Nature/Place -- Nonfiction
Group 2 -- Linsay Sharp, Marcy Hurst, Jason Fontenot

Jason Fontenot

"Time and the Machine"
Aldous Huxley

Time, at least recently, is a state of mind. That is the way Aldous Huxley sees it in his essay "Time and the Machine," from The Olive Tree. The world no longer controls time, but time controls the world. The author seems to think that this is because of industrialism. Huxley also illustrates that people, especially Americans, act as though they cannot endure waiting for anything. Huxley comments on this aspect of modern civilization, however, I was astonished to discover that this essay was written in 1937 (Santee 1). It seemed to be written in very modern times. I think that Huxley might have gotten the idea for this from the jobs created by industrialization brought on by World War I. "All wars increase the rate of technological innovations," said Daniel Santee (1). With people working in factories and offices, everyone is on a strict schedule. Huxley emphasizes that the world, and nature for that matter, no longer exist for beauty or to give us food and shelter. Now, only time exists. It is not natural, cosmic time, either. It is a new, artificial time.

Not that I want to revert back to the old time, day and night, told by the sun, but I do think what Huxley is pointing out is true. Everything depends on what time it is. Everything happens at a certain time. Numbers control our society, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and of course, time. We have to be places for certain times, and for certain amounts of time. Huxley makes it clear that people can live, and work without even knowing where the sun is in the sky. As long as they have a clock, they can function in this world. The time tells us when to wake up, and when to go to sleep. We eat lunch during our lunch hour, a certain time, not when we simply begin to feel hungry. So when you really think about it, time does control our lives. I, however, am in favor of having, and being aware of time. I think that it provides much needed organization to society. I do agree that our fast paced, impatient society would slow down without it, but our world would not be the same in any way. So, overall, the author is correct, time is in charge of us, but I do not think we, society as a whole, could function in our daily lives if we took away time.

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