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The Sound Machine Summary (ISC Class 12) By Roald Dahl

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The Sound Machine Summary By Roald Dahl
NameThe Sound Machine
AuthorRoald Dahl


The Sound Machine is a Roald Dahl brief tale that was included in his collection “The Complete Short Stories” in 1949. The narrative describes an incident in the life of Klausner, the protagonist, who is so preoccupied with sounds that other people frequently mistake him for being insane.

ISC English Summary – “The Sound Machine”

Roald Dahl’s story “The Sound Machine,” which was included in his 1949 collection “The Complete Short Stories,” is about Klausner & his fascination with sounds.

The main character, Klausner, claims that there are sounds that are inaudible to the human ear and that he is working to create a system that can capture these sounds. He works on it for hours. What at once seemed to be a simple wish has now developed into an addiction. Klausner is interested in the sounds that bats, flies, and even plants make. He claims that cutting the plants causes them to scream in pain.

He tests his concept one day by bringing his machine outside into the garden. He seems to be thinking a lot about the result. What will happen if his concept is incorrect, or even if it turns out to be true? These are the ideas that keep coming to him.

He has Mrs. Saunders as a closest neighbour. She immediately steps outside to prune her garden’s yellow rose bushes. When she removes the first yellow rose, Klausner hears a spooky sound in his headphones that sounds like someone is screaming. She is approached by him, who asks her to cut another rose. Klausner does hear the same piercing shriek when she cuts another rose. He explains to her that because plants are living beings, they experience pain when harmed or attacked.

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Klausner continues his experiment after Mrs. Saunders returns to her home, this time using white daisies. He takes out a daisy and hears a weeping sound in the distance. Repeating the process, he realises that the sound is simply a cry—a stone, neutral cry—and not the sound of pain. It appears to be a soulless note, perhaps reflecting an emotion that humans are not aware of. He also realises that the roses experienced the same thing.

The following day, Klausner visits a park with an axe & his sound machine. He uses the axe to chop at a tree, and he hears a shriek once more. To verify his theory, he makes a call to Dr. Scott. Dr. Scott shows there, and Klausner hands him the headphones while checking to see if he can hear anything. Dr. Scott claims that all he can hear is a humming noise.

In order to capture the sound with his device and have the Doctor hear it, Klausner now swings his axe at the tree. However, the contraption is destroyed this time as a tree branch falls from the sky. The likelihood of Klausner demonstrating his theory is destroyed.

Klausner, who is now quite scared, requests that the doctor apply iodine to the cut on the tree where he struck it. Dr. Scott consents to do that and promises to return the following day to see if the injury has healed. Additionally, the doctor asserts that he hasn’t heard any noise.

Dr. Scott thinks it’s best to return Klausner to his house since he needs a little change in his life. He then takes him out of the park while holding his arm.

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About The Author

From the master of the startling tale, Roald Dahl, comes The Sound Machine, a brief, razor-sharp, and frightening narrative. One of the most popular writers in the world, Roald Dahl, delivers a shady tale about the darkest aspects of human nature in The Sound Machine.

Conclusion – “The Sound Machine”

Klausner returns to the device and selects a different bloom to verify his theory. He listens to its cry through his headphones, wondering if the “curiously inert” sound it emits is really a sign of pain, & eventually comes to the conclusion that it must be an emotion beyond human comprehension.

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