In HG Wells novel The Time Machine Wells successfully delivers a comme
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In H.G. Wells novel The Time Machine, Wells successfully delivers a commentary on the battling forces within mankind. These battling forces being man’s primal side versus his civil side. Through the presentation of a time traveler’s experiences along a journey into the future, Wells proposes the question of where the line is drawn between man and beast. This question is analyzed through the presentation of two new races of humanity, the Elois and Morlocks, who have emerged from the aristocracy and working class of Wells’ time. Through the usage of such metaphorically packed agents as The Sphinx, Wells supports his theory that there is a hybridity to nature represented by the Morlocks and the latter the civil side symbolized by the Elois. the human being. The first being primitive a. In this novel the Time Travelers character is a representative of all mankind, in search of a means of escaping his primitive side. In the end, instead of escaping his primitive side he finds out just how primitive he really is. Wells therefore does not name this main character, allowing the reader an opportunity to identify with his character. By doing this Wells is successful in making us associate the experiences and struggles of the time traveler to our lives.
The character of the time traveler is identifiable with both the Morlock and Elois cultures. The time traveler associates himself with the Elois and their civilized nature quite often throughout his adventure. Many of his characteristics and actions are quite reminiscent of the Elois. For example the saving of the flowers picked by Weena in his jacket pocket. Also his Eloi like nature is displayed when he lights the matches for the enjoyment of the Elois. In the eyes of the time traveler the Elois are the most humane of the two cultures which draws him to them.
We are first introduced to the time traveler in a setting where he is surrounded by intellectuals such as the medical man, the provincial mayor, the psychologist etc.. This may provide backing and support as to the reason why he feels that he fits into the Elois culture which is driven by civility in a care free fashion. They represent the refined society into which he has become accustomed to being a part of. A society of individuals who are driven through their pursuit of happiness and enjoyment. Also, the fact that the Eloi more resembled what he knows as human led him to identify with them: “However great their intellectual degradation, the Eloi and kept to much of the human form not to claim my sympathy, and to make me perforce a sharer in their degradation and their Fear.” (H.G. Wells, The Time Machine, page 72). However, we see that his character is comparable to that of the Elois in a more than negative way. At the closing of his journey, the time traveler leaves Weena stranded in the forest to be consumed either by the Morlocks, or the fire. This abandonment on the part of the time traveler, is the same type of behavior that we see when Weena is being helplessly swept away by the river. There is no response by her fellow kinsman to come to her aid.
The fierce and primitive half of the time traveler’s character is often times seen when he is in the presence of the Morlocks. When threatened by their hostile culture he displays emotions of rage and maliciousness which are only to be expected. His hatred for them is expressed in a yearning to kill these “creatures”
I had judged the strength of the lever quite correctly, for it snapped after a minutes strain, and I rejoined her with a mace in my hand more than sufficient, I judged, for any Morlock skull I might encounter. And I longed very much to kill a Morlock or so. Very inhuman, you may think, to want to go killing one’s own descendants! But it was impossible, somehow, to feel any humanity in the things. Only my disinclination to leave Weena, and a persuasion that if I began to slake my thirst for murder my time machine might suffer, restrained me from going straight down the gallery and killing the brutes I heard.
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The Time Machine, Morlock, Weena, Eloi, H. G. Wells, Time traveler, Time travel
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