The Time Machine
The history of this short novel is imformational. It shows Wells developing and exploring the idea consistently over several years, as his rate of production would restrain him from ever doing again. In many ways, The Time Machine is his most complete work; a thorough development of the Darwinian ideas he had absorbed at the Normal School of Science and that would form the bedrock of everything else he did throughout his career. (. N.p. Web. 7 Feb 2014.) It is also a most unusual book, because in no other novel would he reach as far into the future, in no other novel would he imagine so comprehensively the death of everything, and in no other novel would he confront directly what we now term the post-human. Though it was the novel he wrote first, it is the full stop that comes at the end of everything else he wrote later. Curiously, given much of what he would write in the twentieth century it is the one work where Darwinian thought is applied to the utopian ideal, and it is the utopian ideal that is found wanting. The Time Traveler’s first thought, on encountering the devolved society of the Eloi, is that utopia has failed: "Under the new conditions of perfect comfort and security, that restless energy, that with us is strength, would become weakness". (H.G) The Time Traveler almost immediately rejects this theory, but towards the end of his stay in the world of the Eloi and the Morlocks, he returns to something very like that first notion: "No doubt in that perfect world there had been no unemployed problem, no social question left unsolved. And a great quiet had followed". (H.G) The great quiet of utopia is anti-evolutionary, because evolution can only proceed where there is contest. Where there is no contest, evolution does not stop, it goes into reverse, and as inertia slows the world until it stops at that terminal beach that is probably the most haunting image in the entire novel,...
Bibliography: http://www.biography.com/people/hg-wells-39224. N.p. Web. 7 Feb 2014.
H.G Wells. The Time Machine. Belmont, California: 1985. Print.
Wallace, Alfred Russell. Darwinism. Macmillan, 1891. Print.
Piccardi, Luigi. Myth and Geology. London: Geological Society, 2007. Print.
Oliver period 3
February 7, 2014
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