“The Time Machine”- H.G. Wells

Time Machine

In choosing to do The Time Machine by H.G. Wells as the book to do my personal essay on, I envisioned a book that would go to a time in the future and show an extremely advanced human population with all kinds of creative gadgets that Wells had thought up. I was far from wrong in that assumption.
I expected the science in this novel to be based more on the ideas of traveling through time, which is seen as the fourth dimension in this novel. I was way off in that respect as well. The real scientific background for this novel is the idea of evolution. H.G. Wells denounced religion at a very young age, and after a year in learning from Thomas Huxley, was keenly interested and devoted to the ideas of evolution.
In this novel, H.G. Wells has it set up where the narrator (unnamed), listens to a time traveller (also unnamed), who has taken a trip into the distant future to the year eight hundred and two thousand seven hundred and one to be exact. The time traveller travel’s on his time machine, finding a race of human’s that is actually quite inferior to his own intellectual ability. Although the world is a lush green paradise he finds that these human ancestors are very small and frail people, but are extremely happy and dumb. These people he calls the Eloi, and he befriends them immediately upon arrival. In his explorations of this future land, he discovers a gruesome ape-like species that is completely afraid of the light. He then derives that this is a branch in the evolutionary chain, where the aristocrats who desired pleasure in life turned into the Eloi, while the working class became so adjusted to the dark working environment, that they evolved into these little white ape-like monsters afraid of light, that he calls Morlocks. After his encounter with these Morlocks, he travels further in time to thirty million years in the future and finds life to be almost non-existent, the sun is a giant red fireball, and the air is extremely thin and hard to breathe.
H.G. Wells basically uses the idea of time travel, not to explore the idea of time travel, but as a way to speed up the process and show his ideas on the evolution of man and his ideas on the longevity of the earth. He does touch on the idea of time as the fourth dimension, and the idea of time travel is a fantastical idea at this time period, so I will touch on that slightly. The main scientific ideas in this book though,  is H.G. Wells ideas on evolution of man. Also his ideas on the social structures being the dividing line, eventually causing a branch in the evolutionary chain of humans is a social science I will explore. This is H.G. Wells first novel showing that his use of literature and his background in science can come together and make a fictional book that actually reveals his personal ideas.

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