Book Review: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity attempts to explain time travel. As far as I know no one has mastered putting​ this theory into practice. I have also read that one day as measured on this planet Earth is 1000 a years according to God’s reckoning. Pretty fascinating!

Somehow, the “Time Traveller” in HG Wells’s novel of the above title figures out how to move forward and backward in time. He gathers together a few professionals to demonstrate how his invention works.
Only 2 of the characters are given names by Mr. Wells, last names only. The others at this demonstration are known by the title of their profession. For example, the Editor, the Doctor, the Philosopher, etc. The Time Traveller does his demonstration using a miniature model of the time machine, convincing some of his visitors that time travel is possible, while other guests remain doubtful.

He shows a young believer his life-sized time machine, and then bids the friend farewell, adjusts the levers on his machine, and disappears from sight. By adjusting two levers on his time machine, our time traveller goes forward in time 800,000 years. Believing that man must be well-advanced because of knowledge and science, he discovers that the people he meets have actually regressed. He meets the Eloi, simple pale people that seem to have an interest in pleasurable things only, like eating, laughing, and dancing. They appear never to work. He wonders how they survive. He is intrigued by the fact that they all sleep huddled together and are afraid of the dark.

He soon discovers the source of their fear. Another group of creatures inhabit the planet Earth in the year 800,000, the Morlocks. These creatures live underground, are a sickly white color because they never see the sun, and are the providers of the food and clothing the Eloi need to survive. The Morlocks don’t do this because they are great “humanitarians.” In reality, the Eloi serve a purpose for the Morlocks. This is the only reason the Morlocks provide for the simple race of the Eloi.

The Time Traveller is disappointed in the collapse of society. He is also disappointed that the Morlocks have taken his time machine. He loathes the Morlocks and knows what they are capable of, yet he also knows he must get his machine back if he is ever to escape this dreadful place.

HG Wells was very interested in science with the thought that progress of the human race would be tied together with advances in science. He was also a proponent of socialism. He and Jules Verne are credited with being the fathers of the science fiction genre. He stated that his purpose in writing what he did was to educate men and get them to think of the advancement of the human race. His stories were cautionary tales or allegories. Whether you enjoy this book as an allegory or just a great science fiction novel, The Time Machine is a very good read. I would give it 5 of 5 stars.

Have you seen the original movie of the book with Rod Taylor? If you have, I would love to hear your opinion of it. I think I am going to need to see it for myself. Happy Reading!!

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