- Published: November 18, 2022
- Updated: November 18, 2022
- University / College: University of Aberdeen
- Language: English
- Downloads: 16
The 19th century was a big leap for technology, from going to horse and carriage to steam trains at 60mph, and changes were still improving, this however was not the best thing, as people would grow to be too dependent on technology and the future ahead. Many changes had there advantages, such as steam trains, which were much faster, more powerful and could work independently of natural power resources such as water. Also the telegraph, which brought the world closer together and made it easier to contact people which were a result of the spread of railways, as it stimulated communication.
Wells was able to substitute the characteristics of the Morlocks and Eloi in order to consider the differences between rich and poor and the class systems, also the impact of Darwin’s theory of evolution which suggests that we were merely an evolved form of animal, not ” created in Gods image”, and placed on earth, fully formed, as evangelical Christians believed, Wells portrays the Morlocks as ” stooping white creatures” living in the ” impenetrable darkness. This description reflects upon the middle class citizens of that time, whose backs were crunched due to constantly working in small, cramped conditions which sometimes happened to be in mines underground which exaggerates upon the fact that the Morlocks lived in darkness underground, like the Eloi they are not as presentable as the higher class due to lack of wealth.
On the other hand the Victorian rich are renamed the Eloi by Wells who describes them as ” beautiful and graceful” in their ” Rich soft robes. They were ” indescribably frail” and so uncomfortable with loud sounds that the time traveler thinks they may be ” fools”. However their physical features and appearance allows Wells to compare them to the wealthy, as they had a certain ” Dresden-china type of prettiness. ” He also describes them to be innocent and child like, ” a certain child like ease” although the way they are described is as if the Eloi are too dependent on others, almost like a wealthy person is dependent on their ‘servants’.
This reinforces the symbiotic relationship between the Morlocks and the Eloi, as they both rely on each other for survival, e. g. the Eloi need the Morlocks to keep generating things further, and inventing new things in order to help the Eloi do things for their day-to-day activities, whilst the Morlocks rely on the Eloi as their source of food and energy. In the novel, the language creates quite a old an dclassic feeling to the extract, with the atmosphere being old and rather posh in ways and also very gentleman like, which represents the attitude of people in the 19th century Britain, through H. G. Wells’ words.
The time traveler is regarded to as moving like ” the dance of the shadows” this metaphor allows us to visualize his movements and it to be interesting to look at. Within the novel the word ‘parts’ is repeated to emphasize the importance of the word, as ‘parts’ are very important to the person and continuous repeating of the word ‘parts’ shows there infortune, while also representing that there are a lot of parts in question.
The machine that is made in the novel involves ‘parts’ to make it, the repetition of the word ‘parts’ show that it is a very complicated structure. Wells makes it hard to picture the time machine because he fails to describe it as a whole, rather than ‘parts’ here and there, which makes it easy to imagine the parts individually, but hard to imagine it all together as one time machine. The time travelers personality is one of a ‘jokers’ attitude, someone who the people fail to take seriously due to his liability to trickery.
So when he is serious, the people around him are not sure whether or not to place their trust in him. Especially when he came up with the idea of time travel, as no body knew whether to take the possibility seriously as it came from someone who they knew was found to ‘pull a fast one’ leaving the people involved frustrated out of their own foolishness in believing such a cheery individual so such a statement was received with shock. As well as suspicious falades due to the travelers reputation.
Throughout the novel H. G Wells reflects upon many subjects, such as the industrial revolution and how it effected social class (Morlocks and Eloi), also with Darwinism, and religion, I think this allows readers to think about the story more in depth, as it can be interpreted in many different ways. Science fiction offered new insights into the 3 biggest questions: What is a human being? what is the universe? What is the place of a human being in the universe? Many topics and issues raised during the 19th century arose awareness of these questions, such as Darwinism which was not accepted as it went against their religious beliefs.
Science fiction enabled to inspire many people and many writers such as Mary Shelley who created ” Frankenstein” inspired by experiments involving electricity and Stevenson’s ” Dr Jekyll and Hyde” considered the fate awaiting men of science who dabbled in newly created drugs. The authors of Victorian science fiction novels were from very similar backgrounds to that of other Victorian writers: they were educated and middle class. However science fiction writing was largely ignored by the traditional publishers of the period as it was viewed with suspicion.
It seemed to be trying to undermine the existing order of society and challenged its readers to look at the more negative, long term prospects of the world they lived in. The novel can be interpreted in different ways, an example of this would be the film of ” the time machine” which was made in 2002, and the director Simon Wells made many changes to the original story. Firstly he chose to add in a romantic element to the film in order to give the time traveler a motivation, and purely for Hollywood purposes.
This was different in the novel because, the time traveler only built the time machine out of curiosity where as in the film, it was to be able to go back in time and get his girl friend that died. I think the film was more effective because it was more appealing, and interesting to watch, also because of the new interpretations such as the romantic elements, the story was able to make more sense and we were able to sympathize with him. However the novel was very descriptive and had no point to it.
It was very plain, which made it quite mundane. In conclusion I agree with the statement that Wells illustrated life in Britain at the end of the Victorian Era. As life in Britain was all about finding out new things and inventing new methods in order to generate further which is exactly what H. G. Wells portrayed in ” The time traveler” even though it may not be a true and exact illustration of the era, it still reflects upon the illuminated Victorian thinking.