how humans lose control and are pushed out of the life they created.
Two of the characters, Vashti, a lecturer, and her son, Kuno, show the ways in which this new race of people is taken over by the Machine. They, and the others around them are part of a huge underground society that is built like a giant honeycomb.
The people living in this world have been 'bred' to suit their changing lifestyle. Anything that seems like a useful quality in today's world, like bravery, strength, imagination, curiosity, is frowned upon and those genes are avoided for breeding. The new humans are weak, pale images of their ancestors and each generation is increasingly brainwashed by the ruling machine.
Kuno is the rebel of this story. He alone challenges the way that his life is set out. Even though he is weak he does not lack courage or curiosity. He makes it his goal to go outside the honeycomb, to step upon the surface of the Earth. This is a shock for his mother above all, for she is an idealistic member of the Machine's community. However, Kuno strives to achieve his goal, yet when he finally reaches the harsh outer air, a mending apparatus drags him back.
It is revealed by him that he had a glimpse of other beings that must surely dwell on the surface of the planet. When he speaks of this, he manages to plant a tiny seed of doubt in Vashti's mind about what they have been taught, and she briefly sees the brainwashing that has...