The Time Machine : 666703


the following extracts from HG Wells,
The Time Machine
, and provide a
close reading of the extract in which you describe the important literary features (character,
figurative language, mood, narration, setting, and so on) it uses.
Extract 1
The first to
recover completely from this surprise was the Medical Man, who rang the bell
the Time
Traveller hated to have servants waiting at dinner
for a hot plate. At that the Editor turned to his
knife and fork with a grunt, and the Silent Man followed suit. The di
nner was resumed. Conversation
was exclamatory for a little while, with gaps of wonderment; and then the Editor got fervent in his
curiosity. ‘Does our friend eke out his modest income with a crossing? or has he his Nebuchadnezzar
phases?’ he inquired. ‘I
feel assured it’s this business of the Time Machine,’ I said, and took up the
Psychologist’s account of our previous meeting. The new guests were frankly incredulous. The Editor
raised objections. ‘What was this time travelling? A man couldn’t cover himsel
f with dust by rolling in
a paradox, could he?’ And then, as the idea came home to him, he resorted to caricature. Hadn’t
they any clothes
brushes in the Future? The Journalist too, would not believe at any price, and
joined the Editor in the easy work of
heaping ridicule on the whole thing. They were both the new
kind of journalist
very joyous, irreverent young men. ‘Our Special Correspondent in the Day after
morrow reports,’ the Journalist was saying
or rather shouting
when the Time Traveller came
. He was dressed in ordinary evening clothes, and nothing save his haggard look remained of the
change that had startled me.
Extract 2
Well, one very hot morning
my fourth, I think
as I was seeking shelter from the heat and glare in a
colossal ruin nea
r the great house where I slept and fed, there happened this strange thing:
Clambering among these heaps of masonry, I found a narrow gallery, whose end and side windows
were blocked by fallen masses of stone. By contrast with the brilliancy outside, it se
emed at first
impenetrably dark to me. I entered it groping, for the change from light to blackness made spots of
colour swim before me. Suddenly I halted spellbound. A pair of eyes, luminous by reflection against
the daylight without, was watching me out
of the darkness.
The old instinctive dread of wild beasts came upon me. I clenched my hands and steadfastly looked
into the glaring eyeballs. I was afraid to turn. Then the thought of the absolute security in which
humanity appeared to be living came to my
mind. And then I remembered that strange terror of the
dark. Overcoming my fear to some extent, I advanced a step and spoke. I will admit that my voice
was harsh and ill
controlled. I put out my hand and touched something soft. At once the eyes darted
eways, and something white ran past me. I turned with my heart in my mouth, and saw a queer
little ape
like figure, its head held down in a peculiar manner, running across the sunlit space behind
me. It blundered against a block of granite, staggered aside
, and in a moment was hidden in a black
shadow beneath another pile of ruined masonry.
Extract 3
About eight or nine in the morning I came to the same seat of yellow metal from which I had viewed
the world upon the evening of my arrival. I thought of my h
asty conclusions upon that evening and
could not refrain from laughing bitterly at my confidence. Here was the same beautiful scene, the
same abundant foliage, the same splendid palaces and magnificent ruins, the same silver river
running between its ferti
le banks. The gay robes of the beautiful people moved hither and thither
among the trees. Some were bathing in exactly the place where I had saved Weena, and that
suddenly gave me a keen stab of pain. And like blots upon the landscape rose the cupolas abov
e the
ways to the Under
world. I understood now what all the beauty of the Over
world people covered.
Very pleasant was their day, as pleasant as the day of the cattle in the field. Like the cattle, they
knew of no enemies and provided against no needs. An
d their end was the same.
Compare some elements of your chosen extract with
other significant passage in
The Time
. Based on this comparison, explain how the novel presents a particular attitude towards
one of the principal the
mes outlined in the lecture on
The Time Machine
This assign
require yo
u to conduct secondary research
provided in the lecture on
Time Machine
is sufficient. However, if you choose to go beyond
this, the
n you should support your point
appropriate, scholarly sources
Do not
Sparknotes, Shmoop, Wikipedia, blogs etc. They are study guides, not scholarly, peer
Read the rubric
and familiarise yourself with what your markers will be looking for.
Essentially, this means:
Clear communication
proofread carefully!
Engagement with the primary text (
Time Machine
Understanding of the broader topic (ie
how the novel
s form engages with its
themes and
/or context
Construction of an argument
what do you think and why does it matter? The best
question you can ask of yourself is, ‘so what?’
How do I construct an argument?
Pay attention to specific language and imagery and analyse it
quote it, recognise it
and explain it. Why is it there? What effect is created? What point is the author
ying to make?
Above all, why does it matter? Don’t simply observe: explain your
idea and its significance.
Ask what/how/why/so what
, but don’t adopt this as your structure
structure your
essay according to the s
ubtopics of your argument
How do I structure this assignment?
Clearly mark
the two sections with a heading for each.
Think of the assignment as two mini
, or long paragraphs
You don
t need a
substantial introduction or conclusion
r this assignment
but do offer a
introductory sen
tence o
r two, and a concluding sentence
for each section
, just as
you would a
ny essay paragraph.
In the first section,
the task is
t present
a list of bullet po
really good response
here will
try to make connections between th
e literary
techniques you
ve observed. How do
they all work together
How do they fit within
the context of the novel as a whole?
In the second section, you
ll take those ideas
a step further
them to
passage from the novel
in order to
present an
based on your
close reading
. What key thing do you want to say about th
, how they
by themselves and in the context of the
as a whole
and why it matters
terms of the novel
s theme/s


Section 1

The given extract has been taken from The Time Machine, a science fiction novel by the eminent writer H. G. Wells. The novelist had penned down the famous novel in the form of a frame narrative. The term “time-machine” had been coined by the eminent writer and is a well-known word in the modern day world. The protagonist of the story is an English gentlemanly inventor and scientist who has been acknowledged by the narrator as the Time Traveler. The story revolves round the lectures provided by the Time Traveler towards this guests for dinner.

In the extract in discussion, the Time Traveler is seen to return to his seat on the hill and look down upon the inhabitants of the land that he has been visiting. The reader is presented with the setting of a beautiful morning wherein the protagonist has been sitting and looking down upon the inhabitants of the future world. He is able to see that same landscape that he had observed on the day of his arrival to the place (Wells 54). He feels that the inhabitants of the place can be compared to the cattle that grazes on the fields. He opines that they will meet a similar end like that of the cattle. H. G. Wells attempts a political commentary of the late Victorian England. The vision provided in this section refers to a vision of the troubled future. The eminent writer had satirized the decadence of the Victorian era through the Eloi, the inhabitants of the land whom he had been silently watching from afar. Wells, through his novel, puts forth a warning towards the then society to mend its ways so that it does not face an end similar to that of the Eloi. The eminent novelist puts forth a criticism from the Marxist point of view towards the capitalism that exists within the society through his description of the Morlocks.

The novel deals majorly with the science fiction that surrounds the issue of time travel. H. G. Wells is known to have put forward a stronger sense of scientific speculation to the literary genre of science fiction. The protagonist of the novel is often observed to opine largely on the strange trends of evolution and astronomy that he has been observing in his travels through the fourth dimension, commonly known as time. The major underlying theme of the novel is the implied critique of the Industrial Revolution society that the attempts to undertake. The protagonist draws a parallel between the Laborer and the Capitalist parties of the then English society and the ugly Under-world species and the beautiful Over-world species of the future humanity. The given extract hints at the fact that the Over-world species are generally dominated by the Under-world creatures. The extract represents a reflective mood of the protagonist as he overlooks the happy scenario that had been playing out within the vision of the protagonist. The storyline, as mentioned in the discussed extract, is set in the future where to the protagonist has been travelling with the help of a machine that he is using for the purpose of travel to the future.

Thus, it might be concluded that the extracted article displays quite an array of the literary features that have been put to use in a very apt manner by the novelist.



Section 2

The novelist uses a minimal number of characters, as is depicted in another passage from the novel, to present a scene in the house of the protagonist wherein a dinner has been organized by the protagonist himself in order to share and reflect on his experiences that he had gathered while he has been travelling through the dimension of time with the help of the machine that he has built. The narrator presents to his readers a situation wherein the Time Traveler has left a note on the dinner table saying that he might be late to the dinner that he had organized. The narrator describes the entry of the protagonist in the scenario in a vivid manner. The use of the language is very fluid and thus helps in the painting of a very clear picture of the situation that the narrator describes. The disbelief regarding the credibility and the proper functioning of the time machine that has been built by the protagonist is quite evident among the invitees at the dinner table. The protagonist had been away from the dining area while the guests had been engaged in conversation amongst themselves. The inquisitiveness displayed by the guests is accompanied by a slight measure of their disbelief as they come up with a number of different situations that may have been the cause behind the physical condition of the protagonist when he entered the dining room where his guests were eagerly waiting for his return from his time travelling (Wells 11).

There has been noticed some significant areas of comparison and contrast that might be thrown light upon in the two different extracts from the novel. The extract of the novel that has been discussed in the above section is found to be in the tenth chapter of the novel while the extract being compared and contrasted with it is to be found within the second chapter of the novel. The extract from the tenth chapter of the novel depicts a reflective tone wherein the Time Traveler, or the protagonist, is seen to be sitting down on a rusty yellow bench in an open area of the future world and reflecting on the issues that need to be attended to by the residents of the then world so as to avoid the situations that may arise in the future. The tone of the extract from the second chapter of the novel is light and friendly. In the extract from the second chapter, the painted picture reveals a gathering of people who share a friendly relationship amongst them. The guests of the dinner organized by the Time Traveler and are seen to be inquisitive of the experiences gathered by the protagonist. Thus, it might be concluded that the novel presents the critique of the then society post the industrial revolution. The writer attempts to present the readers with some of the situations that may arise in the future of the world if the conditions put forth in novel are not paid proper attention.




Wells, Herbert George. The time machine. Oxford University Press, 2017.