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God's Bits of Wood Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of God's Bits of Wood.
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Humanity versus Machine

The novel's three main themes are closely intertwined with each other. If there is a primary among the three, it is the exploration of the relationship between machine and humanity, machine in this context being defined in two different ways. The first is more literal, the railway "machine" (its rails, engines, cars, maintenance shops) which, in turn, is part of the larger industrial "machine" that began to dominate and define the human condition in the mid to late eighteenth century and continued its dominance well into the twentieth century. This "machine" is portrayed as simultaneously demanding and nurturing, dominating and essential, providing a way of life and security for those who work to maintain it. Several times throughout the narrative characters, even the striking ones, refer to the value and necessity of the "machine" in their lives, and their gratitude for it.

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This section contains 880 words
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Buy the God's Bits of Wood Study Guide
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