The Time Machine: Class Conflict in the Victorian Period

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For many years, the well-known novelist, H.G. Wells has captivated the minds and imaginations of readers with his multiple best-selling books; The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The War of the Worlds. These selections however are not Wells’ most controversial novel. The Time Machine, written in 1895, is Wells’ most talked about work. Multiple different themes and various sides are seen to be taken within this novel, one of these main themes being the separation of classes. While the Morlock’s and the Eloi, in H.G. Wells’ novel; The Time Machine, play an extremely important role in distinguishing the future for this book, one has reason to believe that there is a broader underlying meaning for these two types of civilization. In fact, this underlying meaning is believed to relate back to Wells’ own personal life during the Victorian Period, in which the working and higher classes were at extreme differences towards each other, and where Wells, being a part of the middle class, felt and experienced firsthand; the clashing of these two divisions in Victorian society. To comprehend the between the lines meaning of Wells novel The Time Machine, one must understand the back ground of Victorian society and the meaning of social classes at this time. During the Victorian period, Queen Victoria took the reign over England and is associated with Britain's great age of industrial expansion, economic progress and, especially, empire (Allingham, 2002). These advancements caused a major up heal for the people of Britain. The Victorian society, to which H.G. Wells was born and brought up into, was now based on the classification of ones status within their society. Within Britain’s society there were three main classes; lower,... ... middle of paper ..., showing the extreme differences and conflict that their separation caused during, the Victorian Era. Works Cited Allingham, Philip V. "Charles Dickens: An Overview." The Victorian Web: An Overview. University Scholars Programme, 22 Apr. 2002. Web. 28 Mar. 2011. . Chakma, Bishal. "History Victorians." 08 May 2008. Web. 28 Mar. 2011. "NovelGuide: The Time Machine: Theme Analysis." Novelguide: Free Study Guides, Free Book Summaries, Free Book Notes, & More. 1991. Web. 28 Mar. 2011. Wells, H. G., and Stephen Arata. The Time Machine: an Invention: Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009. Print.

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