‘Silo’: Why Is Mechanized Transportation Prohibited?

The silo staircase poster

Apple TV+’s Silo is more than just a Sci-fi adventure. It is a revolutionary political drama that examines how far a police state can go to exert control over a population. For people living in a mile-deep underground city with 144 stories, the best means of transportation would be a lift, but not in The Silo. A set of rules created 140 years ago banned people from creating any mechanized transport within the city, and many fans wonder why.

The rules, known as The Pact, were created after an event called The Rebellion which is believed to have been an uprising against the founders. The prohibition of mechanized transport means that the only way to get around is by climbing up and down the mile-long staircase on foot. It turns the different levels in the silo into prisons of sorts because people can’t move around and interact because most of them hardly ever leave the level on which they were born.

On paper, the pact states that the rules are meant to protect the people in the Silo, but it is difficult to imagine how inhibiting people’s ability to get around is good for them. When Juliette became sheriff, Sandy, Holston’s assistant, told her that she had no idea what people from the down deep ate. That means people in the lower levels hardly ever interact with those from the upper levels, which creates a class system in society based on how deep their level is from the surface. So, who came up with that oppressive law, and what purpose does it serve?

What is Silo about?

Apple Tv Silo Staircase 2

Silo is a TV series about 10,000 people living in a giant underground silo which they believe to be the only habitable place on Earth since the surface is believed to be toxic.

The silo has 144 levels, with everyone assigned to jobs, often on the level on which they are born, with a strict work schedule that only gives them a one-day break in a week.

A person’s job is assigned at a young age as they start as apprentices, known as Shadows, before eventually inheriting their superior’s (often their parents’) role.

The silo also has a sheriff and a mayor, although the most powerful authority is a shadow organization known as the Judicial which enforces an oppressive set of rules.


‘Silo’: Five Fan Theories on Reddit That Will Blow Your Mind

The events in the show start with Sheriff Holston and his wife Allison choosing to leave the underground city after discovering a conspiracy they believe seeks to keep people obedient to the rules and stay underground even though the surface could be safe.

They both die after leaving the Silo, but Holston’s successor, Juliette Nichols, works secretly to uncover the mysteries of the underground city while also investigating the murder of her boyfriend, who was killed while investigating the mysteries.

Before Nichols can solve her boyfriend’s murder, she discovers disturbing details about the shadow government that is willing to kill people just to keep the truth about the city hidden.

Her mission turns her into a rebel as the shadow government considers her a threat, making her a candidate for banishment or death, just like her boyfriend.

Why can’t lifts be built in The Silo?

silo serie apple tv 2023

All forms of mechanized transportation were banned in the Silo to keep occupants confined to one level.

While the pact claims that the rules are for the people’s safety, Juliette Nichols believes that it is just a tool for control meant to maintain a class system.

People living in the lower levels are unable to interact with their high-class counterparts in the upper levels closer to the surface.

The only people that can move to the higher levels are porters who carry messages and packages up and down the giant staircase.

Without mechanized transportation, children born in the lower levels never interact with other careers apart from what the people on their level do, meaning once someone moves to the down-deep, their entire generation is doomed to the peasantry.


‘Silo’: Who Is Patrick Kennedy? Meet Rick Gomez’s Character

The houses in the deep down are small and stuffy, jobs difficult, the food is substandard, and even the screen showing sky images are blurry.

Choosing to get a career that is not on one’s silo level means that they risk abandoning their family and friends forever, like Juliette did when she chose to be a mechanic rather than a delivery nurse.

Her father said he never visited her for all the years she worked in Mechanics because the many levels were too hard for him to climb on the one-day a week day-off that he gets.

Since the Silo has electricity, a mine, and engineers, it is fair to say they have everything they need to build a working lift or any other pulley system to get people and goods up and down the Silo.

Limiting people to move only by foot ensures that in case of an uprising on one level, the higher-ups can confine the rebels easily and quash the rebellion before it spreads to the rest of the Silo.

Why is magnification strength also limited?

Martha and Juliette in Silo

The other rule preventing mechanization and scientific advancement in The Silo is the limited power of magnification allowed.

Martha told Juliette that the higher-ups don’t allow the occupants to use magnification strength beyond a certain level to limit the size of writings they can read.

The law means they can’t study and discover microelements around them, which makes the invention of machines and reading contents of relics virtually impossible.

With strong magnifying lenses, people would be able to read relics from the past, which means Silo’s history could be exposed.

Magnification could also make it possible to put pieces from relics together, meaning technically talented occupants would be able to build a computer or something similar.

Limiting magnification, therefore, serves the same purpose of control, keeping the people in the dark to protect the lies told by the higher-ups.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments