phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Machinery of life

Posted by G on October 19, 2003

In Reply to: Machinery of life posted by sphinz on October 19, 2003

: : : We spend our leisure hours efficiently for higher productionClive by the clock even when time does not matterC modernize our homes and speed the machinery of living in order that we can go to the most places and do the most things in the shortest period of time possibleD

: : I'll take a stab at it. The "machinery of life" would be the mundane tasks we all have to do every day, every day, every day. Getting the food, cooking the food, serving the food, cleaning up. Washing clothes, etc.

: Which item does it fit then?
: n.
: 1.Machines or machine parts considered as a group.
: 2.The working parts of a particular machine.
: 3.A system of related elements that operate in a definable manner
: 4.A device or means of achieving or effecting a result.
: 5.A literary device for bringing about an effect, such as a happy ending.

I would say that it falls into category 4, "machinery of living" meaning the "means of achieving" the day-to-day tasks(such as those referred to in the first followup). The context in which the phrase is used in the passage - "(to) speed the machinery of living" - seems to me to refer to the advancement of the types of technologies which relate to these day to day tasks. For example, in relation to cooking, eating, cleaning up etc., food-processors, dishwashers, microwaves, pre-packed convenience foods. In relation to some other universal, timeless chores, the vaccuum-cleaner, washing machine/dryer, the power-shower, transport systems, home delivery services... the list could go on and on, if the word "life" is taken in it's broadest sense. However, the list would vary if "life" is taken to mean "the life of an individual" or a particular social context is implied. It would then depend on the needs of that particular social grouping or the individual's "lifestyle" or "way of life". Certain appliances or services might be considered essential to a "machinery of living" depending on place, time and set of circumstances/responsibilites.