Time travel is a dream of science fiction. Though it has not yet been achieved except through literary composition, H.G. Wells theorized that the future would not portray the human race in a positive aspect. In The Time Machine, the Time Traveler hints that the future for the human race is in jeopardy of extinction. He proposes that life on Earth declines as a reciprocal of Darwin’s evolution. This socially damning prediction of the human race is based on the author’s belief that human intelligence and vigor is an outcome of hardship and the struggle for freedom (Wells 36).
And in the absence of hardship and freedom, intelligent life will digress. This theory is an underlying theme of The Time Machine and can be substantiated throughout the epic work.
Wells’ character, Time Traveler, is a learned man in an intellect-seeking culture, Victorian England. His weekly meetings imply open discussions between the knowledge seeking community such as the argumentative Filby, the humbugging psychologist, a very young cigar-smoking man, the Provincial mayor, a medical man, an editor, a journalist, a quiet bearded-man, the eminent scientist Time Traveler, and the narrator (Wells 1-6).
The narrator says of the time period…”Humanity had been strong, energetic, and intelligent” (Wells 2_).
Wells’ work reflects his great admiration of intellect and the progressive search for high levels of understanding. Gratton, in a critique of Wells says that, “[…] he believes is progress, science, education, and the inherent goodness of man (Gratton 501).
Race is a complicated issue in our society today and many people can get “race” and racism confused. The word “race” means something different to everyone, and is such a common topic that it affects everyone from all walks of life on a daily basis. In Kwame Anthony Appiah’s essay “Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections” he believed that there should be no “race” and that there is no ...
Rebecca West further concurs that, “[…] He (Wells) broods…the wisdom of the world.”(West 493) The Time Traveler observes and reflects during his journey as he meets and interacts with beings of the future that, “[…] when mind and strength had gone[…]gratitude and mutual tenderness still lived in the heart of man.” (Wells 33) The Traveler is beginning to hint that human intelligence is lagging. The Traveler stated further on, “ I grieved to think how brief the dream of the human intellect had been.” (Wells 65) He cited the crumbling museums and communal apathy toward conflict as proof that intelligence waned. “Only those animals partake of intelligence that have to meet a huge variety of needs and dangers.” (Wells ) His commentary on the advance of the human race seems to signify that the race had developed technologically to the point that there was no needs nor wants, so mental work no longer was praised, achieved, nor being sought. Ellis reflected similarly,“[…] the Superman really began to arise with the discovery of writing…and now has reached the beginning of the end […]” (Wells 493).
Wells wrote The Time Machine based on his own ideals, “Wells believed that even life is indeed a meaningless, dualistic struggle.” (tclc 486) The Time Traveler had come from a time period in which there was class distinction and a struggle to move up in class. Bergonzi stated, ”The opposition of Eloi and Morlocks can be interpreted in terms of the late nineteenth-century class-struggle.” (Bergonzi 542) Wells implies this concept when Time Traveler observes the community of 802,701 A.D. represents aristocracy vs. communism. (Wells 38) Wells shows that conflict is contrary to the Eloi culture that is probably served by the Morlocks. Haynes concurs stating that, “The Eloi desire above all else to escape pain and effort.” (Haynes 555) Thus proved when Weena nearly drowned and was ignored by her fellow peers and later, again in the face of danger, she fainted at the sight of the Morlocks which lead to her eventual capture and destruction. The Eloi characteristically turned their back on scenes or confrontations generated by the Traveler. The Traveler observed that there were no houses or cottages to maintain. Furthermore there appeared to be neither disease nor work. (Wells chapter6).
Time travel is one of the most interesting topic in science fiction. Time travel is usually depicted in movies such as “Back to the Future,” “Time Machine,” or Star Trek, you will see people hopping in strange machines or using a device that will take them back and forth through time. At one point almost every kid’s dream or science fiction fanatic’s vast ...
In general, there appeared to be nothing to overcome. The Eloi lived complacently in communal settings where fruit and food were readily available. Zangwill picked up on this theme and prophecy that, “[…] humanity is degenerating inevitably from sheer pressure of physical comfort…” (487) Zangwill’s observance supports Wells’ belief that “…there is no intelligence where there is no change and no need of change. (preface?)
Summarily, Wells wrote that the human race climaxed before 802,701 A.D., technologically improving the Earth to that point so that the most human of the survivors in that time period did not work for food, shelter, nor clothing. His main character, the Time Traveler, made the assumption that the lack of toil led to a decreased intelligence among the survivors. This lack of intelligence continued to accelerate until even further in the future the world appeared to have digressed ecologically toward the primordial soup of Prehistoric times. Wells correlates the lack of struggle for freedom or subsidence with a decline in the individual’s intellectual ability and thirst for knowledge. This secondary theme of The Time Machine is a sad prophecy for the future of mankind. Wells both scares and motivates the reader to change the future with this glimpse of the destiny of man.