HG Wells' The Time Machine": A Critique of Victorian England Essay

HG Wells' The Time Machine": A Critique of Victorian England Essay

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H G Wells was cynical of the Victorian class system and thoroughly disapproved of the way people were segregated, according to their wealth. Wells disagreed with England’s capitalist views as he himself was a socialist and strived to get his views noticed. In his novel the Time Machine he has taken segregation to its extremes with the distinction of both the upper and lower classes living above and below ground, in an attempt to show everyone the error of their ways, with his views on the political policies of England subtly implied.

On travelling to the future he finds that this new world is never what he expected, as he feels vulnerable and ‘naked in a strange world.’ like he had been born again into a strange world he knew nothing about. This panic then quickly transforms into frenzy and he then meets the Eloi who were all that he despised, creatures who were frail, had lost manliness and lost interest in the world. The Eloi were as he describes a ‘fragile thing out of futurity’ mainly due to their consumptive beauty and their very frail and pale features. This is what is called ‘Dresden china’ linking the creatures back to delicate china dolls known for their perfect facial features. This is how the upper class Victorians would behave as they strived to achieve beauty such as the Eloi posses. When he first saw them, they had appeared in rich soft robes, which are then later described, as purple. They are portrayed as these very godly, rich upper class characters and it is clear to the reader that these creatures were portraying the Victorian upper classes as purple, in the Nineteenth Century was a very expensive colour.

Wells has also subtly implied his views of communism amongst the Eloi, as they are all ‘uniformly...


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...also once again shows the Eloi’s lack of intelligence, as they do not have the skills to build anything. Also when the time traveller realised were they were stood he said ‘Clearly … stood among the ruins’. This is a metaphor showing the ruins of intelligence as the Eloi showed no desire to peruse intelligence.

The themes of The Time Machine still relate to modern times however the distinction between classes is more subtle than the Nineteenth Century. The distinction between the classes nowadays is ever so small as we all live like the Morlocks who have work in order to survive however we are more humane as the discrimination between classes is less prominent that the Nineteenth Century. However nowadays classes are not determined by which family you are born into however it is more about the kind of job you have, your wealth and your social status in society.

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