Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Time, Literature, Traveler, Vehicles, Machine, World, Science, Life

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/02

Analysis of the Novel The Time Machine

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Introduction

The concept of time machine, as a machine that could enable travelling through time, was first coined by H.G Wells the author of the novel “the Time Machine”. The same idea has been shown in several movies and novels since then.
The story of the novel is presented in the 19th century in London. 19th century is considered an important time for works of science fiction in books as well as movies. Several famous and new concepts were introduced at this time. So naturally a good choice for the background setting for the story.

The story of the novel is based on the concept of the time travelling, thus though the physical setting is the time traveler’s home and the surrounding area however as the story flows there are three different time based setting with several years ahead of the present time of the traveler that is the 19th century. Interestingly the author has described the surroundings of the main site as time progresses in accordance with the science of evolution and illustrates astronomical changes as how earth shifts and rivers become lands and lands become islands. The changes of landscape and nature as imagined by the author demonstrate how living creatures might evolve or become extinct based on the Darwinian theories.

Main Theme

The basic plot of the story is about a very passionate time traveler who invents a time machine to enable him to travel through time and succeeds to travel to 800,000 years in the future through his invention. Though time travelling and fiction is the main genre of the story however the story also illustrates how with time the society and the world will become more capitalist and materialistic not letting weaker souls survive. The story shows how the world might look more developed after several thousand years but the underlying of humans and species might become more vicious.
It is interesting to note that there have been several science fiction novels written about time travelling however the main difference in this is that the concept is presented with scientific speculations and trending theories about the fourth dimension.

Characters

The story does not has a long list of characters, the main character is the time traveler and the narrator of the story. Other characters are who the time traveler meets during his voyages in the future.

The Time Traveler

The time traveler is the main character of the story and is presented as a learned and well versed in science and related theories. The profile of the time traveler is naturally chosen to fulfill the requirements of the character’s ability to invent a successful machine. Some experts believe that the ideology of the main character correspond to the personality of the author and his views about the world and his surroundings.
While the character of time travelers has logical and scientific capabilities, he possess a strong sense of humor which is shown by the way he describes his encounters during his voyage. His witty and entertaining personality is seen as the reason why his friends do not take his time travelling account seriously.

The Narrator- Hillyer

The Narrator is one of the dinner guests in the story where the story telling session about the voyage begins. The narrator is the only acquaintance who believes the traveler, however the story does not describe the personality or background of the narrator much.

Eloi

Eloi are the living beings of the year 802701, descendants of the aristocratic class of 19th century who are fragile, lethargic and small statured people living on the surface of the year. The Eloi form of species is close to the humans of the current times in looks however they are projected simple natured and playful like children. These Eloi are not interested in any intellects or education and spend their times feasting on the natural fruits and vegetables and sleep together in a large chamber.

Morlocks

Eloi are scared of morlocks. Another breed who live under the earth in the year 802701, they look like ape and are aggressive and slayers. According to the story the morlocks are the evolved form of the current time’s working class or the lower social class who engage in labor and manage huge machines. Their appearance shows how hard working they have been spending all their lives in working and not enjoying life at all. The continual living under the earth have evolved them to develop certain special features such as large and photosensitive eyes, fur covered body and unpigmented skin. Their harsh lifestyle have made them carnivorous who feast on Eloi. This characteristic of Morlocks also shows their hatred towards the simpler life form on the surface of earth as they work hard in harsh and non-lifelike surroundings while the Eloi play and enjoy all day long.
The movie based on the novel released later showed the following depiction of the breed of Morlocks, as shown in the figure below:
Figure 1 morlocks, source: http://timemachine.wikia.com/wiki/Morlocks

Comparison of Human with Eloi & Morlocks

The characterization of Eloi and Morlocks are two extreme opposites. While Eloi are engaged in everything fun and beautiful, Morlocks are engaged in the negatives such as stealing or attacking Eloi. However the humans of the then current times (the 19th century) exhibit both of these attributes that is they can be as child like Eloi or as harsh as a morlock.

Weena and the time traveler

Weena is an Eloi and the time traveler saves her from drowning once. This encounter later evolves into a close bond between the two. She is projected as a beautiful and sincere Eloi who wants to help the time traveler. Weena has a feeling of gratitude for the time traveler as he saves her from lot of troubled situation and helps her as a return of favor. The time traveler also seems to have feelings for her as at one point he thinks to take her back to his times. At various points in the story the time traveler sees the difference between him and Weena as she can come in and out of a feeling instantly just like a child. This is also illustrated when Weena describes the Morlocks to the time traveler while crying and sobbing putting him in a deep thought. However she forgets everything as soon as he lights match and starts clapping. However the special feelings of the time traveler for Weena are also shown through the exchange of flowers and kisses at various points in the story. Weena is however burned to death in a forest fire and never gets a chance to go back in time with the time traveler.

Encounter with Morlocks

As the Morlocks are shown as managing and operating huge machines and they are the ones who can understand machines, steal the time traveler’s time machine. As he finds out that Morlocks are afraid of light, he lights a fire in the forest that kills Weena but helped him find his time machine. This also shows how passionate he is about his machine and how badly he wants to be back in his time even though he has feelings for Weena but he cannot think of staying back.

Escape To Distant Future

After the encounter with Morlocks, the time traveler escapes from that era and travels to a more distant future to find that the human life form is extinct. The only thing on the earth is large monsters and plants.
The time traveler escapes back to his time by experiencing the emptiness of the future. The voyage of the time traveler seems to be more to witness the evolution of human race rather than any scientific reasons and the realization of the barbaric future results for him to return back to his time.

References

Bartleyby. (2000). The Time Machine: An Invention. Retrieved from Bartleby: http://www.bartleby.com/1000/
Yaron Ezrahi, E. M. (1994). Technology, Pessimism, and Postmodernism. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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