Portrayal of Machines During the Industrial Revolution Essay

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Portrayal of Machines During the Industrial Revolution Intuitively, we believe the portrayal of the machine in popular image-making during the Industrial Revolution became increasingly critical as time went on. With the building up of urban areas and unfurling of train tracks across the countryside, people's lives were forever changed by the machine. Probing more deeply into the conceptualization of the machine, we view the role of the machine from the perspective of distinct socioeconomic classes. The upper-class entrepreneur, the well-educated technician, the working class and the leisure class interpret the effects of machines on humanity differently. The upper-class entrepreneur understood the machine as a vehicle for…show more content…
. . at first. Once the first railway line was built in England in 1830, a widened public interest was focused on the emerging narrative of the train (Perry, 335). From Manchester to Liverpool, the enchantment of progress drew England's inhabitants to the religion of technology.{Graphic stripped} In the image of the "carnival train," the vaulted cathedral ceilings sit comfortably amongst the semi-pastoral, English township. The whimsical train spokes connote a carnival procession. The machine acts as a showcase of development in quiet harmony with traditional town life. A wave of contentment washes over the viewer. From the smoke stack trails, not a filthy by-product of industry, but a chain of clouds. We realize something is missing-- no steeple, no cross. A flag pushes up from the brow of the arch triumphantly. We are in a land where the center of civic life is no longer the church of Christ but the religion of the machine. People disappear and even the train act as ornament. The artist illustrates a world where technology lives in consonance with country life. There is no working class pinned before the relentless speed of a locomotive. The "carnival train" is an optimistic scene created by a well-to-do hobby painter. From this picture of peaceful interaction of nature and technology, the elite class gains satisfaction in the splendid capabilities of mankind. As the philosophers Marx and Engels wrote: "It is precisely the
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