In this essay, I’ll be writing about how “The Man Who Invented Tomorrow” uses language in his novel “The Time Machine” to teach us about his incredible vision of the future.
My understanding of Science Fiction is that it can be based on anyone, humans, animals etc…it can also be set anywhere, examples are schools, car parks, on the streets, etc… Science Fiction is something that is made up and not real. The key features that tell me this, are the unlogical story plot and the characters, things such as an alien trying to take over the human world, or even a zombie waking from the dead that starts to kill people.
A few of the films and TV programs that represent Sci-Fi are: Star Trek, E.T, X- Files, and Star Wars. These examples often deal with people being in a spaceship, lost in space, or even an alien lost on earth.
The important connection between H.G Wells and the Science-Fiction genre is that he had accurate visions of the future and he saw many things that were related to Science-Fiction, like, computers, Video Cassette Players etc… When he wrote this book, he made sure he used scientific terms for this particular piece of text, for example, “Scientific people know very well that Time is only a kind of Space. Here is a popular scientific diagram, a weather record.”
When H.G. Wells was writing this novel, the thing that influenced him was his obsession of the future. And also the amount of new inventions created around that time.
The people of that time were very much interested in Science-Fiction because it was new to them. They were eager to find out more about this weird and strange world that was discovered properly by the person who they thought of as “The Man Who Invented Tomorrow.” They had no information whatsoever and they wanted to know more, people at that time were very curious and would believe anything new that they were told about the future. They were also very intrigued about the technological developments in their time.
I know that this novel was written in The Victorian Times because H.G. Wells uses accurate but difficult language when he writes about Sci-Fi. Examples are, Nemesis, which means “the Goddess of retribution and vengeance.” Etiolated was known as “becoming pale or weak.” Fluctuate meant “something that changes constantly.”
The Time Machine is no ordinary story, it is one filled with tons of imagination, credibleness and excitement. It’s about a scientist who is so obsessed with the future that he invents this extraordinary Time Machine to take him into a whole new world.
The Time Traveller was very much into learning and discovering the future. “He was one of those men who are too clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all round him; you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity in ambush, behind his lucid frankness.” He also doesn’t like to be the centre of attention; ” I remembered how he detested any fuss about himself.” This shows that he is quite a modest person.
The novel tells us Time Travel happens very fast, you could go to the future, for example, the year 802 701, in just minutes. The Time Traveller had just returned from travelling into the future and was having dinner with his guests at approximately seven o’clock. “I was in my laboratory at four o’clock, and since then…I’ve lived eight days…”
The Time Traveller’s first impressions of the world he goes to are total surprise and utter confusion at the same time. He predicted that the world would be much more knowledged and experienced in social life. But the people he met, the Eloi, didn’t seem very smart, he assumed that they were children at first sight, because of their child-like behaviour, “One of them asked me a question that showed him to be on the intellectual level of one of our five-year old children.” I think the Time Traveller is quite disappointed by this, he even felt that he had built the Time Machine in vain.
Wells describes the Eloi, the Upper-Worlders, as beautiful creatures; he calls them his “graceful children.” He implies that the Upper-World is a carefree zone for the Eloi. There seems to be no sign of social struggles such as economical problems, diseases have been stamped out, but at the same time, there are things in life that we need, such as love and care and H.G. Wells makes the Upper-World sound like Utopia without any emotions or any mutual feelings between each other. The Time Traveller has very strange but intriguing experiences with the Eloi, he had his first encounter with one female called Weena who was rescued by him when she suddenly got a cramp while swimming and nearly drowned. The reactions of the other Eloi implies that they have grown not to be emotional, intelligent, to have no sense of knowledge in responding to dangerous situations like Weena’s one.
H.G. Wells describes Morlocks as “human spiders,” and makes them sound like big monsters. “It was a dull white, and had strange, large greyish-red eyes…flaxen hair on its head and down its back.” He had some dangerous experiences with them as they mistook him for an Eloi and nearly killed him.
The human race in this new world has been divided into two species, the Eloi, the Morlocks, the Eloi are these beautiful child-like people, and the Morlocks are big, scary ape-like monsters.
This teaches us about society that it has become divided into different classes, it has been done before, and Wells says it will be done again in the future. But in the past and the present, we have been and still are being divided into many different classes such as colour, race, religion, being rich or poor, having disabilities, etc…but Wells’ vision contains only two kinds of class in the future, the Upper-Worlders, and the Under-Worlders. The message in this is that we won’t have to worry about things such as racism or discrimination. It’ll just be the Eloi and the Morlocks. Humans and animals.
In “The Time Machine”, the future is imagined very differently by H.G. Wells than what we think of it. For example, people from our time, the present, think of the future as a great thing filled with advanced technology to make us feel comfortable and happy. Wells makes his main character, the Time Traveller, predict good things like social developments, no financial problems etc…But we’re thinking more like flying cars, robots, food made into paste so there will be no more cooking etc…
We learn from the story, about his world, that it is unpredictable, there are so many visions and opinions, you cannot have an accurate picture of what it will be like years from now.
Wells warns us about the future that in a way, it’ll be good and bad for us, good because all social needs have gone, things like working for a living or getting an education won’t be needed anymore, but in another way, it will get worse because our emotions, feelings, and knowledge will be wiped away.
Wells is trying to make us think about the Eloi and the Morlocks, he’s making us wonder how it could have happened just like that. He leaves us asking ourselves, what will happen if things start to get out of control, we could end up like the Eloi and the Morlocks. Wells is concerned about inequality and the class gap and he mentions this in the story. He uses language related to the future, very science-fiction wise and sophisticated.
The reader learns from the novel “The Time Machine”, that if we change dramatically somehow, for example turn out like the Eloi and Morlocks, and lose control, our world could end up like the world described in the story.
Looking into the future helps the Time Traveller to warn others, and let everyone know what will happen in thousands of years. It also helps us think carefully about our society of today, and if things like letting our world unfold by itself, if it starts to get out of hand, we’ll have to do something before letting that world take control.
The story of “The Time Machine” still remains popular after being written a hundred years ago because you have a lot of people today, who are interested in science-fiction and want different opinions of the future and its expectations.
I think our world has changed for the best because we have more luxuries and comfort than what people had in the ancient days. For example, we have better transport, planes, fast cars, buses etc…we also have better equipments and furniture. The schools have developed, we have a better system of teaching, and the law has transformed, you cannot beat children anymore. Now we have more helpful organisations for the people that need our attention such as disabled people, the elderly, children with learning difficulties.
Women now have freedom and independence, before they had no respect whatsoever and the world and its issues were controlled by men, but in the last century, women have been filling men’s jobs such as bus drivers, politicians, doctors, engineers etc…But according to Wells’ prediction of the future, all this is about to change again in the future, with the Eloi and the Morlocks.
Wells’ vision of the future has not been quite prophetic to-date because, in a way, it’s not very logical, the fact that there will be “Morlocks” in the future, but he does predict happiness in a care-free world which is still possible. He also predicted wars and in reality they took place so he could be seen as being an accurate prophet. People today have social needs and are dependent on such things as money, which might not be a problem in the future as The Time Traveller discovers.
The effects of his description of Time Travel makes the readers think what it would be like travelling in the future, he uses powerful adjectives and phrases such as “excessively unpleasant” and “intermittent darknesses”, that makes the readers feel as they were travelling into time too. He uses a short amount of text but that is enough to feel the experience of a whole new thing. It feels as if we were there in person, sitting right next to the Time Traveller himself.
Therefore, in conclusion, the story of “The Time Machine” is fascinating and very interesting to learn and write about. I would recommend it to an older audience because children will find words difficult to understand as it is ancient and quite sophisticated.