Herbert George Wells was born in 1866 in Bromley, Kent, a few miles from London,the son of a house-maid and gardener.
Wells died in 1946, a wealthy and famousauthor, having seen science fiction become a recognized literary form and havingseen the world realize some of science fiction’s fondest dreams and worst fears. Wells mother attempted to find him a safe occupation as a draper or chemist. Wells had a quick mind and a good memory that enabled him to pass subjects byexamination and win a scholarship to the Normal School of Science, where hestayed for three years and, most importantly, was exposed to biology under thefamous Thomas H. Huxley. Wells went into teaching and writing text books andarticles for the magazines that were of that time. In 1894 he began to writescience-fiction stories.
-James Gunn Wells vision of the future, with itstroglodytic Morlocks descended from the working class of his day and the prettybut helpless Eloi devolved from the leisure class, may seem antiquated politicaltheory. It emerged out of the concern for social justice that drew Wells to theFabian Society and inspired much of his later writing, but time has not dimmedthe fascination of the situation and the horror of the imagery. The Time Machinebrought these concerns into his fiction. It, too, involved the future, but afuture imagined with greater realism and in greater detail than earlier storiesof the future. It also introduced, for the first time in fiction, the notion ofa machine for traveling in time. In this novel the Time Machine by H.
G. Wells,starts with the time traveler trying to persuade his guest’s the theory of thefourth dimension and even the invention. He tries to explain the fourthdimension before he shows them the time machine so they don’t think of him as amagician. H. G. Wells uses details about the fourth dimension to teach thereader the theory about it to capture your attention.
Also Wells character thetime traveler says “Scientific people”, “Know very well that timeis only a kind of space”. In this quote he is clearly using persuasiontactics. He tries to attack there consious by saying that, scientific peopleknow that this is only a kind of space. He says this in hopes that they willbelieve what he says just because other intelligent people believe the theory.
This is a very primitive but still an effective way to try to persuade people. The idea is “because many people believe it, so it must be true”. Thepeople he is trying to persuade are of 19th century thinking and well to dopeople and they are competitive amongst other well to do people so if other richand intelligent people believe this fourth dimension theory so the time travelerhopes this will motivate them to learn about it. The Characters in the book TimeMachine are The time traveler, Filby, the psychologist, and the provincialmayor. Later the silent man and the editor come in to play.
Filby is describedas “an argumentative person with red hair”. He has another label thatWells puts on him; he call him the “young man”. The psychologist alsohas another label; he is “the medical man”. The time traveler isdescribed briefly when the group of intellects head down the corridor to thelaboratory. He uses “his queer broad head in silhouette.
” When thearrive at the machine’s location it is described as “Parts were made ofnickel, parts of ivory, parts had certainly been filed or sawn out of rockcrystal”. He probably chose these characters as witnesses because they holdhigher education and people would believe them from there reputations. Thepsychologist would be beneficiary in convincing the other that its not a hoaxbecause he is aware of human behavior. The provincial mayor is also anintelligent man and the people elected him so if he is to believe that thisworks then many people would follow him. Filby is another character but nevertalks about his standing in society it could be his friend because he did winkat the time traveler or maybe he is not because he disputed the time traveler’stime machine in his face and behind his back.
H. G. Wells uses two othercharacters that come to dinner to meet the time traveler. The main charactercomes back from the future.
The medical doctor and the provincial mayor areaccompanied by the editor or known as the journalist, and the silent man. Theeditor uses three names to describe his guest’s; “Blank, Dash, andChose. ” These names are mentioned but they are never given a designation sothere is no way to figure out which one is the mayor, psychologist, or thesilent man. The editor shows some disbelief but goes ahead listening to thestory and is a little eager.
He may just wanted to get a story to report in thenewspaper that someone has claimed to have gone to the future and back. They allagree that the time traveler can tell his story without interruption because heis wary with exhaustion and has no tolerance to answer questions or be accusedas a liar or a quack. He begins his story by telling that he has “livedeight days. . . such days as no human has ever lived before!”.
Next he is inhis laboratory working on his time machine trying to complete it before Friday. He completes it that morning. He is delayed to the ivory rod that was an inch tolong so he had to get it remade. The time traveler begins his journey to thefuture. At first he didn’t know if anything was happening yet for this machinewas untested.
“For a moment I suspected that my intellect had trickedme. ” “Then I noted the clock. A moment before, as it seemed, it hadstood at a minute or so past ten; now it was nearly half-past three!”. Thispart in the novel is his most detailed explanation to capture the readersimagination and to fully support the illusion of time travel. He tells of manydetails such as his maid Mrs. Watched came in the laboratory and moved like arocket around it.
He explains the time traveling experience as a since offalling and the speed is so great that it feels like any minute you will smashinto another object. All these details suggest that its not a comfortable rideespecially when he said “I remarked indeed a clumsy swaying of the machine,for which I was unable to account. ” There is evidence that the laboratoryand the time traveler’s house was torn down when he saw the brief picture ofscaffolding. A snail went across the room at a speed that his eyes could notkeep up with. After his house was gone he was in the open air and saw hugebuildings erect themselves all around him. Wells was right in his assumptionabout these buildings because skyscrapers do exist in our time.
He saw all thevegetation grow and die. The moon ran its cycles and the sun shot across the skyso fast that it was hurting the time traveler’s eyes. The time traveler witnessthe season’s changing from snow to spring in a continuos cycle. He thought ofstopping but he was afraid of jamming his molecules and the object’s moleculesthat occupied that space at that particular time.
Here he goes back to scienceand with some added element of chemistry. The main character explains that ifhis time machine occupied the same space at the same time as another object thenthe molecules would fuse together causing a chemical reaction and the endingresult would be an explosion. Even with this threat he takes the risk out ofcuriosity building some suspense in the book. He stops and is flung from hismachine and is met by a thunderstorm. This is realistic in this book because inthe UK it rains a lot so there is a good chance that he would encounter rain.
After the Thunder storm is gone he hears voices in the bushes. A person emergesfrom the brush and is described as “a slight creature-perhaps four feethigh-clad in a purple tunic, girdled at the waist with a leather belt. Sandalsor buskins-I could not clearly distinguish which-were on his feet; his legs werebare to the knees, and his head was bare. ” He was under the impression thatthere will frail creature and not very intelligent and he was correct.
Hisassumption of intelligence was proven when one of the human looking creaturesasked him is he had come from the sun riding on a thunderstorm. Also when hegave them a threatening motion towards them when they got around the machinethey retreated immediately. His assumption of frailty was proven after thisfact. He noticed that a lot of them looked a like which he thought was odd. Theyprobably looked like this because they have been bred and raised like cattle formany years so they are all probably sharing a lot of the same genes. The thingWells did not know is that you can not do that to mammals especially humans;breeding so closely using the same genes it causes mammals to become sterile andextinct.
He only had 19th century knowledge so he was probably not aware of thisor he didn’t care because most people were probably not aware of the study ofgenetics. They didn’t show much interest in learning they would run around andplay with toys and lose interest in a never ending cycle like a child. He didn’tknow there language but it was obviously derived from the English because one ofthe Eli’s asked him if he had come from the sun and he understood but some ofthe other things that the Eli were saying didn’t make sense to the timetraveler. He saw the white sphinx and describe it as having a silver tree at itsshoulder and the sphinx was made of marble and the wings of it were spread out. A pedestal that the time traveler described was mad of bronze and “wasthick with verdigris. ” The building that the Eloi resided at had accordingto the time traveler had huge doors “and was all together colossaldimensions”.
The entrance had carvings of Phoenicians. After seeing asphinx and Phoenician carvings and how primitive the people were he had doubtsthat he was in the future. This proved by when the time traveler is rememberingthe date on his dials that read 802, 701 A. D. He noticed the Eli diet as beencomposed of mainly fruit and vegetables.
He noticed there was no signs ofeconomic or cultural struggle in the surroundings so the time traveler has someknowledge of archeology and maybe a bit of a historian, he even said that hewould like to witness the accepted account of the battle of Hastings. Also whenthe time traveler looks at the countryside he says to himself “Communism, Isaid to myself”. This shows that H. G. Wells know of Marxism Communism butit does not show if he is a supporter or against it.
At first he thought thissociety was man’s triumph that they live in peace but he learns later that theEloi are being bred fattened up and eaten by the ant like people the Morlocks. Later the main character returned to check on his time machine and to hissurprise it was gone. He began to panic, even when he fell down and hit his facewhich produced a trickling of blood didn’t even pause. At this point the timetraveler is over stressed and bent on getting his time machine back.
He nolonger cares to learn about the Eloi; his priority has changed. H. G. Wells usesrealistic thought process of people when they are faced with problems. The timetraveler is pacing and his conscious is talking to itself trying to calm downand come up with solutions and answers. After this event he sees Weena an adultEloi girl swimming in a stream.
She gets a cramp and begins to drown and theother Eloi didn’t even make an effort to save her. The time traveler saves herlife and they become very close. The sleep outside and she shows anuncomfortable behavior as well as the other Eloi about the dark. The Eloiwouldn’t sleep alone or go out at dark. The time traveler resorts back to moretheories about the hotter climate of the region. He thinks that the planets arecloser to the sun now or that a planet has smashed into the sun and given itrenewed energy.
He was hiding from the heat in a building when he found agallery of history. It contained fossils, machines, weapons, chemicals, andidles from every culture Greek, Phoenician and even English ones. He found thetunnels that looked like half pillars kind of like ant wholes. The time travelersaw one of the Morlocks and described it as having “a dull white, and hadstrange large greyish-red eyes; also that there was flaxen hair on its head anddown its back”. He later described them as “mechanical servants forthe Eli” and he hated them and wanted to murder them even though they werethe descendants of the human race. They were carnivorous and preyed upon theEloi.
He goes back to the gallery and Weena accompanies him everywhere he goes. He finds some matches and he breaks a lever off an ancient machine serving as amace to smash the Morlocks soft bodies. He found some camphor which is like acandle wax. He left the gallery at night fall and started fires on purpose toblind the creatures but he had difficulties starting vegetation on fire.
TheMorlocks were extremely sensitive to the light. The attacked him and he beatthem with his mace. They were very weak individually but strong in numbers. Thefires calm down and became dark again then they grabbed him and were biting athis neck. He jumped up and did some real strenuous fighting that occurs whenpeople are in the middle of combat and they experience a rush of anger. Thefires started back up and the Morlocks swayed to and fro in agony.
They weremaking moaning sounds to each other. He chose not to kill any of them while theywere at his mercy. He sleeps awhile and in the morning he heads down to thewhite sphinx. To his surprise he sees that the doors are open and the timemachine is visible. Obviously it is a trap for the time traveler. He proceeds inthe doors even though he suspects a trap.
As soon as he gets on the time machinethe doors closed. The Morlocks laugh out loud thinking that he is trapped. Thetime traveler makes an attempt to lite the match but it only lites on the matchbox. He defeats one of the Morlocks and gets on his time machine and pushes thelever forward in a panic.
Then he goes hurling forward in time. He is on thetime machine in an awkward position. He stops and when he does he is on a beachand two large crustaceans try to eat him so he accelerates into the future 30million years or more and the sun grows bigger and more dull. Then the worldbecomes dark and the air is difficult to breathe.
When he thought life wasextinct he sees a life form swimming in the water “the size of afootball”. He then returns to his laboratory but in a different locationbecause of the Morlocks tampering with its location in the future. The editorand the medical doctor don’t believe his fantastic story even for an instant. The medical doctor can’t recognize the species of flower that the time travelerhad in his pockets but that didn’t change his mind at one bit. The narrator evensaid that “The serious people who took him seriously never felt quite sureof his deportment; they were somehow aware that trusting their reputations forjudgment with him was like furnishing a nursery with egg-shell china.
The editorcalled his story a “gaudy story”. The narrator comes back to find thetime traveler and sees him carrying a camera to his laboratory. He heads to thelaboratory as a result of clinking and thud sounds. He enters the lab andwitnesses just a flash of the time machine and the time traveler.
Then with awhirl of wind and dust the time traveler disappeared. I enjoyed this book but Ican’t believe how the time traveler acted being a logical and scientific man. Like when he went the future he encountered a new kind of people and they ledhim to a building where they reside. He just left his time machine behind; hecould have had those people help him take it back to where they were staying.
Also he should have put some wheels on it so it could be transported easier andalso a floatation device encase he ended up in water. Also he should of hadWeena stay with the others, Im sure she was hampering his attempts in combatwith the Morlocks. Also instead of causing terrible useless damage to theenvironment he should have laid siege to the pillars that the Morlocks used toexit out of. He should have set heavy objects on top of them and started firesaround them at night time.
They would die of lack of oxygen or hunger and thehunger would force them out of the holes into the fire or they would eat eachother. This would result in diminishing there numbers and making them to weak toresist a confrontation. This book had a lot of science elements to it such asthe climate change, fourth dimension, chemical reaction, and some of Darwin’stheories. There are some things that are not true about this story that I wantto point out.
When the time traveler goes 30 million years in the future fromhis beach location he describe after the Morlock scene. He would not end up onthe beach because of continental drifting when the earth rotates. The continentsmove an inch a year that 30 million inches! He would be in the ocean and sinkingfast so if he did but the lever back the ocean would change the space he wasoccupying and he would be stuck in the ground when came back probably resultingin an explosion. Also when the earth became darker only after 30 million years. The sun has approximately 5. 5 billion years left before it goes super nova.
Thenit will become a red giant and be extremely big as wells described in the book.So Wells was not informed of all the facts but still, this book was interestingand entertaining.Book Reports