The Soul Of The New Machine Essay — страница 2

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is the most basic human need. For example, Daniel tells us about his life: People end up living in group houses either by e-mail or by word or mouth. Living in a group house is a little bit like admitting you re deficient crunching code and testing for bugs, and what else are you supposed to do? Work, sleep, work, sleep, work, sleep (4). By asking, what else are you supposed to do, Coupland shows us that Daniel knows little more than working on his computer. This suggests that he has few ideas about his life as he disregards the outside world. Indeed, his entire life revolves around his work. As he avoids love and intimacy, Daniel Underwood summarizes his life in only two words — work and sleep — illustrating the computer geek s unhealthy life pattern. Their lives are

becoming so pathetic that even the most basic face-to-face communication is replaced by E-mail. Many readers may then feel compassion toward those lacking basic human interaction, which is like living in a no-guard computer-penalty prison. Naturally, readers may question why Daniel and his peers don t find better jobs (seems no better job than working at Microsoft) or how they get through their depression. Evoking sympathy in the audience may trigger interest in finding out the results. Thus, Coupland stirs the emotions in his audience to demonstrate Daniel and his friends unhealthy, sympathetic, twisted life syndrome. Coupland also employs a comparison of the human body to machines to demonstrate how Daniel and his roommates lead unbalanced lives devoid of social activities or

relationships with the outside world. This helps support Coupland s argument about the value of love and intimacy that cannot be found without social interaction. Coupland writes, I don t even do many sports anymore and my relationship with my body has gone all weird. I used to play soccer three times a week and now I feel like a boss in charge of an underachiever. I feel like my body is a station wagon in which I drive my brain around, like a suburban mother taking the kids to hockey practice (4). By describing himself as an underachiever, Coupland informs us of Daniel s sadness that he is unable to enjoy the life as he wishes. Daniel looks at himself as a loser who fails not only to satisfy his own needs, but who is also deficient in developing relationships with others. Thus,

it is not difficult for the audience to picture Daniel and his peers limited lives. Coupland compares the body s functions with a station wagon to reflect the relationship between working and self-concern, attempting to portray a picture of computer geeks bodies as the cheapest resource to accomplish any necessary task. Station wagon is a cheap transportation tool to carry family members around. With this comparison, readers can more easily discover the characters life style and picture their lack of self-concern. Coupland implies that if one is unconcerned about his own body, how can he build relationships with others? And without a relationship with others, there is no way to receive or experience love and intimacy. With these kinds of humorous comparisons throughout his novel,

Coupland highlights Daniel and his friends unbalance lives as well as hints at the overwhelming effects of love and intimacy that will come in the later chapters. Coupland also uses the character development of Daniel, Abe, and Michael to reinforce his argument about the importance of intimacy and love, depicting those characters regaining their lives through love. Daniel is the first to expose his eagerness for love with his girlfriend Karla. He cannot escape the bitterness of his life until he builds this close relationship with Karla. Coupland writes, Karla and I felt like the last couple on earth, walking through the emptiness. We felt like Adam and Eve (211). What a touching scene! What a delightful relationship our souls desire! It is, in fact, difficult for readers to

believe the changes Daniel makes and see the same character at the beginning of the book. One who is unsatisfied with living in a home-Microsoft-Costco three-point line life and struggling to retain his soul and identity in an increasingly confusing environment. The audience sees the strong contrast through this character development, which ultimately vindicates Coupland s points about the importance of love in one s life. The amazing effects produced by changes in the character strike readers hearts about the power of love. Love is a loyal fruit of intimacy, and life without love is a vacant. Indeed, all the audience shares Daniel s love and is happy for him. By making references to walking through emptiness, readers understand that Daniel is able to completely forget his