Response To The Time Machine Essay


1.Choose ONE of the following extracts from HG Wells, The Time Machine, and provide a close reading of the extract in which you describe the important literary features (character, figurative language, mood, narration, setting, and so on) it uses.
2.Compare some elements of your chosen extract with ONE other significant passage in The Time Machine. Based on this comparison, explain how the novel presents a particular attitude towards one of the principal themes outlined in the lecture on The Time Machine.


1.The given extract has been taken from The Time Machine, a science fiction novel by the eminent writer H. G. Wells. The novelist had penned down the famous novel in the form of a frame narrative. The term “time-machine” had been coined by the eminent writer and is a well-known word in the modern day world. The protagonist of the story is an English gentlemanly inventor and scientist who has been acknowledged by the narrator as the Time Traveler. The story revolves round the lectures provided by the Time Traveler towards this guests for dinner.

In the extract in discussion, the Time Traveler is seen to return to his seat on the hill and look down upon the inhabitants of the land that he has been visiting. The reader is presented with the setting of a beautiful morning wherein the protagonist has been sitting and looking down upon the inhabitants of the future world. He is able to see that same landscape that he had observed on the day of his arrival to the place (Wells 54). He feels that the inhabitants of the place can be compared to the cattle that grazes on the fields. He opines that they will meet a similar end like that of the cattle. H. G. Wells attempts a political commentary of the late Victorian England. The vision provided in this section refers to a vision of the troubled future. The eminent writer had satirized the decadence of the Victorian era through the Eloi, the inhabitants of the land whom he had been silently watching from afar. Wells, through his novel, puts forth a warning towards the then society to mend its ways so that it does not face an end similar to that of the Eloi. The eminent novelist puts forth a criticism from the Marxist point of view towards the capitalism that exists within the society through his description of the Morlocks.

The novel deals majorly with the science fiction that surrounds the issue of time travel. H. G. Wells is known to have put forward a stronger sense of scientific speculation to the literary genre of science fiction. The protagonist of the novel is often observed to opine largely on the strange trends of evolution and astronomy that he has been observing in his travels through the fourth dimension, commonly known as time. The major underlying theme of the novel is the implied critique of the Industrial Revolution society that the attempts to undertake. The protagonist draws a parallel between the Laborer and the Capitalist parties of the then English society and the ugly Under-world species and the beautiful Over-world species of the future humanity. The given extract hints at the fact that the Over-world species are generally dominated by the Under-world creatures. The extract represents a reflective mood of the protagonist as he overlooks the happy scenario that had been playing out within the vision of the protagonist. The storyline, as mentioned in the discussed extract, is set in the future where to the protagonist has been travelling with the help of a machine that he is using for the purpose of travel to the future.

Thus, it might be concluded that the extracted article displays quite an array of the literary features that have been put to use in a very apt manner by the novelist

2.The novelist uses a minimal number of characters, as is depicted in another passage from the novel, to present a scene in the house of the protagonist wherein a dinner has been organized by the protagonist himself in order to share and reflect on his experiences that he had gathered while he has been travelling through the dimension of time with the help of the machine that he has built. The narrator presents to his readers a situation wherein the Time Traveler has left a note on the dinner table saying that he might be late to the dinner that he had organized. The narrator describes the entry of the protagonist in the scenario in a vivid manner. The use of the language is very fluid and thus helps in the painting of a very clear picture of the situation that the narrator describes. The disbelief regarding the credibility and the proper functioning of the time machine that has been built by the protagonist is quite evident among the invitees at the dinner table. The protagonist had been away from the dining area while the guests had been engaged in conversation amongst themselves. The inquisitiveness displayed by the guests is accompanied by a slight measure of their disbelief as they come up with a number of different situations that may have been the cause behind the physical condition of the protagonist when he entered the dining room where his guests were eagerly waiting for his return from his time travelling (Wells 11).

There has been noticed some significant areas of comparison and contrast that might be thrown light upon in the two different extracts from the novel. The extract of the novel that has been discussed in the above section is found to be in the tenth chapter of the novel while the extract being compared and contrasted with it is to be found within the second chapter of the novel. The extract from the tenth chapter of the novel depicts a reflective tone wherein the Time Traveler, or the protagonist, is seen to be sitting down on a rusty yellow bench in an open area of the future world and reflecting on the issues that need to be attended to by the residents of the then world so as to avoid the situations that may arise in the future. The tone of the extract from the second chapter of the novel is light and friendly. In the extract from the second chapter, the painted picture reveals a gathering of people who share a friendly relationship amongst them. The guests of the dinner organized by the Time Traveler and are seen to be inquisitive of the experiences gathered by the protagonist. Thus, it might be concluded that the novel presents the critique of the then society post the industrial revolution. The writer attempts to present the readers with some of the situations that may arise in the future of the world if the conditions put forth in novel are not paid proper attention


Wells, Herbert George. The time machine. Oxford University Press, (2017): 3-63.

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