Science and Critiques Toward Society in the 1960 and 2002 Movies, The Time Machine

As a society progresses, the elements which influence the society itself progress along with it. This may be said for both the societies depicted in The Time Machine and the societies during the periods of the release of the book, the 1960 movie, and the 2002 movie. The Time Machine, written by H.G. Wells, makes a more direct focus on science and critiques toward society, while the 1960 movie provides a combination of both science and appeal to the viewing audience, and the 2002 movie places more priority on the appeal to the viewing audience and plot of the story rather than the science and critiques to society.

As a public audience grows as a whole in society, different appreciations for stories, society, and science grow alongside it. The book focused more on specific scientific details, as a physical book could be read at any pace, and even reread, allowing the author to elaborate on the scientific aspect of the story. There are also no sound effects or music in the text, leaving all emotional thought and reaction to the reader.

While the text cannot evoke feelings through music, it is forced to evoke thought and imagination though its content. From the very beginning, the story begins with scientific explanations, as the protagonist describes the fourth dimension as “fixed and unalterable”. He also states that the whole concept of time travel is “founded on a misconception,” giving a stronger scientific basis for the plot of the story. There is also less focus on the protagonist, only referring to him as “The Time Traveller,” and more focus on the story, science, and societies.

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The self-destruction of the society is depicted through a dystopia, showing that society is concluding with a negative turnout because of current actions. Kathryn Hume states in “Eat or Be Eaten,” her critique of The Time Machine, that the two species are “extremely short of the ideal perfection in society when we look to the future.” The book shows a more philosophical basis by promoting a call to action, and recommending that the current society must change its ways before ending up like the Eloi and Morlocks. The 1960 movie depicts science and conversation well, as the audience in Victorian England during the 1960s appreciated them more. The movie focuses more on society and the story rather than the time traveler himself using the protagonist’s personality only to carry out the story. They portray him to be more “heroic” throughout the times of action, and interested in the sciences, especially as he is angered when he learns that the Eloi have thrown away all forms of knowledge and education learned by past generations.

The Eloi’s loss of knowledge is also a result of the self-destruction of mankind, as their appearance is shown as ignorant and pampered. While there are no sounds or music in the text, the movies use music to guide the viewer’s thoughts and emotions, pushing them to feel a certain way. The movie released in 2002 takes a completely different approach, using computer generated effects and making the scenes “action packed” to take the place of science and conversation in order to appeal to the audience. The movie also overwhelms the audience with music, in an attempt to evoke emotions and force feelings. The movie attempts to make up for its lack of focus on science by trying to inform the audience of a lesson that “the past cannot be changed.” The protagonist is even given a background story and a love interest as a motive to travel to the past, rather than the scientific advancement itself as in the other two works.

The time traveler’s background story, making him seem like an intelligent professor, even with no description of the “four dimensions” as described in the book, leaving the audience to assume he is already smart without giving the audience specific scientific thoughts. The self-destruction of mankind is at a better understanding of what may happen because the movie is more recent, and is familiar with the technological advancements already made, and makes more of an environmental statement and call to action rather than one focusing on the society’s ideologies. All three representations of The Time Machine depict the future’s downfall as caused by our own self-destruction, making a statement to the public. The book focuses more on science rather than the protagonist, and makes a clear call to action with the representations made of a future society.

The 1960 movie focuses more on the story and society rather than the person, and depicts science and conversation well for the audience. The 2002 movie places less focus on science and more on the plot itself, while taking advantage of computer generated effects to appeal to the audience. Of the three, there was a gradual increase of appeal and a decrease in science. One may even state that there was a devolution in the progression of the content in these three works.

Works Cited

  1. The Time Machine. Dir. George Pal. Perf. Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux. Metro Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), 1960. DVD.
  2. The Time Machine. Dir. Simon Wells. Perf. Guy Pearce, Yancey Arias, Mark Addy. Warner Bros.Pictures, 2002. DVD.
  3. Kathryn Hume, “Eat or Be Eaten: H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine.” GALE Resource Database.<http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com>. Web.
  4. Wells, H. G. The Time Machine. Cambridge, MA: R. Bentley, 1971. Print.

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Science and Critiques Toward Society in the 1960 and 2002 Movies, The Time Machine. (2022, Mar 05). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/science-and-critiques-toward-society-in-the-1960-and-2002-movies-the-time-machine/

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