i) According to the author, the world has turned into a stuffy room. This is because we as adults are no longer attracted to the hum of insects and the playfulness of moles and hedgehogs. Instead, our stressful lives have created such an aversion for everything warm and beautiful that they seem no more than an irritation to us. Love and warmth have been replaced by machine-like situations and stuffiness.
ii) The word ‘stabbing’ literally means the action of penetrating someone with a sharp object from a very close distance. In reference to the context, however, the word stabbing has a different meaning, and refers to the discomfort that animals these days seem to cause to humans, who have simply forgotten how to relish in the midst of nature and its creations. This is why these creatures seem to be ‘stabbing’, a reference to their being dangerous or intending to cause harm.
iii) A run-down machine is one that has exhausted itself and has ceased to function. The world is compared to a run-down machine by the author who means to convey that the world has lost all its charm and freshness. People and nature are no longer connected, and everything has become so mechanical, that the world seems nothing more than a run-down dilapidated machine.
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