The Time Machine was written by H.G. Wells. First published in New Review magazine in the form of the serial. English edition of this Science Fiction novel was published on 29 May 1895 was published by William Heinemann Publishers. It begins at a dinner party, hosted by The Time Traveler himself. At the dinner, The Time Traveler explains that the fourth dimension is in fact time. Time is actually a human construct to explain what it is seeing. To explain his idea, the time traveler asks his guests to picture a cube. A cube has length, width, and depth.
Yet, a cube must also exist for a period of time to be a cube. We overlook this fact due to our nature. For example, if a cube was one inch cubed, yet existed for zero seconds, it is not a cube. If it exists for any fraction of time, even one second, then it is a cube. This is same idea as a line of zero length not being a line. It’s just a concept. He also states that Time & Space are the same things. The only difference is that our consciousness progresses along the time axis. Time is a kind of space.
He shows a graph of weather readings. The graph itself is a measurement. Since this measurement isn’t in any of space-dimensions currently thought of. Instead, it is in the time dimension. Then they argue about if one can travel along the time-dimension. The Time Traveler says we can. He argues that gravity weighs us down in the 3rd dimension, but is still traversable. Then “The Time Traveler” suggests that he’s built a device to travel through the time. He brings it out and has the psychologist push the lever which sends it off into the future. Not even the single guest is relatively sure of what they just saw. But, Time Traveler offers to show them his larger machine anyways. After they see it, they aren’t all convinced and go home for the evening.
Next week’s Dinner Party:
Dinner guests come back next week, but it appears the time traveler will be late. When he does come in, he’s a disabled mess. He drinks some champagne and then hands upstairs to get himself ready. The dinner party resumes, as they know he wouldn’t want them to make a fuss about his well-being. He comes back down after cleaning himself up and devours his meal. Then he leads his dinner guests into the smoking room to tell them his story.
He says that The Time Machine was finally finished earlier this morning. He got it in, ready to go on his first trip and he quickly started and stopped the machine. At first, he thought nothing had changed, but then understood it was five hours later. He does it again and starts progressing through time. He sees the laboratory disappear, and the son took on a side of fire as it sped through sky over & over again.
In this state, he realized there was the risk that he may stop at a point in space which was already occupied by matter. He stops and is now in a garden. It’s in the middle of a thunderstorm, which quickly passes. He sees a massive white statue along with other buildings. He’s spotted by a four-foot-tall man in a purple tunic who runs towards him. A group of ten of these people comes to him, and touch him in amazement. He takes off the levers that control the time machine.
People of 802,701 AD:
The people of year 802,701 AD are happy and fragile. He feels no fear following them to one of their buildings. There he eats with them and tries to learn their language. But, they are childlike and easily bore which makes the task hard.
The Apex of Communism? Communal over Individual:
He theorizes that this must be the apex of communism with one gender, and adult-like children communal palaces have replaced individual housing. He reasons that organisms develop strength only from necessity. That human intelligence only comes from hardship. That the idea of a family only comes out of the evolutionary need to protect young children. In essence, he sees this society as the perfect triumph of nature. He’s been here all day, and make decision to go home but realizes his time machine is gone. It must still be at this time since he removed the handles.
He frantically wakes up some of the little people in their sleep asking them where his time machine is but gives up. He sleeps it off and looks for it the next morning. And he thinks that his time machine must be inside the Spinx monument. But he’s not able to get into it. Now, he’s beginning to distrust his simplistic beliefs about this species.
- For one, who made their clothes?
- Where are their dead buried?
Later, he saves one of these creatures from drowning. She is grateful and introduces herself as Weena. Then he sees two white-ape like creatures. He figures that humanity must have split off into two. The white-ape creature got away from him by fleeing underground. He theorizes the two species are the formerly rich and the poor. The poor went underground to perform labor. The surface creatures are the “Eloi”, and the underground creatures are the “Morlocks”. He climbs down a well and finds a ton of Murlocks. But he runs out of matches and gets attacked by the Murlocks – so he flees to the surface. He wonders whether the Murlocks have begun eating the Eloi and decides to arm himself.
The Palace of Green Porcelain:
He’s reminded of the Palace of Green Porcelain that he had noticed & thinks it’s a good defensive position. He throws away his worn shoes and stops in a large wooded area to sleep. He discovers the Porcelain Palace is a museum. The moon is waning, which he has learned from the Eloi is a dangerous situation. He gets a weapon and matches from the museum. Then, the time traveler and Weena head back to the White Sphinx. They go through the woods, but they get turned around when attacked by Morlocks. The time traveler builds a fire. This fire dies out – but a previous fire he started at the beginning of the forest as into the forest fire. Everyone flees, and he loses Weena.
He reaches the White Sphinx and finds that it opened. Inside, he sees time machine. He gets in and goes even farther in time. He lands on a beach with a motionless ocean. Crabs the size of tables are near him so he jumps in time. He goes thousands of years farther and sees that all life except for green slime has died.
Next Week’s Dinner Party:
He goes home and meets his dinner guests as he did at the start of the book. Everyone goes home, but the narrator of the novel comes back. The time traveler says he’s busy right now, but that he’d give a more thorough explanation later. The narrator follows him into his laboratory but has already vanished. The time traveler is never seen again.
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