The Time Machine : Hg Wells

Topics: Time travel, The Time Machine, Social class Pages: 6 (2054 words) Published: February 11, 2011
The Time Traveller  -  The Time Traveller's name is never given. Apparently the narrator wants to protect his identity. The Time Traveller is an inventor. He likes to speculate on the future and the underlying structures of what he observes. His house is in Richmond, a suburb of London. The Narrator  -  The narrator, Mr. Hillyer, is the Time Traveller's dinner guest. His curiosity is enough to make him return to investigate the morning after the first time travel. Weena -  Weena is one of the Eloi. Although the Time Traveller reports that it is difficult to distinguish gender among the Eloi, he seems quite sure that Weena is female. He easily saves her from being washed down the river, and she eagerly becomes his friend. Her behavior toward him is not unlike that of a pet or small child.

he Time Traveler (TT)
The Time Traveler is the protagonist of the story, and he takes over the narration from Chapter III until Chapter XII. He is a scientific man, schooled in contemporary theories about relativity and an able practitioner of the scientific method of hypothesis, observation, experimentation, and conclusion (although he freely admits that many of his early theories about the future world turn out to be wrong). He also begins his time traveling as an optimistic Social Darwinist, believing civilization will continually advance, but he quickly reverses his thoughts once he observes the Eloi and the Morlocks. His only friend in the future is Weena, with whom he has something of a romantic relationship. Her death at the hands of the Morlocks stokes the TT's deep loathing of the ape-like creatures--a hatred which most likely stems from the TT's Victorian aversion to the lower classes. Interestingly, he despises the Morlocks even though he understands, in Marxist terminology, that they have been victimized as the working class for so long. Another great irony of the novel is that the TT, in his adventures in the future world, becomes primal; he savagely beats the Morlocks with blunt instruments or his fists, and he must use primitive skills--such as lighting fires--to defeat them. Weena

The only member of the Eloi the Time Traveler gets to know, Weena exhibits all the good and bad characteristics of this future race. The Eloi are evolved members of the upper class, but they are not more advanced beings, as Social Darwinists would believe. Rather, their utopian civilization has made them weak, physically and mentally; they are beautiful but lazy, frail, and stupid creatures who can do nothing for themselves. The Morlocks, the evolved, nocturnal, Underworld members of the working class, are now the true masters; they breed the Eloi like cattle for food and stalk them at night. Weena follows the TT around like a puppy after he saves her from drowning, and it is through her behavior--especially her fear of the dark--that the TT figures out much about the relationship between the Eloi and the Morlocks. She even develops a quasi-romantic relationship with the TT, and her death incites the TT's vicious stand against the Morlocks. The Morlocks

The antagonists in the novel, the ape-like Morlocks are the evolved members of the working class. Over the years, the Time Traveler theorizes, the working class has been continually pushed underground, and after a while it has evolved into a distinct species apart from the ruling class. Nocturnal and adept at climbing, the Morlocks have turned the tables and rule over their fairer Upperworld cousins, the Eloi, breeding them for food while they keep their society humming. They immediately spark the TT's loathing, most likely because he, a member of the Victorian upper class, has an ingrained disgust for the working class, though he comprehends their history as a Marxist class revolution. The Narrator

The narrator is a fairly unobtrusive character, especially since he steps out of the story from Chapter III to Chapter XII. However, he is the one member of the Time Traveler's dinner group who...
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