Time Machine By Wells

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 famous
author, having seen science fiction become a recognized literary form and having
seen 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 by
examination and win a scholarship to the Normal School of Science, where he
stayed for three years and, most importantly, was exposed to biology under the
famous Thomas H. Huxley. Wells went into teaching and writing text books and
articles for the magazines that were of that time. In 1894 he began to write
science-fiction stories. -James Gunn Wells vision of the future, with its
troglodytic Morlocks descended from the working class of his day and the pretty
but helpless Eloi devolved from the leisure class, may seem antiquated political
theory. It emerged out of the concern for social justice that drew Wells to the
Fabian Society and inspired much of his later writing, but time has not dimmed
the fascination of the situation and the horror of the imagery. The Time Machine
brought these concerns into his fiction. It, too, involved the future, but a
future imagined with greater realism and in greater detail than earlier stories
of the future. It also introduced, for the first time in fiction, the notion of
a 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 the
fourth dimension and even the invention. He tries to explain the fourth
dimension before he shows them the time machine so they don’t think of him as a
magician. H. G. Wells uses details about the fourth dimension to teach the
reader the theory about it to capture your attention. Also Wells character the
time traveler says “Scientific people”, “Know very well that time
is only a kind of space”. In this quote he is clearly using persuasion
tactics. He tries to attack there consious by saying that, scientific people
know that this is only a kind of space. He says this in hopes that they will
believe 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”. The
people he is trying to persuade are of 19th century thinking and well to do
people and they are competitive amongst other well to do people so if other rich
and intelligent people believe this fourth dimension theory so the time traveler
hopes this will motivate them to learn about it. The Characters in the book Time
Machine are The time traveler, Filby, the psychologist, and the provincial
mayor. Later the silent man and the editor come in to play. Filby is described
as “an argumentative person with red hair”. He has another label that
Wells puts on him; he call him the “young man”. The psychologist also
has another label; he is “the medical man”. The time traveler is
described briefly when the group of intellects head down the corridor to the
laboratory. He uses “his queer broad head in silhouette.” When the
arrive at the machine’s location it is described as “Parts were made of
nickel, parts of ivory, parts had certainly been filed or sawn out of rock
crystal”. He probably chose these characters as witnesses because they hold
higher education and people would believe them from there reputations. The
psychologist would be beneficiary in convincing the other that its not a hoax
because he is aware of human behavior. The provincial mayor is also an
intelligent man and the people elected him so if he is to believe that this
works then many people would follow him. Filby is another character but never
talks about his standing in society it could be his friend because he did wink
at the time traveler or maybe he is not because he disputed the time traveler’s
time machine in his face and behind his back. H. G. Wells uses two other
characters that come to dinner to meet the time traveler. The main character
comes back from the future. The medical doctor and the provincial mayor are
accompanied by the editor or known as the journalist, and the silent man. The
editor uses three names to describe his guest’s; “Blank, Dash, and
Chose.” These names are mentioned but they are never given a designation so
there is no way to figure out which one is the mayor, psychologist, or the
silent man. The editor shows some disbelief but goes ahead listening to the
story and is a little eager. He may just wanted to get a story to report in the
newspaper that someone has claimed to have gone to the future and back. They all
agree that the time traveler can tell his story without interruption because he
is wary with exhaustion and has no tolerance to answer questions or be accused
as a liar or a quack. He begins his story by telling that he has “lived
eight days…such days as no human has ever lived before!”. Next he is in
his 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 to
long so he had to get it remade. The time traveler begins his journey to the
future. At first he didn’t know if anything was happening yet for this machine
was untested. “For a moment I suspected that my intellect had tricked
me.” “Then I noted the clock. A moment before, as it seemed, it had
stood at a minute or so past ten; now it was nearly half-past three!”. This
part in the novel is his most detailed explanation to capture the readers
imagination and to fully support the illusion of time travel. He tells of many
details such as his maid Mrs. Watched came in the laboratory and moved like a
rocket around it. He explains the time traveling experience as a since of
falling and the speed is so great that it feels like any minute you will smash
into another object. All these details suggest that its not a comfortable ride
especially when he said “I remarked indeed a clumsy swaying of the machine,
for which I was unable to account.” There is evidence that the laboratory
and the time traveler’s house was torn down when he saw the brief picture of
scaffolding. A snail went across the room at a speed that his eyes could not
keep up with. After his house was gone he was in the open air and saw huge
buildings erect themselves all around him. Wells was right in his assumption
about these buildings because skyscrapers do exist in our time. He saw all the
vegetation grow and die. The moon ran its cycles and the sun shot across the sky
so fast that it was hurting the time traveler’s eyes. The time traveler witness
the season’s changing from snow to spring in a continuos cycle. He thought of
stopping but he was afraid of jamming his molecules and the object’s molecules
that occupied that space at that particular time. Here he goes back to science
and with some added element of chemistry. The main character explains that if
his time machine occupied the same space at the same time as another object then
the molecules would fuse together causing a chemical reaction and the ending
result would be an explosion. Even with this threat he takes the risk out of
curiosity building some suspense in the book. He stops and is flung from his
machine and is met by a thunderstorm. This is realistic in this book because in
the 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 emerges
from the brush and is described as “a slight creature-perhaps four feet
high-clad in a purple tunic, girdled at the waist with a leather belt. Sandals
or buskins-I could not clearly distinguish which-were on his feet; his legs were
bare to the knees, and his head was bare.” He was under the impression that
there will frail creature and not very intelligent and he was correct. His
assumption of intelligence was proven when one of the human looking creatures
asked him is he had come from the sun riding on a thunderstorm. Also when he
gave them a threatening motion towards them when they got around the machine
they retreated immediately. His assumption of frailty was proven after this
fact. He noticed that a lot of them looked a like which he thought was odd. They
probably looked like this because they have been bred and raised like cattle for
many years so they are all probably sharing a lot of the same genes. The thing
Wells 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 and
extinct. He only had 19th century knowledge so he was probably not aware of this
or he didn’t care because most people were probably not aware of the study of
genetics. They didn’t show much interest in learning they would run around and
play with toys and lose interest in a never ending cycle like a child. He didn’t
know there language but it was obviously derived from the English because one of
the Eli’s asked him if he had come from the sun and he understood but some of
the other things that the Eli were saying didn’t make sense to the time
traveler. He saw the white sphinx and describe it as having a silver tree at its
shoulder 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 “was
thick with verdigris.” The building that the Eloi resided at had according
to the time traveler had huge doors “and was all together colossal
dimensions”. The entrance had carvings of Phoenicians. After seeing a
sphinx and Phoenician carvings and how primitive the people were he had doubts
that he was in the future. This proved by when the time traveler is remembering
the date on his dials that read 802, 701 A.D. He noticed the Eli diet as been
composed of mainly fruit and vegetables. He noticed there was no signs of
economic or cultural struggle in the surroundings so the time traveler has some
knowledge of archeology and maybe a bit of a historian, he even said that he
would like to witness the accepted account of the battle of Hastings. Also when
the time traveler looks at the countryside he says to himself “Communism, I
said to myself”. This shows that H. G. Wells know of Marxism Communism but
it does not show if he is a supporter or against it. At first he thought this
society was man’s triumph that they live in peace but he learns later that the
Eloi 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 his
surprise it was gone. He began to panic, even when he fell down and hit his face
which produced a trickling of blood didn’t even pause. At this point the time
traveler is over stressed and bent on getting his time machine back. He no
longer cares to learn about the Eloi; his priority has changed. H. G. Wells uses
realistic thought process of people when they are faced with problems. The time
traveler is pacing and his conscious is talking to itself trying to calm down
and come up with solutions and answers. After this event he sees Weena an adult
Eloi girl swimming in a stream. She gets a cramp and begins to drown and the
other Eloi didn’t even make an effort to save her. The time traveler saves her
life and they become very close. The sleep outside and she shows an
uncomfortable behavior as well as the other Eloi about the dark. The Eloi
wouldn’t sleep alone or go out at dark. The time traveler resorts back to more
theories about the hotter climate of the region. He thinks that the planets are
closer to the sun now or that a planet has smashed into the sun and given it
renewed energy. He was hiding from the heat in a building when he found a
gallery of history. It contained fossils, machines, weapons, chemicals, and
idles from every culture Greek, Phoenician and even English ones. He found the
tunnels that looked like half pillars kind of like ant wholes. The time traveler
saw one of the Morlocks and described it as having “a dull white, and had
strange large greyish-red eyes; also that there was flaxen hair on its head and
down its back”. He later described them as “mechanical servants for
the Eli” and he hated them and wanted to murder them even though they were
the descendants of the human race. They were carnivorous and preyed upon the
Eloi. 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 a
mace to smash the Morlocks soft bodies. He found some camphor which is like a
candle wax. He left the gallery at night fall and started fires on purpose to
blind the creatures but he had difficulties starting vegetation on fire. The
Morlocks were extremely sensitive to the light. The attacked him and he beat
them with his mace. They were very weak individually but strong in numbers. The
fires calm down and became dark again then they grabbed him and were biting at
his neck. He jumped up and did some real strenuous fighting that occurs when
people are in the middle of combat and they experience a rush of anger. The
fires started back up and the Morlocks swayed to and fro in agony. They were
making moaning sounds to each other. He chose not to kill any of them while they
were at his mercy. He sleeps awhile and in the morning he heads down to the
white sphinx. To his surprise he sees that the doors are open and the time
machine is visible. Obviously it is a trap for the time traveler. He proceeds in
the doors even though he suspects a trap. As soon as he gets on the time machine
the doors closed. The Morlocks laugh out loud thinking that he is trapped. The
time traveler makes an attempt to lite the match but it only lites on the match
box. He defeats one of the Morlocks and gets on his time machine and pushes the
lever forward in a panic. Then he goes hurling forward in time. He is on the
time machine in an awkward position. He stops and when he does he is on a beach
and two large crustaceans try to eat him so he accelerates into the future 30
million years or more and the sun grows bigger and more dull. Then the world
becomes dark and the air is difficult to breathe. When he thought life was
extinct he sees a life form swimming in the water “the size of a
football”. He then returns to his laboratory but in a different location
because of the Morlocks tampering with its location in the future. The editor
and 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 traveler
had in his pockets but that didn’t change his mind at one bit. The narrator even
said that “The serious people who took him seriously never felt quite sure
of his deportment; they were somehow aware that trusting their reputations for
judgment with him was like furnishing a nursery with egg-shell china. The editor
called his story a “gaudy story”. The narrator comes back to find the
time traveler and sees him carrying a camera to his laboratory. He heads to the
laboratory as a result of clinking and thud sounds. He enters the lab and
witnesses just a flash of the time machine and the time traveler. Then with a
whirl of wind and dust the time traveler disappeared. I enjoyed this book but I
can’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 led
him to a building where they reside. He just left his time machine behind; he
could 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 and
also a floatation device encase he ended up in water. Also he should of had
Weena stay with the others, Im sure she was hampering his attempts in combat
with the Morlocks. Also instead of causing terrible useless damage to the
environment he should have laid siege to the pillars that the Morlocks used to
exit out of. He should have set heavy objects on top of them and started fires
around them at night time. They would die of lack of oxygen or hunger and the
hunger would force them out of the holes into the fire or they would eat each
other. This would result in diminishing there numbers and making them to weak to
resist a confrontation. This book had a lot of science elements to it such as
the climate change, fourth dimension, chemical reaction, and some of Darwin’s
theories. There are some things that are not true about this story that I want
to point out. When the time traveler goes 30 million years in the future from
his beach location he describe after the Morlock scene. He would not end up on
the beach because of continental drifting when the earth rotates. The continents
move an inch a year that 30 million inches! He would be in the ocean and sinking
fast so if he did but the lever back the ocean would change the space he was
occupying and he would be stuck in the ground when came back probably resulting
in 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. Then
it 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 interesting
and entertaining.


Book Reports