The Time Machine
Comparison of the Time Machine and the Invisible Man by H.g. Wells
H.G. Wells is considered to be one of the most successful writers in English language that came up with internationally popular novels like “The Time Machine” and “The Invisible Man”. His works made way for a new era in the world of science fictions which inspired many movies, comics and other media productions that used similar themes with different storylines. Wells’ works allowed human imaginations to reach a completely different level as far as scientific theories and fictions are taken into account. His works were not only a great source of amusement but at the same time were food for thought about various aspects of human nature.
It is empirical to keep in mind that as far as science fiction novels are taken under consideration, Wells is one of the very few writers who managed to skillfully present completely new ideas or concepts. His works would overwhelm the readers and would take them to a different level. In “The Time Machine” and “The Invisible Man”, the author might have followed a general theme of science fiction, but at the same time, he also focused on two different personalities and their philosophies and values. Careful analysis of different chapters of the books makes it much easier to understand (Johnson).
If we consider these two novels, the first issue that comes into the mind is the genre. Both are science fictions which depicts concepts that are not possible (at least in the present day and age) to come into reality. These are the works of fiction which helps the readers to understand how far human imaginations can actually go and the power of their mind to think of ideas that are very much impossible to come into existence in the current time but does opens new paths of possibility.
In general, one of the basic similarities that worth mentioning about these two novels is that both focuses on two distinct human fantasies that people may find extremely mind boggling but at the same time possible to comprehend. Both are great sources of thrill that is worth mentioning. The storylines of these novels are considered to be timeless as till this day and age they still are read all over the world. New ideas have surfaced from these storylines but by nature are considered to be pure original (Priest).
While the genre of the novels might be the same, the themes are very much different. The first one talk about a machine that allows people to travel to a completely different time of the past, something that allows the traveler to take a glimpse of the events that are now in existence only in books (Wells). On the other hand, “The Invisible Man” talks about the central character having the ability to make himself completely invisible in front of other people, something that offers same intensity in terms of thrill but focuses on a very different theme (Handcock).
If we consider the personality of both central characters, we can see that Griffin, the central character from “the Invisible Man” becomes highly frustrated when he finds himself completely unable to come out of the state of invisibility. He commits violence out of frustration. At the same time, his actions also give some hints about the fact that there is an evil side of his mentality. On the other hand, the time traveler is scientist who has devoted his life to science and whenever there is some form of difficulty that he has to face, he deals with it with patience in most of the times and tries to look out for a rational explanation (Wells).
Wells used a first person narrative style in “The Time Machine” where the narrator is an unnamed guest. It allows the audience to get closer to the writer as it may give an impression to them that the writer might have seen the whole story with his own eyes and now describing it for the readers. This is a form of personal connection which helps the writer to get closer to his readers. “Face this world. Learn its ways, watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will find clues to it all.” (Wells). Here the author gives hint about the hasty present and future and warns the readers about it. However, in “The Invisible Man”, the writer adopted a third person narrative style. But at the same time, he also skillfully used first person narrations when he described things from the eyes of a speaker. “I had never realised it before, but the nose is to the mind of a dog what the eye is to the mind of a seeing man. Dogs perceive the scent of a man moving as men perceive his vision.” (Wells)
While this may not create the same kind of feeling which is noticeable in “The Time Machine” without any doubt, this different writing style is also quite effectively used by Wells to express the story in detail to the audience (Jablonkski). The use of two different approaches by the author shows us his ability to play with different literary styles when it comes to creating the novels (McLean).
If we focus on the theme of “The Time Machine”, we can see that in this story the author focused on a broader platform. He shows the audience how the entire human race is likely to evolve over a certain period of time. The representation of two different types of human beings after hundreds of thousands of years is very much overwhelming. To make it even more occupying, the author talked about one kind actually feeding on the other for survival. “Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no need of change.” (Wells). Here the author focused on the need of change and transformation in times of desperation which reflects though this novel.
On the other hand, the crisis in “The Invisible Man” is much more personal. Here Griffin seems to be struggling to get a hold on his emotions after a series of failed attempts to make himself visible again (Taunton). So this leaves a strong sense of agony in his mind. This forces him to act violently. “I went over the heads of the things a man reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossible to enjoy them when they are got.” (Wells). In the novel, Wells did not only focus on the scientific aspects but also shed lights on a philosophical aspect of being invisible.
In conclusion, it can be said that while the genre might be the same for the two novels that were discussed here, it is undeniable that they present two separate flavors. At the same time, they also present two very different kinds of struggles that the audience would find overwhelming. This is a great example of Wells’ skill of being innovative and very much imaginative with his literature.
- Handcock, Tarryn. Revelation and the Unseen in H. G. Wells’s The Invisible Man. 2013. Web. January 16, 2018. Available at: http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/colloquy/files/2013/08/handcock.pdf
- Johnson, Brandon. Analysis of the Time Machine, H. G. Wells. Web. January 16, 2018. Available at: https://freebooksummary.com/analysis-of-the-time-machine-h-g-wells-66902
- McLean, Steven. The Early Fiction of H.G. Wells: Fantasies of Science, 71–72 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan) 2009.
- Jablonkski, Nina. Skin: A Natural History (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2006), 164–65.
- Priest, Christopher. Introduction to The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells (London: Penguin Classics, 1897c; 2005), xviii-xxi.
- Taunton, Mathew. Class in The Time Machine. May 15, 2014. Web. January 16, 2018. Available at: https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/class-in-the-time-machine
- Wells, H. The Time Machine. 1895. Web. January 16, 2018. Available at: http://www.planetpdf.com/planetpdf/pdfs/free_ebooks/The_Time_Machine_NT.pdf
- Wells, H. The Invisible Man. 1897. Web. January 16, 2018. Available at: http://cbseacademic.in/web_material/doc/novels/2_The%20Invisible%20Man,%20by%20H.%20G%20-%20Class%20-%20XII.pdf
H.g. Wells, the Summary of the Time Machine and My Opinon About This Book
H. G. Wells.
Herbert George Wells was born on the 21st of September 1866 at Atlas House, 162 High Street in Bromley, Kent. Referred to as “Bertie” by his family, he was the fourth and last child of Joseph Wells and Sarah Neal. An English author who gained fame for his take on science fiction, donning the title “father of science fiction”, has written many books and short stories on multiple genres including two books on war games.
Born to a Shopkeeper cum Professional Cricketer and a former Domestic Worker. Joseph Wells was barely able to make ends meet as a shopkeeper while playing professional cricket for the Kent County Team, the payment for which depended on donations. Sarah Neal, a devoted wife helped her husband run the shop which sold china and sporting goods. As the stock was old and worn out and the location was poor, not much was expected to be made from sales of the shop.
At the age of 8, Wells was in an accident that left him bedridden and his father brought him books which were meant to help the time pass by. This took him to another Wells was introduced at this point to new worlds and personalities through the books and created within him was the will and passion to write.
In the year 1874, Wells entered Thomas Morley’s Commercial Academy.
Due to a fractured thigh in 1887, his father was unable to sustain the family. As a result, Wells and his brothers were placed as apprentices at various occupations. The 13 working hours a day as a draper at the South sea Drapery Emporium, Hyde’s, were painfully excruciating. He worked at Hyde’s from 1880 to 1883. It was his experience at Hyde’s that inspired his novels The Wheels of Chance, The History of Mr. Polly, and Kipps, which portray the life of a draper’s apprentice and a critical view of the inequal distribution of income.
His mother found work as a Lady’s maid at Uppark, a country house but she was unable to arrange lodging for her family and lived separately. Well’s parents never divorced and were constant and faithful in their marriage, despite much turbulence.
Wells failed as a draper and later as a chemist’s assistant as well. However, Wells’ venture into literature began at the Library in Uppark, where he immersed himself into works such as Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia, and the works of Daniel Defoe.
In 1883, he was invited to be a pupil teacher at Midhurst Grammar School upon realizing his skills in Latin and science. A year later he won a scholarship to the Norman School of Science in London, studying Biology. Wells studied in his new school until 1887.His stay in Stoke-on-Trent, living in Basford, inspired quite a few of his descriptions in “The War of the Worlds”.
After leaving the Normal School of Science, he was invited to stay with his aunt and cousin Isabel. While this satisfied the issue of lodging, he went on to write short articles for Journalssuch as “The Pall Mall Gazette”, later collecting these in volume form as Select “Conversations with an Uncle” (1895) and “Certain Personal Matters” (1897).
He went on to marry his cousin Isabel in 1891 and divorced in 1894 when he found he was in love with one of his students. Amy Catherine Robbins, later referred to as Jane, moved to Woking, Surrey with Wells in May 1895and married at St Pancras register office. His stay in Woking proved to be the most creative and inspiring period of his career as he planned and wrote “The War of the Worlds” and “The Time Machine”, completed “The Island of Dr Moreau”, wrote and published “The Wonderful Visit” and “The Wheels of Chance”, and began writing two other early books, “When The Sleeper Wakes” and “Love and MrLewisham”.
The endpapers and title pages of his own diaries showed that Wells communicated and expressed himself well through graphics such as drawings and sketches.
As a writer, Wells sought to bridge the gap between what is possible and what is not. His constant approach to applying credibility to the impossible has earned him great repute among theoreticians and readers around the world.
He explained while writing “The Time Machine”, ‘the more impossible the story I had to tell, the more ordinary must be the setting, and the circumstances in which I now set the Time Traveler were all that I could imagine of solid upper-class comforts’.
In his second visit to Russia his friend Maxim Gorky introduced him to Vladimir Lenin. In his book “Russia in the Shadows”, he refers to Russia as recovering from a social calamity when he says’the completest that has ever happened to any modern social organization’.
Wells’ interview with Joseph Stalin in 1934 for the “New Statesmen Magazine” after visiting U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was an interesting chapter of his life where he hoped to win over Stalin with arguments. He addressed and criticized the lawlessness, class-based discrimination, state violence, and absence of free expression. While Stalin seemed amused by it at the time, Wells left Russia, disappointed with the fact that no development was made through his trip.
Death came to Wells of unspecified causes on 13 August 1946, aged 79, at his home at 13 Hanover Terrace, overlooking Regent’s Park, London. His body was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium on 16 August 1946 and his ashes were subsequently scattered into the English Channel at ‘Old Harry Rocks’.A commemorative blue plaque in his honour was installed at his home in Regent’s Park in 1966.
The Time Machine (1895) in Summary
“The Time Machine” by H. G Wells was published in 1895, when Wells was 34 years old. It was published by William Heinemann in the United Kingdom and the Cover artist was Ben Hardy.
Since then, many versions and adaptations have been introduced to the market by various authors and publishers.
Readers of H. G Well’s best-seller has received criticism for and against his approach to explore time travel. However, facts have no standing in the unexplained and therefore are open to speculation.
The Narrator begins the story with the Time Traveler explaining his plans to travel in time to a group of his Victorian peers.
The Victorian setting in 1899 acts as a base for the changing experience of the Time Traveler. After the success of a model demonstration, the time traveler is motivated to design a similar machine to human scale. His friends scoff at the idea and encourage the young inventor to explore other areas of study to benefit mankind at present. But the Time Traveler has set his sights to the future.
The Time Traveler, desperate to satisfy his curiosity and quench his thirst for knowledge, takes a trip on his Time Machine to the near future, where he learns of the war with Germany. It is not long after that his second stop on his journey to the future, several years later is yet again amidst a war with Germany. His analysis of man and war lead him to the conclusion that it is not the same war, but another war between similar nations.
As he escapes from the war, he travels deeper into the future and arrives in the year 802701 A.D where lush greenery covers the earth’s surface as far as the eye could see. England is portrayed as a paradise where nature has taken its dominant role over the earth. The Time Traveler notices at this point the absence of man in this future Utopia. This realization is soon redundant when the Time Traveler is made aware of the existence of the Eloi and Morlock.
The Eloi are the youth of the future who lack curiosity and a great deal of common sense. They are provided with food and clothing and never question its origin. They spend their days lounging by a shore, completely uninterested by the affairs of each other.
The Morlock, the Time Traveler learns, are cannibalistic beasts, transformed through the years into horrifying inhuman creatures. At certain times, a bell is struck, and the Eloi assemble in formation, in a state of hypnosis. They then approach the Morlocks territory and are captured. What happens next is an unspeakable crime: The Eloi are eaten by the Morlock.
Along the border of a river, the Time Traveler notices a group of Eloi picnicking and one of the Eloi, a female, is swept away with the currents, drowning. He saves the girl and she becomes attached to him.
Further along he finds a library and the books, turning to ash at a simple touch. The only source of information the Eloi have of their past are recordings made during a great war.
The Time Traveler finds he is unable to travel back to his time without his time machine which was been taken by the Morlock. The Morlock prepare to capture the Eloi for their meal and sound a hypnotic call. The Eloi, under a hypnotic spell, make their way to the Morlock and the girl with the Time Traveler is taken as well.
An escape needed to be planned and so the Time Traveler manages to convince some of the Eloi to join him on his quest. An infiltration is successful but the Morlock are soon on the move, aware of the intrusion.
A series of battles ensues and conclude with the victory of the Eloi. The Time traveler retrieves his Time Machine and returns to his time and inform his friends of his adventures.
While none of them believe his story, the Narrators visits the Time Traveler the following day to find him preparing to travel again but this time with a camera to capture evidence to substantiate his claim. Three years pass and the Narrator still awaits the return of the Time Traveler.
The narrator labels the characters based on their profession, which interestingly leaves a sense of bias toward the profession in the reader as the story progresses. For instance, one would generalize the character of the doctor based on the behavior of the character in the book, which is an unnecessary bias being created.
The Time Travelers’ sense of curiosity is portrayed as rather extreme. One could put forth the questions “Why the future? Since Time Travel works both ways, why not the past?” H. G Wells explores a miniscule proportion of time travel and focuses on the Future, which can be appreciated as introducing the subject in a one-sided, but simplified manner.
The strong message of a nation at constant unrest and resulting wars come through to the reader in full force. It makes the reader question the decisions made by his country, his community and himself: Is conflict resolution and diplomacy considered as a basis when solving an issue? The answers may vary, but the inevitable truth is undeniably similar.
The lifestyle of the Eloi is an idealistic approach to life and is received by two minds. On the one hand, the youth would be attracted to the laid-back lifestyle proposed by Wells where everything is provided for a minimal effort is expended in acquiring them. On the other hand, the mature adults would scoff at the very idea that hard work amounts to absolutely nothing.
The Conflict between the Morlock and the Eloi come across as the bridge that connects the timeline. Man and conflict are interwoven and are destined exist in cohesion: one cannot exist without the other.
Overall, “The Time Traveler” by HG Wells explores a series of interesting potential outcomes of he future, written and told by the father of Science Fiction.
- “The Time Traveler” by H. G Wells, Published in 1895
The Time Machine: a Warning for Exploiters
Harbert George Wells (1866-1946) was a great English Writer. He was a Novelist, historian and a teacher also. His father was a cricket player and shopkeeper and his mother was a lady’s maid. He was a great writer of novels on science fiction. He also known as ‘father of science fiction’. He was much influenced by Jules Verne’s writing. He wrote many novels like ‘the time machine’,’the island of doctor moreau’,’the invisible man’ and ‘the war of the worlds’ etc. He wrote dozens of novels, short stories and his works was mainly on history, satire and he also wrote two books on wars. He also nominated for noble prize four times.
He write his first novella ‘The Time Machine’. The book was a great success which make him more agressive for writing novels. It was written in 1895. This book was based on science fiction. It was based on time travelling. It was an adventure story describing the time traveller’s travel into future by the machine which is constructed by him. There he saw a different world which is more beautiful then our present world. The world is divided in two parts. Much of the novel is on his discovery of divided worlds. The book is a great imagination that can be appreciated by fans of both Science Fiction and Non Science Fiction.
‘The Time Machine’ novella is warning for the man who exploit the man which is weaker than him. The writer said that if it continues than what will happen to mankind. By his two divided worlds writer shows that the weaker one are underground for so long because of their exploitation by the rich one and these underground people are called Morlocks in the story and the rich who living on the ground are called Eloi. The Morlocks are changed in craetures which kill Eloi for their survival and the Eloi who are the rich person become lazy, weak and dependent creatures due to their facilities. Eloi are too lazy they just sleep, bath and eat. But the Morlocks are the working people. Therefore we can say that the people may not change by changing environment. So through this story writer wants to send a message to the people that we must have to treat all people equal so that our real world does not change in two diffrent worlds like in this story.
The story began from a hall where people of various profession were sitting together. The Mayor, Editor, Medical man, The Time Traveller and the narrator were present there and there the time traveller proposed his idea of Time Machine but nobody believe in his voice because every one knows that it is impossible. Then the time traveller goes into the room and come up with a machine model in his hand. It is a glittering mettalic device, bareky larger tan a clock. There is a ivory and some transparent crystalline substance in it. The time traveller tell them about the working of that machine. After some days all people except the time traveller were sitting together. They all discussing about time traveller’s machine none of them believe in time traveller they said that time traveller just can show a trick. Then suddenly the time traveller came. His coat was dirty, as if he had been suffering a long time. He can’t able to speak even. Everyone looking on to his face but he can’t speak a single word. The time traveller start eating without answering their question as he was too tired. Everyone wants to hear his story then the time traveller starts his story. He said that he complete his model and wants to travel in future he pressed the lever of the machine suddenly his laboratory was out from his sight he was moving like a rocket night came then it convert in day just in a second. The leaves of trees were falling, he crossed many seasons and just in minutes. He was too much confused. Then his time machine stop after some years. The time traveller was surrounded by bushes and flowers. He wants to see the future world then he stand up from the machine and saw the outside world he saw great buildings and felt the aloneness in the new world. Then he saw some people approaching him through the bushes. One of them come near to the time traveller. He was just may be 4 feet height.Then the people surrounded the time traveller. Some of them touching the time machine. The time traveller put the lever into his pocket and try to speak with them. But their language was something different from our present language. Then they take me to a building. Their I met several people which are dressed beautifully. The building was also beautiful and well shaped. In the building I saw many people sitting together for dinner. The all peoplr saw the time traveller as a creature that they had never seen before but the time traveller was not able to understand their language. Then he saw heaps of fruits all people started eating fruits. I was also hungry I started eating fruits with them. Then he come out of the building and saw that the new world was very beautiful there was everywhere flowers and greenary. Then after some time he realised that the dogs, camels almost all other animals were extinct and the houses were also not present in new world the people live together in buildings. Then he sat on a chair and feel the beauty of new world and realise that new world has no problem their was no signs of ownership, agriculture they just living on fruits they all were strict vegeterian and the problem of population was also solved in future. It was night the moon was rose up suddenly a thought come in his mind then he ran towards the place where he left his time machine but he couldn’t find his time machine there. He was full of panic then he saw a building there he saw that the little man sleeping together. He asked them about his machine but they behaved oddly some of them laughed. The next morning he realised that it is time waisting to ask these little people. Then he met a little woman Weena. They become friends. Then he realised on that night that she is afraid of dark and shadows although all little people afraid of dark. On that night he also saw some different creatures. They had big eyes and ape like figures.
Then the time traveller realised that their are two different worlds of people one with having all the facilities and living on the upper ground who are visible only in daylight called the Eloi and others who are living underground and come upper ground only in dark called the Morlocks. Then the time traveller found that morlocks were living in wells. Then he decided to go in wells but the little weena refused him but he somehow managed her. He goes down in the well their he feel smell of blood and saw a piece of meat. Their he feels the presence of morlocks. He glow the matchstick all the morlocks ran away from him. But he had not enough matches so the morlocks attack on him but somehow he was able to escape from the morlocks. Then he understood why eloi had fear of dark. He also compare them that in the past time the eloi were the rich people and the morlocks were there servants and the morlocks made their every thing of need. But now the eloi were the weaker one and afraid from morlocks. On the next day he decided to go to the palace of green porcelain and little weena with him. In his way he and weena spend their one night in forest with the fear of morlocks. Next morning he reached to the palace of green porcelain. He found that it was like a old museum and he found a match, some camphor and a iron bar for safety. On that night he was again in forest with weena both had fear of morlocks. Weena was become cold and motionless in the fear of dark. The morlocks attacks again. He lost his match he fight morlocks with the iron rod. He suddenly look back to weena but weena was gone. Now he smell that something is burning he look at the forest the trees catch the fire. The morlocks were running in fear of fire. The time traveller also trace their path. He want weena back because he think a future with Weena but she was gone. He thought that she probably caught by the fire in the forest. But next day he was able to find his time machine in the white sphinx it was all dark morlocks attack on time traveller but he pressed the lever and able to leave that time. Now again that thing happen days were change in night just in a second. He stopped his time machine at some time in future and saw the outside world. Suddenly a big crab came by a minute dozens of crabs were collect there. He preesed the liver but the scene was same all crabs were there. He again pressed the lever and this time he was able to leave that time. The passage of days, nights continued turn the million dial to zero. Then he saw the walls of his laboratory and stopped the machine. He slept on the table in his laboratory when he woke up he thought that what it was a dream or reality. Then he came to hall to meet his friends and tell his story. But nobody able to believe on this story they just looking at him in a strange way. Then he showed them the flowers which were given by weena but nobody was able to recognise them because these are flowers of future. After some days the writer again gone in the laboratory to meet The time traveller and that was it all true. The time traveller asked him to wait. He was going to the future again with a camera. The writer was waiting for long time but the time traveller was not returned.
In my opinion this book is very interesting that how the writer divide the world in two parts all this is work of his imagination. All people must have to read this book because it tell us the present truth that how the rich people exploit the poor people and in future these poor people converts in morlocks which has more power than eloi and eloi are afraid from them. But eloi has the all facilities they enjoy their life very much. The writer tell us by the story of time travelling and want to warn us. So everyone have to read this book and understand the feelings of poor people and should obey the nature law that all people are equal.
The Time Machine Novel: How Should People Understand Time
Concept of Time in The Time Machine
Time is one of things that has always interested humanity, and it is one thing that humans crave to control but are unable to do so. People want to control time for various reasons, to change something bad that they have done in the past, or to see what the future will bring them. Some people on the other hand chose to write a novel, where they are able to explore the mysteries of the time. For instance H.G. Wells and his novel The Time Machine, which is partly a warning to his contemporaries in the 1890s, but it also poses question to modern readers of the novel and that is what the future holds for humanity, and how should people understand time.
First of all, the novel implies that the time is unstable and relative to multiple factors. The time in The Time Machine isn’t what humans are used to in general that is described as time on a human scale. The concept of time in the novel is cosmic time. When the Time Traveller jumps into the future, he doesn’t watch the lifespan of a person, but the lifespan of a species or even the lifespan of a star. Thinking about time in this way involves looking at the long view even though that long view moves people out of the spotlight. With this the novel implies that a single person should not view time as something that starts when they are born, and stops when their life ends, but something that is beyond them, something that is more important, and for that reason, the novel serves as a cautionary tale, that is supposed to warn the readers of what might happen in the future of mankind. Furthermore, the novel explores the meaning of time. The Time Traveller journeys 800,000 years into the future, so far away that even the nature of the physical world is changing because of changes in the sun. The author raises a question of whether it is even possible to understand the past or the future, because people tend to assume future and past as something similar to their contemporary time.
Other than showing the future where present day humans have diverged into two different species, neither of which is stronger, smarter, or more moral than contemporary people, the novel also explores a future in which humans do not exist at all. Chapter Eleven finds the Time Traveller on a beach in the distant future in which the only signs of life seem to be giant crustaceans and algae. This shows that the time in the novel is not connected to humans, the universe and the life in general does not stop with the exctinction of human race. However the novel also shows the human race going downhill, from the top of the pyramid to its doom.
To summarize, with this novel the author may have intended to make the readers think of their time on earth and what they do with it. Wells gives the readers insight in a universe in which human race is not able to stand up to the test of time and raises question why would mankind allow itself to deteriorate. In general people tend to believe that they have the time to make everything alright, to change whatever is wrong, but this novel presents a universe where mankind failed, and as time progressed it showed how little control humans have over time, and that time does not revolve around humans, and that it is something beyond mankind.
Socialism and Anti-capitalist Views in the Time Machine
Imagine if you had the ability to travel through time. Would you travel to the past and meet your ancestors or watch history unfold? Would you travel a thousand years into the future to meet your descendants and see how they live? Or, would you travel to the year 802,701 to observe what has happened to Earth in 800,000 years? Most people would not choose the latter option, but this is exactly what H.G. Wells decided to write about in The Time Machine. In this novella, Wells used imagery and symbolism to promote socialism and his anti-capitalist views.
Studying with Thomas Henry Huxley at the Normal School of Science, H.G. Wells developed interesting theories and ideas about science, and how it would change the future. One concept he often speculated on was time travel. Almost everyone has heard of a theoretical device called a time machine, but most people do not know that it was Wells himself that actually coined the term. He developed an interest in writing during his time at the Normal School, publishing several short stories in the school magazine in which he helped found. One of these stories was called The Chronic Argonauts, a precursor to The Time Machine. The story does not share very many similarities with the novella it would eventually become, but featured in both is the time machine and a mysterious traveler whose identity is unknown. Wells expanded this story, and 7 years later for around $14,000 published The Time Machine.
The imagery featured in The Time Machine is astounding. The year 802,701 A.D. is very, very different from the world we know today, and if Wells didn’t use imagery very well in his description of this world, he would have lost a lot of readers due to the novella being boring. “Already I saw other vast shapes – huge buildings with intricate parapets and tall columns, with a wooded hill-side dimly creeping in upon me through the lessening storm… The great buildings about me stood out clear and distinct, shining with the wet of the thunderstorm, and picked out in white by the unmelted hailstones piled along their courses” (Ch 3, Wells) The way he describes these buildings, using such descriptive words as intricate, dimply, distinct, and creeping, makes the reader feel like he’s standing right along side the Traveler as he makes his journey into the unknown. Passages such as this are extremely effective at keeping the reader entranced in his work.
The Time Machine features some interesting symbolism. Since Wells was so heavily against capitalism, he wrote the Morlocks and the Eloi to be a symbol of capitalism. Through the Morlocks and the Eloi, Wells argued that if capitalism continued unchecked, disastrous things could happen. The ruling class (Eloi) have become lazy and weak, easy prey for the working class (Morlocks). The industry and machines that litter the habitat of the Morlocks show that they used to be the unseen, lower class that ran society. The upper class had become dependent on the lower class for everything, until eventually they regressed into a state where, since they didn’t need to work for anything, they lost most of their intelligence and humanity. Wells was trying to stir up some revulsion and horror in his readers so that they would realize if things kept going the way they were now, planet Earth doesn’t turn out very well at all. I’d imagine that this symbolism would shock a lot of readers. It doesn’t seem like that could happen to our society, but in a few hundred thousand years, who knows what could happen?
H.G. Wells has always been one of my favorite authors. I first discovered him through his book War of the Worlds, which was beautifully written. A bit of research into the author brought me to The Time Machine. After reading the novella, I instantly ranked it up with my favorite books. I’m a big science fiction guy, and find time travel really intriguing, but I would never have expected that instead of traveling just a few years into the future the Traveler travels almost 800,000 years into the unknown! To my surprise, the future society had regressed greatly instead of being super advanced, as my expectations were. Most of the books I’ve read with time travel don’t travel farther than a hundred years, and everything is different, but life is mostly the same. In fact, this book pretty much shattered any expectation I had (except that the main character would travel through time)! Even though this book is very bizarre and different from most, H.G. Wells really hit a home run with the first widely popular science fiction book.
Specific Scientific Details in the Time Machine
As a society progresses, the elements which influence the society itself progress along with it. This may be said for both the societies depicted in The Time Machine and the societies during the periods of the release of the book (1895), the 1960 movie, and the 2002 movie. The Time Machine, written by H.G. Wells, makes a more direct focus on science and critiques toward society, while the 1960 movie provides a combination of both science and appeal to the viewing audience, and the 2002 movie places more priority on the appeal to the viewing audience and plot of the story rather than the science and critiques to society. As a public audience grows as a whole in society, different appreciations for stories, society, and science grow alongside it.
The book focused more on specific scientific details, as a physical book could be read at any pace, and even reread, allowing the author to elaborate on the scientific aspect of the story. There are also no sound effects or music in the text, leaving all emotional thought and reaction to the reader. While the text cannot evoke feelings through music, it is forced to evoke thought and imagination though its content. From the very beginning, the story begins with scientific explanations, as the protagonist describes the fourth dimension as “fixed and unalterable” (Wells 4). He also states that the whole concept of time travel is “founded on a misconception,” giving a stronger scientific basis for the plot of the story (Wells 1). There is also less focus on the protagonist, only referring to him as “The Time Traveller,” and more focus on the story, science, and societies. The self-destruction of the society is depicted through a dystopia, showing that society is concluding with a negative turnout because of current actions. Kathryn Hume states in “Eat or Be Eaten,” her critique of The Time Machine, that the two species are “extremely short of the ideal perfection in society when we look to the future.” The book shows a more philosophical basis by promoting a call to action, and recommending that the current society must change its ways before ending up like the Eloi and Morlocks.
The 1960 movie depicts science and conversation well, as the audience in Victorian England during the 1960s appreciated them more. The movie focuses more on society and the story rather than the time traveler himself using the protagonist’s personality only to carry out the story. They portray him to be more “heroic” throughout the times of action, and interested in the sciences, especially as he is angered when he learns that the Eloi have thrown away all forms of knowledge and education learned by past generations. The Eloi’s loss of knowledge is also a result of the self-destruction of mankind, as their appearance is shown as ignorant and pampered. While there are no sounds or music in the text, the movies use music to guide the viewer’s thoughts and emotions, pushing them to feel a certain way.
The movie released in 2002 takes a completely different approach, using computer generated effects and making the scenes “action packed” to take the place of science and conversation in order to appeal to the audience. The movie also overwhelms the audience with music, in an attempt to evoke emotions and force feelings. The movie attempts to make up for its lack of focus on science by trying to inform the audience of a lesson that “the past cannot be changed.” The protagonist is even given a background story and a love interest as a motive to travel to the past, rather than the scientific advancement itself as in the other two works. The time traveler’s background story, making him seem like an intelligent professor, even with no description of the “four dimensions” as described in the book, leaving the audience to assume he is already smart without giving the audience specific scientific thoughts. The self-destruction of mankind is at a better understanding of what may happen because the movie is more recent, and is familiar with the technological advancements already made, and makes more of an environmental statement and call to action rather than one focusing on the society’s ideologies.
All three representations of The Time Machine depict the future’s downfall as caused by our own self-destruction, making a statement to the public. The book focuses more on science rather than the protagonist, and makes a clear call to action with the representations made of a future society. The 1960 movie focuses more on the story and society rather than the person, and depicts science and conversation well for the audience. The 2002 movie places less focus on science and more on the plot itself, while taking advantage of computer generated effects to appeal to the audience. Of the three, there was a gradual increase of appeal and a decrease in science. One may even state that there was a devolution in the progression of the content in these three works.
The Time Machine
It all starts when the Time Traveller argues that time travel is possible. The guests didn’t believe the Time Traveller, not even after he makes a model Time Machine disappear and then shows them the whole machine. The following week, the Time Traveller is a half hour late to his own dinner party. This is not only unacceptable from an manners perspective, but also pretty inexcusable if you have a Time Machine. The guests are amazed at his messy look, so he tells them his story.
At this point the Time Traveller has gone far into the future. He has gone to the year 802,701. He has no point of being there, leaving him to make guesses about what’s going on. And then his Time Machine gets stolen, so he has to stay and find it. He meets the lazy Eloi. His first theory is that the Eloi have machines that do their work for them so they can sit around and be lazy. He befriends one of the Eloi, a woman named Weena. In the movie they make it seem like the Time Traveller and Weena fell in love, but in the book it’s not like that. We don’t know what’s exactly happening with them though. Then the Time Traveller discovers that there are people who live underground. He goes underground and meets the Morlocks.
The Time Traveller’s second theory is that the Morlocks are the helpful workers who take care of the Eloi. The Eloi are descended from the upper class, while the Morlocks are descended from the working class. While everyone is happy, the Morlocks are disgusted. He finds out that the Morlocks do take care of the Eloi, but they also eat them because they taste like chicken. This is where the Time Traveller learns that the Morlocks are sensitive to light and afraid of fire. He inspects an old museum to find a weapon to use against them. He comes across a golf club, which works as well in the future as it would work now. But the Morlocks attack.
Then the Time Traveller sets a fire, which gets out of control. He loses Weena, but finds his Time Machine. He travels even farther into the future, when almost all life has gone out. It gets boring, so he goes home. And that’s his story. No one believes the Time Traveller, except the narrator. The narrator goes to talk to him the next day, and the Time Traveller says he’ll be back with proof. The Time Traveller goes into his lab and disappears. But he never comes back
The Analysis Of The Novel “The Time Machine” By H.G. Wells
“The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells is a novel published in 1895, it spawned multiple film adaptions including the 1960 version directed by George Pal. Although they are essentially the same story, the film adaptation took multiple liberties with certain plot points and characters as well. Some may think for the better and some may argue it retracted too far from the book and had more of a negative impact.For instance, right off the bat characters and their characteristics were largely changed in the film. The main character, George aka the Time Traveller, played by Rod Taylor, was never actually named in the novel. Other small character names were changed but the biggest character change, in my opinion, is those of the Eloi.
In the novel, they are described to be small almost childlike creatures with very little understanding of language knowing very few words or phrases. In the film adaptation, some of these characteristics are present but downplayed greatly. For example, the Eloi still appear very youthful but seem to be more like fully grown young adults rather than childlike. As for language, they are still a species of few words, but the language barrier described in the book seems to be less prevalent as they are more successful in understanding and communicating with The Time Traveller. I believe they did this for one major reason; for the audience. In the novel, Wells has much more freedom in what he is able to create and portray and what his audience would accept and understand. It seems as if the reasoning of the humanization of the Eloi was to appeal to the modern audience knowing that in order to sell tickets they would have to make something the audience could relate to and comprehend.
For similar reasons the relationship centered around the two main characters, George and Weena, was altered as well. In the novel, the two meet when George saved Weena from drowning as the rest of the Eloi stood around and watched. This remains true in the film, but as their relationship developed throughout the novel you can see that it resembles that of a child and parent or mentor and their protégé. However, when watching the film it is very clear that a romantic aspect was added to their relationship, changing the dynamic completely. Once again this was an attempt to please the audience knowing that they would much rather see a love story than try understanding the complexity of the relationship established in the novel.
As I mentioned earlier, the Eloi were these childlike creatures that George finds in the future. Eloi are only one of the species inhabiting earth at that time, the other being Morlocks. Morlocks are essentially the opposite of the Eloi, they are described as monstrous like creatures who stay secluded underground while remaining the smarter of the two groups being able to operate machinery and such. In the novel, The Time Traveller speculates the reason for this divide as something to do with social classes. The Eloi remaining above ground, free of work and any worries while the Morlocks stay secluded underground, working to support the Eloi. However, in the 1960 film adaption is becomes known that the reason for their divide was a war that poisoned the earth. The surviving bunch headed underground to fight and survive, some staying there and others going back to the surface, creating the Eloi and the Morlock.
Being that this movie was created post World War II, it is very likely that this would be inspired by the introduction of nuclear weapons during this time. This alternative would feel very real for the viewers at this time, once again giving a sense of relatability, similarly to the romantic relationship previously mentioned. It seems as if most of the changes in the film that derives from the novel are done to benefit the modern audience.Once The Time Traveller returns to his time and back into the future he takes 3 books with him, all of which unknown. Obviously, this was done to make the viewer/reader ponder to themselves what books he might have chosen. To personally answer that question, I would bring a bound copy of the U.S. Constitution, not to go by word for word but rather use it as a template or some sort of basis in creating and establishing a government system during their time. Additionally, I would bring Plato’s Republic for similar reasons, to bring ideas and propositions on how to establish the new world.
When it comes down to it you would be starting from scratch, so why not start as a Utopia. Although the Bible seems as if it would a good idea as well, I do not see the use in it considering the people of the future could have no existing comprehension or ability to comprehend the stories and origins in it, rather I would bring something that teaches of cultural practices such as farming, health, and things of that nature so the Eloi, and possibly the Morlocks, could have a basis on which they could begin creating a structured and effective life on a personal level, rather than government like mentioned previously.Cinematization seems to be the main reason for nearly all of the changes to the novels original storyline. Characters changed, scenes reworked, and storylines tweaked all done in order to connect to an audience that just simply would not understand and appreciate aspects that so many cherished in the novel.
The Time Machine: When Progress Becomes Destructive
In his early novel, The Time Machine, H. G. Wells is critiquing the Victorians’ fears of evolution. Charles Darwin’s theories were cutting-edge in Wells’ time, and they terrified many of the upper class. What if humans devolve to the point where the class roles become reversed? What if our eventual triumph over nature results in a dulling of human intelligence? And worst of all: what if humankind becomes extinct? These and other questions plagued the Victorians, providing H. G. Wells with material for his first novel.
Victorian scientists took Darwin’s theory of evolution, and created their own theory of devolution. The fear was that if evolution was possible, then humans must still be evolving. What could that mean for the future? Wells answered that question with his theory of degeneration following security. In his prediction of the future he shows us the Victorian upper class, continuing on their path of idleness, and devolving into small, weak, helpless creatures like the Eloi. “The too-perfect security of the Upper-worlders had led them to a slow movement of degeneration, and to a general dwindling in size, strength, and intelligence” (57). The lower class, after centuries of living in the dark and with an aptitude for hard work and machinery, became the nocturnal, ugly creatures represented by the Morlocks. “Even now, does not and East-end worker live in such artificial conditions as practically to be cut off from the natural surface of the earth?” (56), the Time Traveller expounds to his friends. As avid supporter of Karl Marx, Wells comes to the conclusion that if the exploitation of the Victorian lower class continued, they may eventually gain class consciousness. This in turn may cause a rebellion, and perhaps a reversal of power between the classes as the Eloi and Morlocks exhibit. However Wells takes it further: when the Morlocks’ food supply runs out, they have nothing left to eat except the Eloi themselves. This might be seen as the ultimate gesture of class rebellion: cannibalism. “These Eloi were mere fatted cattle, which the ant-like Morlocks preserved and preyed upon – probably saw to the breeding of” (72). The shocking part is that Wells wasn’t far off from his time. The Victorian lower class exceeded the upper class substantially in numbers, and if the exploitation continued, the upper class could have faced a revolution.
The Time Traveller’s theory is that in striving for modernity and accomplishment as the British were in the 19th century, humans may actually tame nature. “One triumph of a united humanity over Nature had followed another. Things that are now mere dreams had become projects deliberately put in hand and carried forward. And the harvest was what I saw” (35). The British, with all their advancement in technology, could have a cure for every illness, a triumph over every adversity, to the point where there was nothing left to plague them anymore. With this lack of adversity, upper class humans had begun to degenerate into the weak, stupid creatures that the Time Traveller now sees as the Eloi. “There is no intelligence where there is no change and no need of change” (91). All of the wondrous inventions and technology of the industrial revolution, all of the effort to create the best of all possible worlds had come to nothing in the future, cast aside for the easy life of the Eloi. That the once-great thinkers of the world had become mere cattle was almost too much for the Time Traveller to bear. “I grieved to think how brief the dream of the human intellect had been. It had committed suicide. It had set itself steadfastly towards comfort and ease… it had attained its hopes – to come to this at last” (90). Wells argues that the push towards the taming of nature that Britain was trying to accomplish was self-defeating. Modernity, therefore, is ultimately doomed, for it can only lead to a world of “languor and decay” (37).
The biggest fear that Darwin’s theories created for the Victorians was extinction. It was a logical scientific theory that humans could evolve to the point of extinction, that the earth could stop rotating, and the sun could eventually flare out. This is exactly what the Time Traveller sees as he travels farther into the future. “The sky was no longer blue. North-eastward it was inky black… and all the trace of life that I could see at first was the intensely green vegetation that covered every projecting point” (95). The only living things in this distant future appear to be giant crustaceans, some kind of black octopus, and several forms of lichen (96-9). As he travels even farther ahead, it becomes clear that humankind is extinct. “The darkness grew apace; a cold wind began to blow… the showering white flakes increased in number…. It would be hard to convey the stillness of it” (99). For the Victorians of Wells’s time, it was very hard to imagine that their race, the best and most advanced in the world, would become extinct. That would mean that the world would continue to exist long after their extinction, and humanity is only a blip in eternity. All the progress they had been working towards is therefore meaningless in the long run, and all their pride is for nought.
In conclusion, Wells foreshadowed a greater idea than he thought possible at the time he wrote The Time Machine. If the Victorian upper class continued on the path of idleness and exploitation, they would surely find themselves in the future Wells envisioned. Britain, in its struggle to conquer the world, would only end up defeating itself. And in this future world, all of our greatest inventions are worthless. These and other fears of evolution were the exact fears Wells was critiquing in his first novel.
Wells, H. G. The Time Machine. New York: Signet, 2002. Print.
Why Are We Afraid of the Unknown? H. G. Wells’s Time Machine
Whilst reading this interesting book chock-full of metaphors, allusions and hidden deeper meaning. There were many details that could not be left unnoticed. One thing I noticed throughout the book is that there were many hidden metaphors to how our society is run and it’s overall social structure. When the Time Traveler goes to the future and encounters the two different species that inhabit is he notices that one species is considerably unintelligent, relying on only basic gathering skills to survive. The Eloi are also lazy but kept well fed by the flourishing environment, due to the lack of “human” contact, and sheltered by seemingly already built structures that keep them safe from natural occurrences. However they are not safe from the Morlocks. The Morlocks are the other species that live in this future landscape. They do not depend on the environment for food and instead live underground in dark wells feeding on the flesh of the Eloi. This relationship may representation our society today in terms of the upper and lower classes. The rich are often seen as oblivious to the suffering of the lower class and have all the food and shelter that they need, maybe even an abundance of it. Whereas the poor lower class are stuck needing the assistance, protection and care of the rich which they may not get enough of.
The most interesting comment I made while reading the book is that the characters in the book are described by their mannerisms and level of knowledge, instead of the usual visual appearance you see in many other books. This may be used to increase the readers perception of them as intelligent figure, by focusing not on the physical being, and instead the mind. The titles of individuals also seem to change around quite a bit. The titles are a huge aspect in this story, I believe, and are constantly changing due to their hosts importance. In the introduction of this book all the scientists have names such as, “The Psychologist”, “The Inventor” and “The Very Young Man.” However there is one man who is constantly making obvious remarks to which the narrator (who i’m assuming is the Time traveler) says, “we’ll just call him Filby” leading me to believe that “Filby” may not even be his real name. Or if any of the characters actually have real names. To support this idea even more, at some point in the book The Inventor’s name switches to The Time Traveler. I believe that the title’s in this book correspond to the most important detail about the character they belong to. In the beginning of the book the Inventor has created the Time Machine, which is the most important thing he has done thus far giving him the title of The Inventor. Whereas once he uses the machine to actually time travel, him time traveling becomes the most important thing about him, making his name change to the Time Traveler. This can be seen as well in our society today because we are known for what we have most accomplished or what stands out the most about us. If you are known most for your talent in dance then to your peers you are known as “that dancer guy”, and if you are known for being really good at basketball you are seen as “that one kid that’s really good at basketball”. Titles help define these different characters just as they help us define ourselves in real life.
The most resonant aspect of the book that I found was the scene where The Time Traveler goes underground to the Morlocks place of resonance and see’s them cooking one of the Eloi people for diner. This leads to a high speed chase as he tries to escape. “[The smell] of freshly shed blood was in the air. Some way down the central vista was a little table of white metal upon which a meal seemed to be spread…while I stood in the dark a hand touched mine; then some lank fingers came feeling over my face…I will confess I was horribly frightened…In a moment I was clutched again by several hands, and there was no mistake now that they were trying to draw me back.” I think this scene lingers in my mind the most due to it’s graphic details and the fear that the author portrays the Time Traveler of having. He does this by adding descriptions of events as well as feelings. It is also one of the first scenes with a lot of action which always happens to draw me in. A lot of people have been stuck in situations where they are not familiar with their surroundings or the people around them, and this leads to a uncomfortable feeling, making this scene easy to relate to for many. Maybe not in the specifics but in the general feeling of fear of the unknown.