Time Machine

Topics: Time travel, The Time Machine, Human / Pages: 28 (6754 words) / Published: Aug 21st, 2013
THE TIME MACHINE, A DYSTOPIC UTOPIA
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne
University of Paris Dauphine

Herbert Georges Wells (1866-1946) witnessed eighty years of our developing industrial world during which all basic productive activities bloomed to produce our present mass consumer society based on mass production and the industrial and agricultural, financial, services, communications, entertainment and labor mass markets. He witnessed the growth of the two extreme ideologies produced by this industrial world, communism (or Stalinism) and Nazism (or fascism). He also witnessed the development of biology and particularly Darwinism and his evolution of species, the survival of the fittest, and the birth and elaboration of the theory of relativity and the physics that emerged from it or at the same time. Finally, he witnessed, both in Europe and the USA, the junction of the analysis of society in two antagonistic classes and their class struggle for domination, even reduced to the American simplified approach of the rich and the poor, what he calls himself the “haves” and the “have-nots” (53) [i] on one hand, and Darwinism on the other hand. He died in 1946 after witnessing the fall of the extreme racist form of this social Darwinism (Nazism and fascism) but also the seemingly triumphant expansion of the second form of it, Stalinism. The Time Machine was published in 1895 [ii]. We should also consider Wells’ The Invisible Man (1897). Wells first warns us about the biological–and social–danger of our social Darwinism in The Time Machine and about the plain criminal danger of the uncontrolled development of science in The Invisible Man. This cannot represent a fear of the modern world since Wells was a socialist, but the sign of an independent mind in symbiosis with a quickly changing world. I will concentrate on the ideological message of The Time Machine along with two adaptations of this short novel to the silver screen



Bibliography: Burke, Kenneth, A Grammar of Motives, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1969 McLuhan, Marshall, Understanding Media, The Extensions of Man, Routledge, London, 1997 (1964) Pal, George, The Time Machine, 1960, Warner Home Video DVD, 2002 Verne, Jules, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, 20 000 lieues sous la mer, 1870 Wells, Herbert George, The Time Machine and The Invisible Man, Signet Classic, New York, 1984 Wells Simon, The Time Machine, 2002, Warner Home Video DVD, 2002 Zola, Emile, Germinal, 1985 -----------------------

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