The Man is Asbestos Summary Notes

The Man is Asbestos Author

Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) was born at Swanmore in Hampshire, England. He was educated at the University of Toronto. He has written books of fun, humor, and nonsense that include Literary Lapses, Nonsense Novels, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, Behind the Beyond, Frenzied Fiction, and Short Circuits. He has established himself as one of the finest humorists of the century.

In his story, Stephen Leacock presents the vision of life in the future without dreams, work, challenges, threats, etc. The Man in Asbestos is the story of a man who wakes up in the future only to be disillusioned with the dull monotonous life led by the men in asbestos. He finally establishes that No work and no play deprives people of joy.

The Man is Asbestos Summary

The story appeared in a collection of stories called ‘Nonsense Novels’in 1911.

Leacock begins the short story ‘The Man in Asbestos’ by candidly admitting that he was jealous of the other fiction writers who were able to write futuristic stories. He mocks them saying, “It seemed unfair that other writers should be able at will to drop into a sleep of four or five hundred years, and to plunge headfirst into a distant future and be a witness to its marvels”. So the author also wants to be able to do so and write a futuristic story. He reveals that he is a ‘Passionate Student’ of social problems. He says that industrialization and relentless toil of the working class, discontent, poverty, war, cruelty dismays him. He cherishes the thought that one day man will have conquered nature and human beings will lead a peaceful life without any struggles.

So he deliberately prepared himself to fall asleep, and dream about how the world will look after two or three centuries in the future. He armed himself with illustrated comic papers. Then he ate a sumptuous meal consisting of a pie and dozens of doughnuts. Then he lay on the bed and started reading the comics. He says that as he reached the ‘London Weekly Times’ he became drowsy and dropped off into deep sleep. The author comments that ‘It was, in a way, clear, straight suicide, but I did it.

As he slipped into a deep slumber, he heard a man singing loudly across the hall, but later it grew fainter and fainter and he fell into ‘deep immeasurable sleep’. He felt the days, years and centuries go past. But later the author was suddenly jolted awake and jokes that he had traveled centuries into the future. When he looked around he saw that he was lying on a couch, in a dimly lit, ill-maintained, large room. He guessed that it might be some kind of a museum because he found some stuffed figures in glass cases.

He found a man sitting beside him. The narrator describes the man as “His face was hairless, but neither old nor young. He wore I clothes that looked like grey ashes of paper that had burned and kept its shape”. The man sat there looking at the narrator with disinterest. The narrator then pleaded with the man to quickly tell him where he was and which year it was and if it was the year 3000. The man looked annoyed and told the narrator that he spoke in a strange and exciting voice.

When the narrator again questioned him, the man pacified him saying that he understood his anxiety but admitted that he was also ignorant of the time and year because nobody had kept a rescue them for a long time. The author was flabbergasted when he heard that they keep records of time and years. The man explained that they used to keep track of time and year about a century or two ago but it went out of fashion when they had ‘Eliminated Death’.

The narrator was astonished to hear that the futuristic people had put ‘death to death’ and exclaimed, ‘ “Eliminated death!”, sitting upright. “Good God”! ’ When the man heard the narrator exclaiming ‘Good God’, he asked him to say it once again and then told the author that he had never heard those words or rather forgotten them, for a very long time after they had eliminated, Death, Food, Change, Events, etc.

The narrator was stunned and confused. Looking at him in that state the man from the future explained that the author might have been asleep for a long time and so he might not be aware that those things had been eliminated. The man encouraged the narrator to ask a few questions provided that he didn’t get interested or excited.

The narrator says that it seemed odd because the very first question that popped in his mind was about the clothes the futuristic man was dressed in. The man told him that it was made of asbestos – a highly heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics. He explained that the clothes made of asbestos lasted for centuries and in case if anybody needed new ones there were billions of them stocked up in the warehouse.

The narrator thanks the man and requests him to tell him where he vas. The man explained that the narrator was in a museum where h, .nan specimens of past centuries were kept in the glass cases. The man then invites the narrator to accompany him to Broadway, where they could sit on a bench and talk. As they walked out the narrator saw a specimen dressed in blue clothes with a belt and baton, in one of the glass cases. He asked the man if it was the specimen of a policeman. The futuristic man was taken aback and told the narrator that he didn’t know about it and wanted to know what a policeman was. The narrator told him that a policeman stands at the comer of a street. The futuristic man then replies, “Ah, yes, I see,” he said, “so as to shoot at the people. You must excuse my ignorance, as to some of your social customs in the past. When I took my education I was operated upon for social history, but the stuff they used was very inferior”.

The narrator was quite dismayed as he didn’t understand what the man said. He wanted to ask him for an explanation, but at that moment they had stepped onto the ‘Broadway’. The narrator was taken aback at the sight because instead of a busy broad road with roaring traffic, all he saw was decrypt moss-covered buildings mined by centuries of neglect. There was absolute silence and the roads were empty without any automobiles. There weren’t any signs of communication cables overhead. The place was deserted and looked lifeless, except for a few human figures dressed in asbestos clothes walking slowly up and down the street. They all looked similar in appearance to the Asbestos Man and were of indeterminate ages.

The narrator was quite disillusioned. He had not hoped to see such a future, an era of conquest – with the world desolate and in ruins. Later the narrator and the asbestos man sat down on a bench. The asbestos man asked him proudly if he saw any great improvement in the world since the days he could remember back in his time.

The narrator was speechless but managed to ask the asbestos man why there were no automobiles on the road. The man replied with a shudder that they had paced them out as they didn’t require those aw&l contraptions. So the narrator curiously asked him how they traveled from place to place. The man answered that there was no need for any travel when “It’s just the same being here as being anywhere else”.

Though a thousand questions popped up in the narrator’s mind, he simply asked how they traveled to work and back home. The asbestos man was surprised at the narrator’s mention of work because he explained that they had also finished doing all ‘work’ centuries ago.

The narrator looked at the asbestos man in disbelief and then again looked about the decrypt and desolate street. He realized that if he really needed to understand about that ‘undreamed-of future’, he had to investigate it step-by-step. So he requested the asbestos man to explain it systematically. Then the narrator asked the asbestos man what he meant by saying that there was no work.

The asbestos man explained that almost two hundred years after the narrator’s time, they had established the “Era of the Great conquest of Nature, the final victory of Man and Machinery”. The narrator was thrilled when he heard it. The asbestos man further explained that they had successfully established. The ‘Era of Conquest’ by decreasing their needs instead of increasing their desires. They had started it by first discovering ‘Chemical food’. It was as simple as that. It was the end of agriculture. They did not need to cultivate land for food like in the narrator’s time. They manufactured and stored chemical food that would last for centuries. Hence a lot of laborious work such as domestic work, housework was eliminated.

They had now discovered a ‘Concentrated Chemical food pill’, that once ingested by them, they would not be hungry for years. So there was no need for the whole human digestive apparatus, and now they used it for some other purposes. The asbestos man’s belly was now used for filling up ‘education’.
After inventing Chemical food pill, they invented asbestos clothes. The asbestos man admitted that they would not have invented the asbestos clothes but for a ‘revolt of women and the elimination of fashion’.

The narrator thought that the idea of fashion being ‘out of fashion’ was an insane but extravagant idea. The asbestos man went telling the narrator that they had practically killed the ‘changes of climate’. He explained that every change in weather and climate needed different special clothes, houses and shelters and they needed a lot of work to be done. These changes in weather were sometimes devastating to human-beings. So they ‘killed the weather ’ by altering it, so that the weather remained constant through the centuries.

The narrator admitted that though the weather in his time was sometimes devastating it was also sometimes beautiful. He was curious to know how they managed to alter the weather. The Asbestos man explained that they did it by a simple methodology. “They turned the elements of weather loose against each other and altered the composition of the sea water to make it gelatinous (thick clear liquid). The Asbestos man admitted that he couldn’t explain the process of altering the composition of sea water because he hadn’t studied about it in school. But he knew that it made the sea-water gum coloured and there by the sky always looked grey and cloudless thus the weather remained unchanged for centuries.

So this cut out the use of fuel and houses (needed for protection from nature and weather) and drastically reduced the amount of work involved in building houses and making clothes to suit every change in the weather. And so ultimately with the conquest of nature, work was eliminated and since they didn’t need to live in houses so they abandoned them centuries ago and thus the buildings slowly became decript and turned into ruins.

The narrator then realized for the first time, what work had meant in his time and how much their life revolved around work.
While the narrator was pondering about it, he happened to catch sight of what seemed to be the remains of telephone wires. He pointed towards them and curiously asked the asbestos man what happened to the means of communication such as telegraph and the telephone and why they didn’t need them
The Asbestos man was enthused when he came to know that telephones where used for communication and revealed that they had slowly suppressed the need for any communication centuries ago.

The Asbestos man told the narrator that he lived in a ‘dreadful age’ and seemed horrified at the thought that anybody could call anybody at anytime over the telephone, and talk. But in the age that the Asbestos man lived all transportation and inter-communication was banned and phased out. He reasoned that people who lived after the age of the narrator became more sensible and drastically cut down their needs. When ‘Work” stopped, commerce ended and with the chemical food pill, hunger ended and when the weather changes were stopped, it seemed foolish to travel anywhere, so even transportation was terminated. The Asbestos man shuddered at the thought of transportation as he.thought it was dangerous.

When the narrator wanted known if they still laced any ‘danger’, the Asbestos man, told him that there was always a danger of getting broken’. The Asbestos man explained that ‘getting broken did not mean ‘death’. They had also eliminated death centuries ago. He pointed out that ‘Disease and death were simply a matter of germs’. They had found all the germs one by one and destroyed them and thereby there was no disease in their age and they lived forever, unless they ‘get broken’. The man elaborated saying the sometimes people may fell down from a height or dash against sometimes and ‘break’ themselves. This happened because they were ‘a little brittle’. (break easily or shatter easily) and that’s the reason why automobiles were banned in their age. The Asbestos man shivered at the thought of accidents.

The narrator proudly responded by saying that in his generation driving was part of the duty of brave people. The Asbestos man cut him short and asked the narrator to calm down because he considered ‘bravery’ as ‘irrational’ (unreasonable).

Afterward both of them sat on the bench silently for a very long time. The narrator felt that the ‘Millennium of happiness’ in which the Asbestos man lived was meaningless and without any charm, without work, hunger, cold, hard struggle and death. While pondering over that he asked the Asbestos man if there was any war in their age. The man told him that they had eliminated war centuries ago. All international disputes were settled with a slot machine and there was no necessity for international trade and exchange. He pointed out that they thought ‘foreigners are awful’.

Then the narrator wanted to know if there were any newspapers. The Asbestos man was astonished at such a question and pointed out that there weren’t any need for newspapers because there were no wars, no accidents, no work or no death to report in the newspapers and so they had stopped printing those centuries ago. It seemed that the Asbestos man was getting irritated at the narrator’s non-stop questioning and asked him if he used to be a ‘Social Reformer ’ in his age. He asked the narrator to realize how all burdens had disappeared in their (asbestos man’s) age. He asked the narrator to consider how they spent their early part of their lives in the narrator’s age. The narrator replied that the first fifteen years of their lives were spent in getting education The Asbestos man agreed but asked the narrator to consider how they (asbestos man) had improved the system of imparting education.

He pointed out that it might appear strange to the narrator that education was being imparted through a simple surgical operation. In the age of the Asbestos man education was not a labourious painful mental operation. They had invented ‘surgical education’ in which a piece of prepared brain was grafted to a man’s brain. It was a very simple procedure which lasted only for a few minutes. The Asbestos man illustrated the procedure by showing a scar on the side of his head where he was operated on to implant a piece prepared brain that consisted of stored information regarding Spherical Trigonometry.

The procedure was rather painful unlike that of inplanting a piece of prepared brain with stored information such as English poetry or history, which was less painful. He points out that he shudders at the thought of learning through the painful, barbarous methods of education that exist in the narrator’s era. The man revealed that lately they had discovered that there is no need to use brains for a great many things and thus they found a way to store unimportant information such as philosophy and metaphysics etc, in the digestive systems of their bodies, since their digestive system was also little used as their chemical food pill lasted for years.

Later the Asbestos man curiously asked the narrator how they used to spend their time and effort after the completion of their education. The narrator explained that the spend most of their time at work and much of their spare time was occupied with thoughts of love, and finding a life partner to share one’s life.
The Asbestos man’s was now showing real interest in their conversation. He pointed out that he had heard about interaction between men and women, but could not understand it and asked the narrator to explain how they selected a woman as their life partner.

The narrator explained that the woman they selected became their wife and men worked to look after their wives and family. The Asbestos man seemed horrified to know that the narrator’s wife had the right to live in his house and use his things. He thought that it was a dreadful idea, because in his age men and women looked alike and were treated as equals.

When the narrator asked the Asbestos man about children, he told him that he had never heard of any such a ‘being’ in at least a century. He imagined that children are, ‘Horrible little Hobgoblins’, with great big faces and cried constantly and grew like funguses.

At last the narrator was fed up with futuristic age. He found that the future civilization was a dull, dead thing. He longed to get back to his own time. He started to cry out flinging his arms in the air and suddenly woke up to find himself in the room of his hotel, with the familiar sound of the automobiles wafting through the windows and felt reassured.

He could still hear the Asbestos man calling loudly for him to come forward to h( asbestos man) time of the century, “Quit your blatting, you infernal blatherskite’, he was calling. “Come down to earth”.

But the author who had woken up from the nightmare of a futuristic century felt that he really had come back to earth. He felt that the world of the Asbestos man is a world in which life has lost all meaning and charm.

The Man is Asbestos Glossary

strife                : conflict over fundamental issues
faddish            : fashionable but not likely to stay fashionable for a long time
thoroughfare  : a main road in a town
harangues      : a lengthy and aggressive speech
hobgoblins    : an evil or mischievous imp or elf
infernal          : hellish
blatherskite   : gibberish, nonsense

The Man is Asbestos Questions & Answers

Question 1.
What appals the narrator in the story?
Answer:
Being a passionate student of social problems, the author, Stephen Leacock was appalled with the world today, full of roaring machines, unceasing toil of it working classes, its strifes its poverty, its war, cruelty etc.

Question 2.
In which place did the narrator find himself when he woke up?
Answer:
Earth in the 30th Century.

Question 3.
The habit of keeping track of time had become obsolete. True/False
Answer:
True.

Question 4.
The men in the future moved about in (jeans, linen, asbestos, space suit)
Answer:
Asbestos.

Question 5.
What aroused the curiosity of the narrator?
Answer:
The narrator became curious when he heard the Asbestos man tell him that they had eliminated death.

Question 6.
What made the narrator speechless?
Answer:
The picture of the future world in 3 0th century full of dislocated ruins made the narrator speechless.

Question 7.
All work had been done centuries before. True/False
Answer:
True.

Question 8.
What had killed work, according to the man in asbestos?
Answer:
The invention of Chemical food and the killing of the weather had killed work.

Question 9.
What had replaced food as explained by him?
Answer:
Chemical Food, a concentrated pill that lasts for a year, replaced food.

Question 10.
What was the stomach of the man in asbestos-filled with?
Answer:
The stomach of the Asbestos Man was filled with his ‘Education’.

Question 11.
In what way was the problem of old age addressed, according to the man in asbestos?
Answer:
The problem of old age was addressed by eliminating all the disease-causing germs one by one. The Men of the 30th-century world lived forever.

Question 12.
Wars were not fought by men in asbestos. Why?
Answer:
Wars were phased out centuries ago. Any International disputes were settled using a slot machine and all foreign dealings were given up.

Question 13.
How is the education imparted in the age of the man in asbestos?
Answer:
Education was imparted through a simple brain operation. A piece of prepared brain, for instance, a piece of the brain filled with Mathematics was grafted to the man’s brain. The time taken for the procedure was a few minutes. They also did not need to use the brain for a great many things, so they filled their useless stomachs with unimportant education subjects such as philosophy or metaphysics.

Question 14.
Where were subjects like philosophy and metaphysics lodged?
Answer:
In their stomachs. (Digestive System)

Question 15.
What are the children compared to?
Answer:
The children are compared to ‘Horrible little hobgoblins’ with great big faces that cried constantly.

Question 16.
What preparations did the narrator make before going to sleep for two or three hundred years?
Answer:
The narrator deliberately prepared himself to fall asleep, and dream about how the world will look after two or three centuries in the future. He armed himself with illustrated comic papers. Then he ate a sumptuous meal consisting of a pie and dozens of doughnuts. Then he lay on the bed and started reading the comics. He says that as he reached the ‘London Weekly Times ’ he became drowsy and dropped off into deep sleep. The author comments that ‘It was, in a way, clear, straight suicide, but I did it.

Question 17.
Why was it not necessary to keep track of time anymore?
Answer:
The author was flabbergasted when he heard that they didn’t keep a record of time and years. The man explained that they used to keep track of time and year about a century or two ago but it went out of fashion when they had ‘Eliminated Death’.

Question 18.
Describe how Broadway had changed since the narrator’s time.
Answer:
The ‘Broadway’. Large openmainroad inNew york the narrator was taken aback at the sight because instead of a busy broad road with roaring traffic, all he saw was decript moss-covered buildings ruined by centuries of neglect. There was absolute silence and the roads were empty without any automobiles. There weren’t any signs of communication cables overhead. The place was deserted and looked lifeless, except for a few human figures dressed in asbestos clothes walking slowly up and down the street. They all looked similar in appearance to the Asbestos Man and were of indeterminate ages.

The narrator was quite disillusioned. He had not hoped to see such a future, an era of conquest – with the world desolate and in mins.

Question 19.
What had happened to the vehicles and why?
Answer:
The narrator was speechless but managed to ask the asbestos man why there were no automobiles on the road. The man replied with a shudder that they had paced them out as they didn’t require those awful contraptions. So the narrator curiously asked him how they traveled from place to place. The man answered that there was no need for any travel when “It’s just the same being here as being anywhere else”.

Though a thousand questions popped up in the narrator’s mind, he simply asked how they traveled to work and back home. The asbestos man was surprised at the narrator’s mention of work because he explained that they had also finished doing all ‘work’ centuries ago. So no one needed to work or travel hence automobiles were paced out.

Question 20.
Explain how men had been caught in the cogs of their own machine.
Answer:
Men in the age of the narrator had invented many machineries that worked on steam and later with electricity. But that wasn’t enough. With every improvement in the types of machinery, the man had to work harder, because man craved for more. Things, so he had to work harder wife moved at a hectic phase became began relentlessly with any stop. The man was all caught in the cogs of their own machine and it seemed they were entrapped in machines forever.

Question 21.
How had the man in asbestos received education?
Answer:
The Asbestos man asked the narrator to consider how they (asbestos man) had improved the system of imparting education. He pointed out that it might appear strange to the narrator that education was being imparted through a simple surgical operation. In the age of the Asbestos man education was not a laborious painful mental operation. They had invented surgical education’ in which a piece of the prepared brain was grafted to a man’s brain. It was a very simple procedure that lasted only for a few minutes.

The Asbestos man illustrated the procedure by showing a scar on the side of his head where he was operated on to implant a piece of prepared brain that consisted of the stored information regarding Spherical Trigonometry. The procedure was rather painful unlike that of implanting a piece of prepared brain with stored information such as English poetry or history, which was less painful. He points out that he shudders at the thought of learning through the painful, barbarous methods of education that exist in the narrator’s era.

The man revealed that lately, they had discovered that there is no need to use brains for a great many things and thus they found a way to store unimportant information such as philosophy and metaphysics, etc, in the digestive systems of their bodies, since their digestive system was also little used as their chemical food pill lasted for years.

Question 22.
Why were transportation and intercommunication forbidden?
Answer:
The Asbestos man told the narrator that he lived in a ‘dreadful age’ and seemed horrified at the thought that anybody could call anybody at any time over the telephone, and talk. But in the age that the Asbestos man lived all transportation and inter-communication was banned and phased out. He reasoned that people who lived after the age of the narrator became more sensible and drastically cut down their needs. When ‘Work’ stopped, commerce ended, and with the chemical food pill, hunger ended and when the weather changes were stopped, it seemed foolish to travel anywhere, so even transportation was terminated. The Asbestos man shuddered at the thought of transportation as he thought it was dangerous.

When the narrator wanted to know if they still faced any ‘danger’, the Asbestos man, told him that there was always a danger of getting broken’. The Asbestos man explained that ‘getting broken did not mean ‘death’. They had also eliminated death centuries ago. He pointed out that ‘Disease and death were simply a matter of germs’. They had found all the germs one by one and destroyed them and thereby there was no disease in their age and they lived forever unless they ‘get broken’. The man elaborated saying the sometimes people may fell down from a height or dash against sometimes and ‘break’ themselves. This happened because they were ‘a little brittle’. (break easily or shatter easily) and that’s the reason why automobiles were banned in their age. The Asbestos man shivered at the thought of accidents.

Question 23.
How had death been shunted out of human lives?
Answer:
They had also eliminated death centuries ago. He pointed out that ‘Disease and death were simply a matter of germs’. They had found all the germs one by one and destroyed them and thereby there was no disease in their age and they lived forever unless they ‘get broken’. The man elaborated saying the sometimes people may fall down from a height or dash against sometimes and ‘break’ themselves. This happened because they were ‘a little brittle’. ( break easily or shatter easily) and that’s the reason why automobiles were banned in their age. The Asbestos man shivered at the thought of accidents.

Question 24.
Write a note on the fruit of the conquest.
Answer:
The fruit of conquest is referred to as the victory over hunger, changes in weather, death, and disease, and work. Such a world would be dull, unexciting, and dreary, with the burdens of life gone. It would seem a mere stagnation of life lull of dull monotony.

Question 25.
What did the man in asbestos find dreadful?
Answer:
The Asbestos man found getting married to a woman and giving her the right to live in our houses and use our things, dreadful.

Question 26.
What was the opinion the man in asbestos had of women?
Answer:
The Asbestos Man believed that the women of the narrators were something absurd. He imagined that they covered themselves with feathers and skins and dazzling colors made of dead things. They seemed to laugh all the time showing their foolish teeth. He believed that they were so tactful that could persuade a man to marry them by deception or flattery. He thought that marriage was a dreadful thing because a man had to work for his wife and family and let her live with him and share his things with her.

Question 27.
How does the narrator sum up life in the Millenium?
Answer:
The narrator found the Asbestos man’s civilization, the Millenium, a dull, dead thing, with work and the burden gone out of life, and with them all the joy and sweetness of it. The struggles of life were replaced with a stagnation of life. The dull monotony of security replaced danger and death. The narrator was disillusioned with such a life and longed to get back to his old life of danger and stress, with its hard toils and its bitter chances, and its heart breaks. He found great value in the life in his own era and realized the worth of such a life. He wanted to get back to the exciting restless life in his own era. The narrator felt that world of the Asbestos man is a world in which life has lost all meaning and charm.

Question 28.
Describe the Era of the great conquest of Nature.
Answer:
In the short – story ‘The Asbestos Man”, the men of the future era of the earth have succeeded in conquering Nature, hunger work etc. They had eliminated the necessity of conventional education, travel, marriage and clothing, and even communication and war. The men of the future era had also eliminated the need to keep a record of time. They had conquered the change of season by converting the ocean water into a thick gel, thus eliminating the changes in season and weather.

They had invented clothes made of asbestos, which would last for a century. They had conquered hunger by inventing a ‘Chemical food pill’ which kept hunger at bay for many years. With the elimination of hunger and changes in season they had eliminated the need to work. Once they had eliminated ‘Work’ they had ho where to go out and thus they had phased out automobiles housing, communication and war.

Not only did they eliminate hunger, change in weather, they had also eliminated death by eliminating all the disease-causing germs. They had changed the conventional method of imparting education by introducing “Surgical education”, a procedure in which a prepared piece of preloaded information on any subject is implanted in a man’s brain. Since they had eliminated hunger their digestive system was also little used and they found a way to store unimportant information such as philosophy and metaphysics, in the digestive system. The then of future having conquered everything had even conquered love and the institution of marriage. When they become immortal there wasn’t any need for children, love or marriage.

In the era of the conquest of nature, there wasn’t any necessity of law, Intemation trade, army or Police. International disputes were solved through a slot – machine.

The world in the era of conquest of nature was full of decrypt moss-covered buildings runned by centuries of neglect. There was absolute silence and roads were empty without any automobiles. There wasn’t any signs of communication cables overhead. The place appeared deserted and looked lifeless except for a few human figures dressed in asbestos clothes walking slowly up and down the street aimlessly with nothing to do. They all looked similar in appearance and were of indeterminate ages.

Thus this future civilization was a dull, dead thing. It was a would in which life had lo stall meaning and charm. So the narrator longed to get back to his own time.

Question 29.
Why was the narrator disillusioned with the conquest of nature as seen in his dream. Substantiate.
Answer:
Yes, I think the dream of the narrator is actually a vision of the future. In the short – story “The Asbestos Man”, the men of the future era of the earth have succeeded in conquering Nature, hunger work etc. They had eliminated the necessity of conventional eduro+; travel, marriage and clothing and even communication and v, The men of the future era had also eliminated the need to record of time. They had conquered the change of season converting the ocean water into a thick gel thus eliminating the changes in season and weather.

They had invented clothes made of asbestos, which would last for a centry. They had conquered hunger by inventing a ‘Chemical food pill’ which kept hunger at bay for many years. With the elimination of hunger and changes in season they had eliminated the need to work. Once they had eliminated ‘Work’ they had nowhere to go out and thus they had phased out automobiles housing, communication and war.

Not only did they elimanate hunger, change in weather, they had also eliminated death by eliminating all the desease cousing germs. The had changed the conventional method of imparting education by introducing “Surgical education”, aprocedure in which a prepared piece of preloaded infromation on any subject is implanted in a man’s brain. Since they had eliminated hunger their digestive system was also little used and they found a way to store unimportant information such as philosopy and metaphysics, in the digestive system. The then of future having conquered everything had even conquered love and the institution ofmarriage. When they become immortal there wasn’t any need for children, love or Marriage.

In the era of the conquest of nature, there wasn’t any necessity of law, Intemation trade, army or Police. International disputes were solved through a slot – Machine.

The world in the era of conquest of nature was full of decript moss covered buildings runned by centuries of neglect. There was absolute silence and roads were empty without any automobiles. There wasn’t any signs of communication cables overhead. The place appeared deserted and looked lifeless except for a few human figures dressed in asbestos clothes walking slowly up and down the street aimlessly with nothing to do. They all looked similar in appearance and were of indeterminate ages.

Thus this future civilization was a dull, dead thing. It was a would in which life had lost all meaning and charm. So the narrator longed to get back to his own time.

Question 30.
Do you think the dream of the narrator is actually a vision of the future of humanity?
Answer:
In the short – story ‘The Asbestos Man”, the men of the future era of the earth have succeeded in conquering Nature, hunger work etc. They had eliminated the necessity of conventional education, travel, marriage and clothing and even communication and war. The men of the future era had also eliminated the need to keep record of time. They had conquered the change of season by Converting the ocean water into a thick gel thus eliminating the changes in season and weather. They had invented clothes made of asbestos, which would last for a centry. They had conquered hunger by inventing a ‘Chemical food pill’ which kept hunger at bay for many years. With the elimination of hunger and changes in season they had eliminated the need to work. Once they had eliminated ‘Work’ they had howhere to go out and thus they had phased out automobles housing, communication and war.

Not only did they elimanate hunger, change in weather, they had also eliminated death by eliminating all the desease causing germs. The had changed the conventional method of imparting education by introducing “Surgical education”, a procedure in which a prepared piece of preloaded inffomation on any subject is implanted in a man’s brain. Since they had eliminated hunger their digestive system was also little used and they found a way to store unimportant information such as philosopy and Metaphysics, in the digestive system. The then of future having conquered everything had even conquered love and the institution of Marriage. When they become immortal there wasn’t any need for children, love or Marriage.

In the era of the conquest of nature, there wasn’t any necessity of law, Intemation trade, army or Police. International disputes were solved through a slot – Machine.

The world in the era of conquest of nature was full of decript moss-covered buildings runned by centuries of neglect. There was absolute silence and roads were empty without any automobiles. There weren’t any signs of communication cables overhead. The place appeared deserted and looked lifeless except for a few human figures dressed in asbestos clothes walking slowly up and down the street aimlessly with nothing to do. They all looked similar in appearance and were of indeterminate ages.

Thus this future civilization was a dull, dead thing. It was a world in which life had lost all meaning and charm.

Question 31.
Does the humorous story have a profound and compelling message for humanity? Do you agree?
Answer:
Yes, I agree ‘The Man in Asbestos’ is very funny to read it gives out a profound and compelling Message for humanity. ‘The Man in asbestos’ is an allegory of the future by Stephen Leacock. It is about a future era on earth in which man will have conquered nature, hunger, work, and evem death. Man tends to dream of rosy future of the world. We believe that human wisdom would give us happy solutions to all our problems. We need to realize that machines, industrialization and scientific and technological developments do not automatically lead us to a paradise on earth. How would the life feel when in the future there is no death, clothing, cities, work, food education, weather, children, and communication? We would be thrilled at the conquest of nature and death but is it a blessing? what would life be if we are deprived of the present marvels of the world.

Life would be dull, empty and meaningless. What would happen if we suddenly have no desires or worries? Hunger, war, disease, disasters, death are the things that make us human. All living beings are imperfect, this imperfectness adds charm to their lives. ‘Perfection is the end of progress and then it becomes the worst problem and so, perfection is undesirable. It would make our fives dull, monotonous and boring without charm and lifeless. Life without challenges and strife, confusion and chaos is no fife at all. They make fife interesting and enjoyable journey.

English Summary

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