Future ExpectationsJoel Marte The novel The Time Machine written by H. G Wells is a allegorical story within story about a Time Traveller who travels into the future and returns to tell a group of men about his adventures. The story told by the Time Traveler is recorded by an editor, who writes all of The Time Travelers adventures, encounters, and attitudes. The future to the time traveller initially means optimism, hope and an advancement of humanity, but he soon realizes that it is quite the opposite; that humanity itself has disintegrated.
H. G Wells depicts the future in such a way to suggest the entropy or “decline” of humanity. It is a different, somewhat modest view of the future, to allude the fact that we as a species are on a downwards slide rather than a hopeful stairwell. In a dark smoking room in the 1800s, a group of men sit and listen to a well educated man known as the Time Traveller, discuss and explain the fourth dimension. He then proceeds to explain to them that he has a passage to the future; a key to the unknown.
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Many of the men have their doubts about this peculiar man, “The fact is, the Time Traveller was one of those men who are too clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all round him; you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity in ambush, behind his lucid frankness. ” (Wells 12) but The Time Traveler feels confident in himself. He expresses an attitude which is filled with optimism, as he imagines what sort of advances in technology there will be, what shape nature will be in, and the state of mankind. After the meeting and some last minute tinkering of his prized machine, he sets off for the future with a jolt.
While traveling through time at astonishing speeds, he feels frightened and scared. But as he arrives at his next destination he is relieved to stop, but as he gathers himself, his surroundings turn his view from afraid to surprised. The Time Traveler has traveled 800,000 years into the future. There are no tall buildings, no flying cars or strange technology, just a landscape with scattered houses and strange beings. To the bewilderment and perhaps disappointment of The Time Traveler, humanity has separated into to two species: The Eloi and The Morlocks, the have and have-nots, the good and the bad. … whose disgust of the Morlocks I began to appreciate” (59) The Time Traveler is perplexed at the idea of man branching off into two categories, but has made friends with a particular Eloi and is frightened for his life when he has encounters with the strange underworld creatures, the Morlocks. “The next night I did not sleep well [… ] I was oppressed with perplexity and doubt. ” (59) He realizes the ignorance of mankind has led them to this point, that intelligence is no longer a factor in survival.
His attitude is disappointment, even after he escapes from that world and veers off even further into the future, where he sees the remains of life on planet earth. Although when he returned, he expressed his wonder to group which he met again the following week, in the present timeline. The type of future told by H. G Wells introduces a certain entropy to the species of man. A decline of advancement where the walls of intelligence essentially crumble upon itself forming a evolutionary result of a separated species. Wells suggests that our success will ultimately lead to our demise. Beyond these lifeless sounds the world was silent. Silent? It would be hard to convey the stillness of it. All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives – all that was over. ” (99) The overall attitude of The Time Traveller changes throughout the novel and suggests that the future, in its unknown complexity, cannot be altered of ameliorated. We are on a definite timeline that will eventually end us as a species. Bibliography Works Cited Wells, H. G. – The Time Machine New York : Signet, 2002. Print