I admire machinery … but it will never be a substitute for the face of a man, with his soul in it, encouraging another man to be brave and true.

Background.

item I admire machinerybut it will never be a substitute for the face of a man, with his soul in it, encouraging another man to be brave and true” is a quotation from the Charles Dickens short story The Wreck of the Golden Mary.

item The Wreck of the Golden Mary was a short story about a terrifying ordeal of the passengers when the ship Golden Mary collides with an iceberg.

 

Context.

item Taken from the following passage in The Wreck of the Golden Mary:

O, what a thing it is, in a time of danger and in the presence of death, the shining of a face upon a face!  I have heard it broached that orders should be given in great new ships by electric telegraph.  I admire machinery as much is any man, and am as thankful to it as any man can be for what it does for us.  But it will never be a substitute for the face of a man, with his soul in it, encouraging another man to be brave and true.  Never try it for that.  It will break down like a straw.

electric_communication

Modern interpretation of the quotation (seen at a display of communication in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, 2016).

item The quotation has been changed over time and is now often interpreted as “Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.

 

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