Themes Of The Time Machine

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Finding the Perspective Amidst Controversy Time travel stories depict controversial topics like the de-evolution of humanity in a light where anyone can have a clear perspective. Part of the human condition includes denial of beliefs, contrary to one's set of preconceived notions. The point of time travel literature is to break down these preconceived notions by creating a great distance between the reader and the story. The Time Traveler from H.G Wells short story, The Time Machine experiences this distance because he went so far into the future that there was a split in the evolutionary tract of humans. The species derived from humans are primal and thoughtless, the distance on the evolutionary tree allows them to be considered de-evolved.…show more content…
The Morlock cannibalize the Eloi and this might reflect on aspects of the human condition including aggression and neglect towards marginalized people. Wells uses time travel to set up an Earth where a man can hardly recognize his home land. He attempts to tie the reader up with all the absurdity of white monkey people and small idiot cattle people so that he can make commentary on his current time period. The Time Traveler contemplates on the Morlock “I had merely thought myself impeded by the childish simplicity of the little people … but there was an altogether new element in the sickening quality of the Morlocks - a something inhuman and malign” (Wells 48). His point could be reflecting on the commentary of the strong feeding on the weak in order to move up in the world. The white cannibalistic humans feeding on the small childish Eloi evokes imagery of big business preying on the working man. The distance in the story allows this and other examples such as near the end of the story where there is no humanity. People believe that the human race is infinite and the end of this story could serve as a warning for humanity by revealing the human race ceasing to exist. The Planet of the Apes by Boulle also uses absurdity and distance from the reader to make comments on the harsh conditions of the prisoner of war camps.…show more content…
Once the Time Traveler returns only one person believes the event that have unfolded. No one takes action to stop this future from happening and the Time Traveler disappears into the future never to be heard from again. The ending is meant to force the reader to think about whether they believe the problems that Wells wrote about, and if they will do anything. “The Day of an American Journalist in 1889” by Jules Verne depicts a utopia in the future that contrasts The Time Machine. The singular parallel is their failure to prolong the life of humanity. The narrator states after the failure of the experiment “As for yet no means has been found of increasing the length of the terrestrial year” (Verne 14). The terrestrial year stands for the longevity of the human race and they cannot change that. Whether there is a de-evolution or a creation of a utopia no one can stop time. These ideas tie into Asimov's idea of reactions of humans to scientific advancement, or lack thereof. One future is depicted as a Utopia and the other as a Dystopia but both fail in prolonging humanity's existence, which illustrates the need for many people to take action despite the odds. The end result is the reader forms a new perspective, that is the point of a time travel

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