Jennifer Toth in Mole People; Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City Chicago Review Press, 1993, p. 170, goes on to talk about our fear of the underground.
I think we all feel it. I know I do when I think about taking the subway up to north Philadelphia at night. It's not a place we're used to. Everyone is a transient. We feel alienated there. Cell phones don't work down there. It's dirty, often smelly if people have urinated there. We don't want to live down there and wonder about the people who do. It's dark, hard to see. There aren't very many crowds at night. People seem stiff and uncomfortable. There is limited access, and where there's limited access, there's limited egress. There may be a person taking money, but he or she's separated from the crowd by a glass window.
It wasn't always so, she says, on p. 170. Drawing from the work of Rosalind Williams, Notes on the Underground; An Essay on Technology, Society, and the Imagination (Cambridge, Massachusetts: the MIT Press, 1984), she writes,
Historian Rosalind Williams explains that subterranean iconography is based on historical and literary interpretations of underworlds as technological environments. Fear of the underground emerged historically, at the same time as fear of technological progress.I'm not familiar with this work. I think I'm going to search for it.
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