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Thematic Elements of the Time Machine

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Thematic Elements of the Time Machine

“We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence.” This quote comes from a novel that inspired the genre of science fiction. The Time Machine was the first work of fiction written by H.G Wells. This novel inspired not one Wells himself to explore new possibilities in science fiction, but a generation of science fiction writers. The themes of science, evolution, progress and of class struggle are the main elements Wells explores in his groundbreaking novel.
One of the largest themes present in the Time Machine is the theme of class struggle. England, at the time the novel was being written, was leaving the Victorian Age and was entering the Industrial Age. Instead of a caste system, in which what job a person was born into a person stayed until death, a class system emerged. This was due most to the increase in the number of literate people in England. David Galens points out, “More people had access to old professions, such as medicine and law, and new professions, such as writing and psychology… However, with the industrial revolution and the mass migration of rural laborers into the cities, the differences between the haves and the have-nots became more starkly visible.” Wells plays on this heavily in the novel. Once the Traveler reaches his final destination almost 800,000 years in the future, the Traveler meets one class of people known as the Eloi. When he meets them the traveler believes he has entered a communist society. As time goes on, however, the Travel...

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...t was for a 19th century author to view the world as ever changing. Some view this novel as a parable, a parable of what could be if the human race does not make fundamental changes.

Works Cited

Aubrey, Bryan. “The Time Machine.” Masterplots II: Juvenile & Young Adult Fiction Series (1991): 1-3. MagillOnLiterature Plus. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
Galens, David A, ed. "The Time Machine." Novels for Students 17 (2003) 247-58. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.
Ruddick, Nicholas. “The Time Machine.” Magill’s Guide To Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature (1996): 1-2. MagillOnLiterature Plus. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
Semansky,Chris. "The Time Machine." Novels for Students 17 (2003) 247-58. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.
Stableford, Brian. “The Time Machine.” Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-4. MagillOnLiterature Plus. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
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