More a book about Victorian society than that of the future’, is this
a fair reflection of The Time Machine?
`“Long ago I had a vague inkling of a machine…that shall travel
indifferently in any direction of Space and Time, as the driver
Filby contented himself with laughter.
‘’But I have experimental verification,” said the Time Traveller. `
Wells was born into British poverty to a working class family: father
a gardener, shopkeeper and cricketer; mother a maid and housekeeper.
However, his quick mind and good memory enabled him to pass subject
exams and win scholarship to what is now the honoured Royal College of
Science where he studied under the respected Darwinist, T.H. Huxley.
The Victorian social hierarchy was very specific; the divide between
the aristocracy and proletariat being much more distinct than of our
contemporary society. Rapid growth in technology, education, and
capital had launched the Industrial Revolution in the 17th and 18th-
centuries, and by the late 19th-century England was a leading force in
the new economy: while industrialists celebrated in their supreme
wealth, masses of men, women, and young children toiled long hours for
meagre wages in dirty, smoke-filled factories.
Indeed it was they who kept Victorian England running and it was they
who built the railways, which were certainly symbolic of Victorian
The upper class seldom needed to make a great effort in order to
obtain money, usually seeing themselves as superior to the lower
class, which would take care of their needs. Although it isn’t correct
to say that all the lower class particularly despised them, some
obviously might have, though others may have been in awe of the
Wells’ vision of the future, with its troglodytic Morlocks appearing
to have descended from the working class of his day and the beautiful
but vulnerable Eloi devolved from the upper class, may seem
antediluvian political theory. It emerged from the concern for social
justice that drew Wells to the Fabian society and inspired much of his
later writing; but time still hasn’t weakened the fascination of the
situation and the horror of the imagery. The
The Time Traveller is used as a fictional indirect advocate of Wells’
idea that capitalism was one of the great tribulations of the modern
society. He is a relatively affluent and model upper-middle class
Victorian character, living near Richmond; probably at the transition
from the end of the 19th-century to the beginning of the 20th.
The book commences with the Time Traveller with his guests, who are
merely labelled by their occupation or otherwise, ‘expounding a
recondite matter to (them)’. His arrogance is set to reflect that of
the aristocracy- he ‘(has) to controvert one or two ideas that are
almost universally accepted.’ Indeed the idea of his to travel through
the ‘Fourth Dimension’ that is time, is put down as ‘some