The Time Machine [with Biographical Introduction]

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It is , a. The creatures take him to a large building, where a number of them sit around and eat fruit. He learns they are vegetarian and live communally in one building, with the sexes mingling freely with each other. The Time Traveller becomes frustrated by the creatures' diminishing curiosity about his presence and his inability to communicate with them. Noting the creatures' indolence and the generally dilapidated look of the buildings, the Time Traveller speculates that the creatures evolved from the human race, growing weak because they had managed to decrease their population and to erase all "hardship and vigor" from their existence.

His speculation about the creatures echoes both Karl Marx and Darwin's theories of economics and evolution respectively. At the end of the chapter, the Time Traveller signals that his guesses about the creatures are wrong. In this chapter, the longest in the novel, the Time Traveller discovers that his machine is missing, and he sets about to find it, guessing that it is in the base of the White Sphinx.

However, he cannot open the panel to access it, and the Eloi he asks to help him all refuse. Exploring the Thames River Valley, the Time Traveller sees deep circular wells, and he speculates they are part of a vast ventilation system. Once again, his assumption will later be proved wrong. Wells further dramatizes Marx's and Darwin's theories, as the Time Traveller learns more about the Eloi, the creatures he is staying with and whose name he learns, and is "introduced" to the Morlocks, a hideous race of underground creatures who resemble apes, with white skin and enlarged eyes, who prey on the Eloi.

The Time Traveller learns about the Eloi largely through Weena, a female he rescues from drowning, while other Eloi passively watch. Weena stays with the Time Traveller, sleeping with him at night, even though she is dreadfully afraid of the dark. He later learns her fear is related to the Morlocks, who "harvest" Eloi in the dark to eat.

The Time Traveller theorizes that the two races "evolved" out of the working class and the "owning" class of Victorian England. The Morlocks were the working class and had been driven underground, where they continued to work with their machines, while the Eloi were the capitalist class, who had grown dependent on the Morlocks for everything in their lives. The Time Traveller discovers a large green building, which he refers to as the Palace of Green Porcelain. He will come back to this building later in the story. For now, he braces himself to explore the underground world of the Morlocks.

Weena is too afraid to follow him into the well, but the Time Traveller continues, wending his way through a maze of underground tunnels, eventually coming across a large battery of machines on which the Morlocks are hard at work. As Morlocks come toward him, the Time Traveller scares them off with a match, but he runs out of matches just as he escapes from the underground lair.

Introduction & Overview of The Time Machine

In this chapter, Weena and the Time Traveller begin their journey back to the Palace of Green Porcelain but must sleep outside on a hill because night is descending. The Time Traveller muses on the insignificance of his own existence in relation to the universe and speculates on the nature of the relationship between the Morlocks and the Eloi, concluding that the underground mutants are keeping the Eloi alive both out of habit and for meat. This disgusts him and further spurs him to find his time machine.

This chapter is significant because it marks the only time that the Time Traveller stops his narrative to provide proof of his journey, pulling out "two withered flowers" that Weena had placed in his jacket pocket and putting them on the table for others to see.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Time Traveller and Weena arrive at the Palace of Green Porcelain, which the Time Traveller inspects, discovering that it is a vast museum containing the ruins of "latter day South Kensington," with sections for natural history, paleontology, and geology. When Weena and the Time Traveller leave the museum, the Time Traveller arms himself with a box of matches and a lever he had broken off a machine in the museum with which to defend themselves against the Morlocks.

In this chapter, Weena and the Time Traveller set out for the White Sphinx, where the latter believes the time machine is being kept. The two are attacked by Morlocks, and the Time Traveller lights matches to ward them off, beating them with a mace. Weary from their fighting and travel, the two fall asleep. They awaken to see frenzied Morlocks running from a raging fire the Time Traveller had set earlier. In the confusion, the Time Traveller leaves Weena behind in the burning forest.

The Time Traveller finds the bronze panels at the base of the White Sphinx open and the time machine waiting for him. He jumps inside, and the Morlocks lock the doors behind him. After fighting off some of the ape-like creatures, the Time Traveller eventually starts the machine and jets into the fourth dimension.

The Time Traveller lands at a time of "abominable desolation" in which there is no trace of humanity but plenty of horrendous giant crab-like creatures and enormous centipedes scurrying about in the "inky blackness. He travels even further into the future, thirty million years, only to find that all life has vanished, except a ghastly football-sized blob trailing tentacles against the blood-red water. The Time Traveller returns to his home and his own time, convinced that because the time machine is at the other end of the laboratory, his experience was real and not a dream.

He elicits responses from his guests, all of whom remain skeptical except for Hillyer, who returns the next day for more proof. The Time Traveller tells him that he will travel to the future and return in a half hour with just such evidence. Hillyer sees the Time Traveller disappear in a blur and waits for him to return, but he does not. The story ends with Hillyer saying that it has been three years since the Time Traveller left, and he has not yet returned. Hillyer speculates on where the Time Traveller might be and notes the Time Traveller's pessimistic view of human progress.

Even if the future is bleak, Hillyer says, human beings must live as if it is not while retaining hope for the future. This hope is symbolized by the two flowers that Weena had given the Time Traveller and that now belong to Hillyer. The editor of "a well-known but unnamed daily paper," Blank—also referred to as "the Editor"—is a "rare visitor" to the Time Traveller's home.

H.G. Wells: His Life and Work

He is skeptical when told of the experiment the week before, and when the Time Traveller appears during dinner, his clothes rumpled and dirty, he makes fun of him, asking, "Hadn't they any clothes brushes in the Future? Attending the second dinner, Dash—also referred to as the Journalist—"is more interested in his own stories than those of the Time Traveller.

Descended from the owning classes of nineteenth-century Britain, the Eloi live in , a. Vegetarians, they sleep together in large halls as protection against the Morlocks, who prey on them at night.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells - Chapter 1

Although initially intrigued by the Time Traveller, they quickly lose interest in him, except for Weena, a female Eloi the Time Traveller rescues from drowning. Filby appears in the second chapter and is described as "an argumentative person with red hair. He is also not very bright.

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Hillyer says that if Filby had presented the time machine and explained it instead of the Time Traveller, "a pork-butcher could understand. Hillyer is the narrator and the only person who believes the Time Traveller's story. The bulk of the novel is the Time Traveller's story, as told to Hillyer. However, Hillyer directly addresses readers in the first, second, and twelfth chapters, and in the epilogue. Unlike the Time Traveller, who is pessimistic about humanity's future, Hillyer maintains hope, saying that even if the Time Traveller's story is true and that humanity is doomed for extinction, "it remains for us to live as though it were not so.

The Medical Man, also referred to as "the Doctor," is one of three guests present at both dinners. The others are Hillyer and the Psychologist. He holds a note from the Time Traveller and a watch and suggests that the group begin dinner on time, as the Time Traveller had instructed. Although he takes the Time Traveller seriously at first, he grows skeptical, believing that the Time Traveller has tricked them with his demonstration in the first chapter. In , a. Descended from Britain's nineteenth-century working class, the ape-like creatures have large eyes, white skin, and fur, and are fearful of light and fire.

They also prey upon the Eloi, whom they use as a food source. They pursue the Time Traveller through the middle of his story, but he eventually beats them off and escapes into the future in his time machine. The Provincial Mayor is present at the first dinner. He has never heard of the fourth dimension and, in general, does not appear to know much about science. The Psychologist is present at both dinners and engages the Time Traveller when he explains his theory. He says that historians would find time travel especially useful, noting, "One might travel back and verify the accepted account of the Battle of Hastings , for instance!

A well-to-do yet socially conscious inventor and a man of science who lives in Richmond, he creates a machine that allows him to travel in the fourth dimension. He has twinkling gray eyes and a pale face that is usually flushed. Well educated in the leading theories of his day, such as evolution and communism, the Time Traveller moves quickly from observation to speculation but acknowledges when he has been wrong and rethinks his position. The Time Traveller remains excited about the future, even after he learns by traveling in the future that humankind will not survive and that all trace of life will be wiped off the face of the earth.

He is also a very witty man who often makes jokes at his own expense. His humor and history of playing practical jokes on his guests is one reason his guests suspect that his story is not true. Hillyer says of him that he "had more than a touch of whim among his elements.

The very young man is at the first meeting only, participating in the discussion about time travel. Weena is an Eloi that the Time Traveller saves from drowning when other Eloi ignore her.

A source of information about the Eloi, she accompanies the Time Traveller as he searches for the time machine, and the two develop a strong bond. The night before the Time Traveller returns to the past, she dies in a fire the Time Traveller sets to ward off Morlocks. Prior to the eighteenth century in the West, a person was born into a caste and remained there until he or she died.

After the eighteenth century and, with the proliferation of literacy and the standardization of currency, a class system began to emerge. More people had access to old professions, such as medicine and law, and new professions, such as writing and psychology, the latter of which are represented by the Time Traveller's guests. However, with the industrial revolution and the mass migration of rural laborers into the cities, the differences between the haves and the have-nots became more starkly visible. Wells capitalizes on the struggle between these two groups in his depiction of civilization , years in the future.

Wells believed there would be another major war to follow, and included his ideas for the future. Lobbying for a type of global socialism, he suggested the creation of a single government for the entire world. Around this time, Wells also tried to advance his political ideas in the real world.

Media Adaptations

He ran for Parliament as a Labour Party candidate in and , but both efforts ended in failure. Wells branched out into film in the s. His film, called Things to Come , took audiences on a journey from the next world war into the distant future. An internationally famous intellectual and author, Wells traveled widely. He also lectured and went on speaking tours, gaining notoriety for his radical social and political views. Taking a break from war-torn London in , Wells came to the United States. He delivered a talk entitled "Two Hemispheres—One World.

In , Wells married his cousin, Isabel Mary Wells, but the union didn't last. Wells soon took up with Amy Catherine "Jane" Robbins and the pair married in after he officially divorced Isabel. He and Jane had two children together, sons George Philip and Frank. A free thinker about sex and sexuality, Wells did not let marriage stop him from having other relationships.

He had numerous affairs and later lived apart from Jane. His involvement with Amber Reeves resulted in the birth of their daughter Anna-Jane in Wells later developed feelings for feminist writer Rebecca West, and they had a son, Anthony, together. Jane died of cancer in For roughly 50 years, Wells devoted his life to writing and his output during this time was amazing.

Some even criticized Wells for his tremendous volume of work, saying that he spread his talent too thin.


Wells wrote, on average, three books a year for a time. And each of his works went through several drafts before publication. Wells remained productive until the very end of his life, but his attitude seemed to darken in his final days. Among his last works was 's "Mind at the End of Its Tether," a pessimistic essay in which Wells contemplates the end of humanity.

Some critics speculated that Wells's declining health shaped this prediction of a future without hope. He died on August 13, , in London. At the time of his death, Wells was remembered as a author, historian and champion of certain social and political ideals.

The Time Machine Summary & Study Guide Description

So many of his predictions for the future came true in the ensuing years that he is sometimes called "the Father of Futurism. Several of his works have returned to the big screen in recent years. A remake of War of the Worlds featured Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning as two of the humans fighting to survive the alien invasion. We strive for accuracy and fairness. By signing up, I confirm that I'm over View all newsletter.

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