Analysis of the Time Machine

The Time Machine is a Science-Fiction book by H. G. Wells, first published by Penguin Books in 1895, about the adventures of an unnamed Time-Traveler through time. After reading this book, I find that the book is relatively easy to understand, save for the introduction of the book, which is a rather lengthy lecture about the fourth dimension. The book is equally captivating as well, as it gives a highly creative take on the future of humanity. However, I also find that the book comes with too many questions. Why the characters were not named is just one of them.

Having said that, overall, the book is a relatively simple and quick read, although as mentioned, the introduction is very confusing due to the technicalities involved. The Time Machine utilizes many forms of literary devices. Out of the literary devices used, symbolism is one of them. One of the more prominent examples of symbolism is fire in the book. Fire is regularly used in the book, especially so in the Eloi and Morlock period in the middle of the book, two examples being “very soon [Weena] was smiling and clapping her hands while I solemnly burnt a match” and “I saw…the flames of the burning forest”.

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Fire is also seen at the start of the book, as seen from the Time Traveler placing his miniature time machine in front of the fire. By contrasting how fire could be used for good, in this case entertainment, and how misuse of fire could cause catastrophes, in this case a forest fire, Wells uses fire as a symbol for technology, showing how technology can harm or help depending on its usage. As shown from the earlier example, The Time Machine has a very interesting use of language, and is thus useful and educational for Year Two students to critically analyze.

Currently, the Year Twos are studying The Chrysalids, which carries various themes such as the discrimination of various communities in society. This happens to be a common theme in both The Time Machine and The Chrysalids, with The Time Machine critiquing how capitalism creates two distinct classes, the upper class and the working class, represented respectively by the Eloi and the Morlocks, as well as how the working class might revolt against the upper class, shown by the Morlocks preying on the Eloi for food.

The Chrysalids shows gender discrimination against women, with women always taking blame instead of men, as shown from Aunt Harriet being blamed for giving birth to Deviants rather than her husband. The similarities in the themes of the two books thus allow for the integration of The Time Machine into the syllabus, altogether broadening Year Twos’ views of discrimination in society, among other issues .