The Time Machine and Dystopia

As a society progresses, all elements which influence the society itself, such as class systems and social norms, progress along with it. HG. Wells provides a deeper meaning to his story in The Time Machine, as analyzed in critical essays “The Time Machine and Wells’s Social Trajectory,” by John Huntington, “Wells the Myth-Maker,” by Bernard Bergonzi, and “Eat or Be Eaten,” by Kathryn Hume, to provide a call to action to the reader, evoke awareness of the dangers of a dystopia, and show the importance of knowledge within class systems of society (more specifically toward lower classes); I agree with the critiques of Huntington, Bergonzi, and Hume, that Wells uses class distinction, the importance of knowledge to prevent a dystopia, and the personality of the protagonist of the story, the Time Traveler, to provide this deeper context to the plot of his novel, During his youth, HG Wells was the son of domestic servants, and grew up under the threat of poverty (“l-LG Wells,” Encyclopedia Britannica)

This shows a motive for his purpose of making the Time Traveler a rich citizen who sympathizes for the servants and lower classes Wells also builds the plot upon logic and scientific expectations, such as the concept of the fourth dimension of time, correcting society’s misconceptions, and other concepts that he believes to be necessary for the future of a society to function and progress properly I believe that the main purpose of the science and logic within the story was to appeal to an audience of skeptics and intellectuals while also evoking the reader to thought and analysis This goal of evoking thought is also why Wells makes political and social statements within his story deeper than the simple plot of the story.

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In the critical essay “The Time Machine and Wells’s Social Trajectory,” written by John Huntington, the focus of the critique revolves around Wells’s deeper statements in the text concerning social issues such as class distinction and ignorance within lower classes.

Huntington states, “The Time Machine manages his social aspirations and deep social angers” (222), Wells makes many statements throughout the content of his story deeper than the simple plot. For example, the separation of classes, divided into the “underground” and the “overground,” are divided by their race, and Wells may be stating that class distinction will become genetic again, almost back to the point of slavery, The portrayal of Morlocks as being the evil class of the two is also a statement to the “upper” classes, and may even be noted as a call to action to the lower classes, in the way that the Eloi taking action was necessary for survival in the story. One may even correlate the Time Machine itself as a “tool to escape society” within the story (224).

Wells uses the Time Machine itself as a strategy of making a statement that may be discussing his own personal outrage with social anxiety, and having the Time Traveler use it to escape his current society The split between the Eloi and Morlocks also suggests social anxiety, as the class catastrophe between the two provides a call to action to the reader (in addition to the concept of time, and presses the audience to act while they still can). In Bernard Bergonzi’s critical analysis of The Time Machine, in the essay “Wells the Myth-Maker,” the focus of the critique revolves around Wells‘s deeper social statements through the use of comparison and plot analysis, Bergonzi states in his analysis of the plot, ”The Traveler, during his sojourn in 802701, is involved in a series of discoveries, both physical and intellectual.

The more he finds out about the Eloi – and subsequently the Morlocks – and their way of life, the more radically he has to reformulate his previous theories about them. The truth, in each case, turns out to be more unpleasant than he had thought” (193) Bergonzi earlier describes the upper—class Time Traveler as a cheerful, erratic, and absurd individual, and this may possibly be a technique of Wells to romanticize the stereotypical upper-class citizen at the time, Wells also shows the bleakness of the future, in a world existing without art or conscious knowledge. Bergonzi also analyzes the plot of the story as a simple plot, having a character transferred out of his environment to deal with situations in order to survive (192). Wells’s goal of having a simple plot is to provoke the audience into focusing on what is essential, by making their own comparisons of the elements of society within the two settings that changed over the course of over 800,000 years.

Wells also makes sure to make the Time Traveler state during the story that it is the “same place,” only within two different time periods (5). Throughout the story, HG Wells hopes to evoke the audience into skeptic and intellectual thought through acknowledging class distinction using the traits of the Time Traveler. Wells portrays the protagonist as being rich to sympathize for the servants, in the way he “hated to have the servants waiting at dinner” (Huntington 222). In addition to giving the Time Traveler class awareness, he gives the character conscious thought, in the way he helps the Eloi as a role of a leader, rather than a role of a masteri Wells uses this focus to contrast with the portrayal of Morlocks as evil masters. Kathryn Hume also states in “Eat or Be Eaten,” her critique of m 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. Wells accomplishes an amazingjob of using the personality of the protagonist to make a statement toward the upper class and proposing a call to action to the lower class. Throughout The Time Machine, Wells uses many comparisons and even the Time Traveler himself to make a deeper statement about society and class distinctiont.

The critical essays “The Time Machine and Wells‘s Social Trajectory,” by John Huntington, “Wells the Myth-Maker,“ by Bernard Bergonzi, and “Eat or Be Eaten,” by Kathryn Hume, all agree that Wells uses a deeper context to the plot of the novel to make a statement and a call to action to the class systems of society and show the importance of knowledge within those same class systems of society. Knowledge is important for all class systems of society to stay informed in terms of when to act and for improving their own society Within the plot of The Time Machine, Wells makes a direct statement for the audience on the elements which influence society by showing the importance of knowledge within the systems of society while also expressing the importance of progressing society and having conscious knowledge of a need to react before the society ends up as the dystopia depicted in the story

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The Time Machine and Dystopia. (2022, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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