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    Accounted for


    Can a good soul explain to me what means the last sentence all space was accounted for in the context?

    "This city, as you know, is built deep beneath the surface of the earth, with only the vomitories protruding. Having paced the platform outside my own room, I took the lift to the next platform and paced that also, and so with each in turn, until I came to the topmost, above which begins the earth. All the platforms were exactly alike, and all that I gained by visiting them was to develop my sense of space and my muscles. I think I should have been content with thisó it is not a little thing,óbut as I walked and brooded, it occurred to me that our cities had been built in the days when men still breathed the outer air, and that there had been ventilation shafts for the workmen. I could think of nothing but these ventilation shafts. Had they been destroyed by all the food-tubes and medicine-tubes and music- tubes that the Machine has evolved lately? Or did traces of them remain? One thing was certain. If I came upon them anywhere, it would be in the railway-tunnels of the topmost storey. Everywhere else, all space was accounted for.

    The Machine Stops by E.M.Foster, 1909


  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    Re: Accounted for

    I am not a teacher.

    In this context it means something like, 'Everywhere else, all the available space was used up' or, 'There existed no space whose use was not known'.

    The character was looking for traces of old ventilation shafts. If there were any, they would be found in the railway-tunnels of the topmost storey, because they couldn't be anywhere else since all the space was already occupied by something else.

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