The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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During the late Victorian Britain, H.G. Wells became a literary spokesperson for liberal optimism and social reform. His scientific knowledge and literary capabilities led him to be one of the fore fathers of modern science fiction. In his novel The Time Machine, Wells, knowledgeable on the teachings of Charles Darwin and those of the Fabian Society, attempts to warn society that the brutality of capitalism and the plight of the laborer are not dealt with through social reforms then humanity will drive itself to extinction.
H.G. Wells was born on September 21, 1866 as Herbert George Wells in Bromley, Kent, England. He was the youngest child of Joseph and Sarah Wells. Although Herbert’s father owned a shop, the Wells family struggled with poverty while he was growing up. In 1874 at the age of seven, Wells, bedridden for several months with a broken leg, utilized this time and his passion for reading, pouring through many novels his father rented from their local library, which included novels from Charles Dickens and Washington Irving. At the age of 14 after losing their family’s shop and main source of income, Wells and his brother were set off to work, Wells found an apprenticeship with a draper at the Southsea Drapery Emporium, Hyde’s, while his mother began working at an estate as a housekeeper. After several unhappy months, Wells left his job as a draper’s apprentice and returned home much to his mother’s dismay. The experiences he gained as an apprentice, thirteen-hour long workdays and living in a crowded dormitory, would inspire some of his later novels, The Wheels of Chance and Kipp. After visiting the estate that employed his mother, he discovered the owner’s extensive library where he read various works from cla...

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...t only applies to the Elois and Morlocks but to the era Wells lived in and present day as well.
The brutal system of capitalism and widening gap between classes experienced by Wells during the late Victorian Britain leads him to join the Fabian Society and adopt socialist and liberal views. His personal schooling and scientific education allow him to think outside of the confines of society and help usher in social reform. The Time Machine embodies the problems of not only society during Wells’ time but modern society as well.

Works Cited

Partington, John. "H. G. Wells." Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Ed. Carl Mitcham. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. Biography in Context. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
Toye, Richard. "H.G.Wells and the New Liberalism." Twentieth Century British History 19.2 (2008): 156-185. Oxford Journals. Database. 21 Nov 2013.
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