The Novel “The Time Machine” Hebert George Wells Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Dec 10th, 2019

Introduction: Wells’ Biography

The following essay on the novel ‘The Time Machine’ presents the apparent differences between the book and the world at the time. The novel is a work of science fiction by H.G. Wells, which was first published in 1895. George Herbert Wells was a pioneer in the field of science fiction who continued to inspire the development of fictional works until his death in August of 1946.

He is credited with the production of many works of art with this book being the most imitated in science fiction. It is the first of the science fiction novels being published long before the term was coined for this genre. The latest edition by Penguin Classics captures the original work with a few alterations to adapt the current language. Well’s book came into the market long before people thought of fictional works of art. It captured the subject of time travel, which was still foreign to the period during which the novel was written.

The time refereed here is the ‘Victorian Times’, which were still undergoing the industrial revolution. It is therefore intriguing that Wells would choose a genre that is not common at the time and leave the more common subject of the industrial revolution, technological advancements, and social life at the time.

The story is about a young inventor who develops a time machine and travels into the future. Wells uses the novel to warn people of the impending changes after the ‘Victorian Times’ besides managing to keep the reader entertained at the same time.

There are diverse differences between the setting of the novel in terms of social, political, and technological events with those that were actually taking place at the time. Wells manages to develop a storyline out of something that he has never seen or heard and does it in a remarkably convincing way.

Development: The Victorian Time

The novel was written during the ‘Victorian times. Though the characteristics of this age are prominent in the plot, there exist distinct differences between the period and the novel itself. During the Victorian times, the main mode of transport that the empire was proud of having was the railway, which transported goods and people to their destination.

This facilitated the ongoing industrial revolution at the time besides intensifying trade within the country and with her neighbors. However, the travel into the future by the use of machines as described by Wells (Wells 6) is still new to this era. With the development of trade and the creation of wealth, there emerged different social classes within the kingdom and these could not coexist in the future without a defined role of each group.

Wells captures this briefly in the story of the time traveler. He uses it to warn the Victorians of what the future looked like for these divisions. The age is also synonymous with the British middle class, which is well remembered for its role in the revolution that was taking place at the time. Wells also captured this in the novel.

He uses it to document further the existing differences. During this Victorian time, there are advances in science, technology, and art with a marked improvement in health. These however are inadequate to prevent the plagues, which struck on several occasions killing many people.

The time traveler has detailed improvements in health in the future that he travels. This acts as a hope for the people in the Victorian time (Wells 15). It is in this same period that substantial political realignments are taking place with differences in ideologies manifesting throughout the period.

The Time Traveler

The time traveler is the person described to be using the time machine to travel to the distant future. During his travel, he encounters two tribes of people that have a rare relationship. The races he describes are the Eloi and the Morlocks, and the Eloi are dependent on the Morlocks for their basic needs (Wells 25).

This portrays and depicts the author’s prediction of the problems to arise in the future between the established classes in the Victorian times. The Morlocks are described as hunters of the Eloi who do everything in their means to hinder the achievement of their needs (Wells 23). The novel tries to give an analogy of a herder, represented by the Morlocks, and the livestock, represented by the Eloi in the story.

He uses this to speculate the future relationship between the working class and the upper class (Wells 33). The time that the traveler observes as the last of life on earth is vanquished. In fact, it falls to changes in the weather. He speculates that this will be the last time of the earth. As such, this stands out as the eventual demise, which would be because of climatic change.

Through his journey in the future, he goes through different phases of the planet. In fact, he attempts to describe technological advancements that he thinks would come after the Victorian time. He demonstrates that the innate nature of human beings would not change in the future despite the challenges.

He uses the flowers given to him by the new Eloi friend who he found in the future. According to him, there are many social, political, and scientific concepts that Wells addresses in the book. These are divergent from the existing ones in the Victorian times. The goal of universal peace that was yet to be achieved in the Victorian times is also not achieved in the future.

This case manifests itself in the various wars between the Eloi and Morlocks that claimed the time traveler’s best friend in the future. This teaches the Victorian times readers of the novel that there was still much to be done in the area of peace.


Hebert George Wells was a pioneer in science fiction and time travel genres of literature. His novel The Time Machine has found a room in the modern society as an intriguing work of art. It has also inspired more authors to venture into this field with development of exceptional novels.

The novel presents the future sequence of events as viewed by one of the people during the Victorian times. There are distinct differences between the events in the story and the actual situation during this period of history. However, the author uses the novel to illustrate what the situation at the time might deteriorate into if left unchecked.

He uses the novel to propagate his social, scientific, and political agendas, which were viewed differently at this period in time. The book therefore serves as a pilot in the genre of science fiction. Besides, it is a bold expression of perceived change.

Works Cited

Wells, Houstin. The Time Machine. London, England: Penguin Books, 2005. Print.

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