Weena, The Relationship of | Transitional Forms: Literature and Science Since Darwin
His first novel, The Time Machine, published in and hailed as one of the . Weena stays with the Time Traveller, sleeping with him at night, even though she is The Time Traveller muses on the insignificance of his own existence in relation to .. Especially is this so in relation to the early death of wives or children—a. Sep 10, In the novel, “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells, much wonder remains and Though, the relationship between Weena and The Time Traveler. The Time Machine: An Invention is a classic tale of Time Travel, published in , he says when narrating his story, "I didn't come here to find a wife" and that's it. Rule the Earth: Probably the Ur-Example: at the end of the book the Time Traveler Damsel in Distress: The Time Traveler forms a bond with Weena , after.
The Time Traveler believed the Eloi to be playful creatures, who roamed freely; dancing, playing with flowers, bathing in the river, and eating fruit.
The Time Machine / Nightmare Fuel - TV Tropes
It was not until the encounter of Weena that the Time Traveler seemed to of made a friend, and found a sense of belonging through her.
The Time Traveler first encountered Weena after he rescued her from drowning in the river, soon after she became what seemed indebted to the Traveler. Although The Time Traveler previously had stated how difficult it was to tell the Eloi apart, he still believed the Eloi he came to know as Weena, was most likely a female. As the days pass, his relationship with Weena grew stronger, and he could not go anywhere without little sweet Weena following him.
Weena was the main representation of the Eloi people that the Traveler came to know so closely. It was through observing her behavior that he gained a better understanding of the Eloi, she seemed to be a depiction of all that was good and bad about this future world.
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Though, the relationship between Weena and The Time Traveler seemed a bit off, due to her childlike ways, one thing was clear and that was how much the Time Traveler cared for Weena. That went to show after The Time Traveler realized that the Eloi were practically fatted cattle; at the thought of Weena being in any kind of danger he only saw one solution. The time traveler not only wanted to bring Weena back with him, but he found comfort at the thought of her.
Though in the end, Weena was lost to a forest fire The Time Traveler returned to the present with two flowers that Weena had placed in his pocket. After the eighteenth century and, with the proliferation of literacy and the standardization of currency, a class system began to emerge. More people had access to old professions, such as medicine and law, and new professions, such as writing and psychology, the latter of which are represented by the Time Traveller's guests.
The Time Traveler's Wife
However, with the industrial revolution and the mass migration of rural laborers into the cities, the differences between the haves and the have-nots became more starkly visible. Wells capitalizes on the struggle between these two groups in his depiction of civilizationyears in the future. When he first meets the Eloi, the Time Traveller initially believes society has evolved into a form of communism.
However, as he learns more, he realizes that the class struggles of the nineteenth century have continued and are manifested in the relationship between the Eloi and the Morlocks. Science In the nineteenth century, science became both a tool of understanding and a means of salvation. Numerous scientific theories and inventions helped science replace religion as the primary way that human beings related to their environment. Marx's theory of labor and capital and Darwin's theory of evolution described human beings as being in a constant struggle for survival, but inventions such as electricity, the telephone, and subways promised to make the struggle easier and people's lives more manageable.
The Time Machine capitalized on the public's hunger for technology and the promise that technology offered. However, use of the time machine did not make life easier for the Time Traveller or result in any knowledge that could change the future. Rather, the Time Traveller's experiences showed a future of doom, as his journey revealed a world in which the struggles of the s were not resolved but rather exacerbated. His journeys even deeper into the future revealed a world in which humanity had been extinguished from the face of the earth.
Evolution Evolution, a theory of life's origins and humanity's development, was a groundbreaking idea in the nineteenth century and literally changed the way that people thought about themselves and their place in the world.
Biological evolution focuses on changes in a population over time. Wells helped to popularize Darwin's theory of evolution by presenting the scientific theory in a popular form, fiction. The Eloi and the Morlocks represent how human beings have genetically changed in the future as a result of their ability to adapt, or not, to their environments. The Morlocks, representing a mutation of the working class of Wells's day, are ape-like, with large eyes and white skin, features that have evolved because they live underground.
They fear the light and love the darkness. Conversely, the Eloi are effete, fragile, and fearful of the dark, a result of thousands of years of not having to work to survive. They represent the owning class. Ironically, the Morlocks rule the Eloi. Wells's genius is "translating" difficult concepts such as natural selection by dramatizing them in fiction. Topics For Further Study In groups, draw a timeline with pictures of the evolution of human beings, beginning with prosimians and ending with the large crab-like creatures the Time Traveller encounters towards the end of his adventure.
Be sure to include the Morlocks and the Eloi. Present your timeline to the class, and discuss how your timeline of human evolution differs from that of other groups.
Assume the Time Traveller returns after three years. Write the thirteenth chapter, speculating on the kind of evidence he presents to the narrator about his travels.
Wells believed that the human race was destined to destroy itself. In class, discuss the possibility of Wells's belief. How might what he said more than a hundred years ago come to pass in your own life or the near future? In The Time Machine, humanity "evolved" into the Morlocks and the Eloi, each representing a class of people.
In groups, discuss other possible ways humanity might evolve in the future, and report your speculations to the class. Write a short essay identifying a specific time in the past to which you would like to return, and present reasons for your choice. However, the hero of that novel has no control over his journeys through time.
Compare Wells's novel with Twain's, paying particular attention to the ways in which each uses time travel to satirize popular thinking and public policies. Discuss your comparisons in class. Wells's novel has remained popular more than one hundred years after its initial publication. What do you think accounts for its popularity?
Be specific with your responses, and discuss as a class. The Morlocks represent the devolution of the working class of Wells's day. Many modern and contemporary representations of working class people in film and literature represent them as heroic, yet Wells's demonizes them.
In a short essay, account for this choice. Style Scientific Romance A combination of fantasy and science fictionThe Time Machine is an example of a subgenre known as a scientific romance. A popular genre that Wells helped to refine, science fiction's action is often set in the future and examines the relationship between the future and technology. It is also defined by the appearance of characters and setting being dramatically different from those of realistic fiction.
For example, the Eloi and Morlocks could not appear in a story by Ernest Hemingwaya realist. Fantasy is also a popular genre but does not necessarily rely on scientific explanations for behavior or action.
Rather, fantasy fiction explores supernatural and nonrational phenomena that may or may not exist in realistic settings. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings is a popular example of fantasy fiction. Narrator The narrator is a speaker through whom the author tells a story. This influences the story's point of view. Wells constructs an ingenious frame for The Time Machine, using, in essence, two narrators. The first is the "true" narrator, Hillyer, who introduces the Time Traveller and the other guests present at his house in the first two chapters, and who writes the concluding words in the epilogue.
The second narrator is the Time Traveller himself, who takes over the narration, beginning with the third chapter, and who disappears into the future at the end of the twelfth chapter. This narrative technique allows Wells to speculate about the future and at the same time voice his positions on topics such as politics and evolution through the voice of others and within the framework of an adventure story.
This strategy makes potentially difficult ideas accessible to more readers. It also gives credibility to the Time Traveller's story, as Hillyer presents the story in the Time Traveller's own words.
Symbolism Symbols are things or ideas that stand for other things or ideas. The relationship, however, is not one to one but one to many. Wells uses symbols to evoke ideas and emotions and to figuratively stitch together many of the story's themes.
For example, the Palace of Green Porcelain, a museum containing artifacts from England of the s, signifies the idea of home, civilization, and extinction—all at once—for the Time Traveller. Other major symbols are the White Sphinx, which evokes the spiritual degradation of the Eloi-Morlock society, and the time machine itself, symbolizing Victorian progress and the promise—and the danger—of technology. The story achieved its final form in An adherent of evolutionary theory and a staunch advocate of women's suffrage and workers' rights, Wells was deeply influenced by his times.
In the s and s, Britain's population was booming, roughly doubling between and The rise of industrialization was emptying the farms of residents and rural laborers, as people flocked to the cities and industrial towns to work in factories. By the turn of the century, more than eighty percent of Britain's population lived in urban areas. The shift from an agricultural to an industrial economy meant that England was now dependent on imports to feed its growing population and that the landed gentry who relied on income from renting farmland now had to find another way to make money.
As a city dweller and a Progressive, Wells was sensitive to the working conditions of the factory laborer. His description of the Eloi and the Morlocks dramatizes the exploitative relationship between owners and workers in Victorian England. Wells's time machine itself was a product of an imagination nursed on the extraordinary technological advances of his day, advances that fueled industrial development and changed the complexion of the workforce.
In the s, for example, both the typewriter and the telephone were invented. These inventions enabled office work to be done more efficiently, work that fell overwhelmingly to women. Other inventions that altered the daily lives and thinking of Victorians include suspension bridges, the telegraph, subway trains, steamships, buses, automobiles, and electric lights. These inventions made traveling places and moving goods less expensive and opened up vistas of opportunity for entrepreneur and worker alike.
Public transportation enabled workers to live farther away from urban centers, which were becoming increasingly crowded, unsafe, and unsanitary. These inventions also sped up the pace of daily life, giving it a kind of urgency previously unknown and adding to the sense that the world was spinning out of control.
England celebrated its domestic progress in with Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee and its world empire in with its Diamond Jubilee. By the late nineteenth century, England controlled a sizeable portion of the world's land, including India, large swaths of Africa and China, Australia, and Canada.
Some were outright colonies, while others held "dominion" status. The British rationalized their imperialist policies, in part, not by claiming that their acquisitions were in the military or economic interest of the country which they were but by claiming it was their duty as the superior race to "civilize" primitive peoples who were incapable of governing themselves. Rudyard Kipling referred to this duty as "the white man's burden. However, just as Britain's empire was at its peak, it began to crumble from within, as trying to contain nationalist movements spreading throughout the colonies drained Britain economically and politically.
Critical Overview Although it sold relatively well when first published, The Time Machine was not widely reviewed. Over the last century, it has developed a reputation as a science fiction classic. Writers like Isaac Asimovhimself a celebrated writer of science fiction, have praised the novel, noting that Wells "had the trick … of explaining the impossible with just the right amount of gravity … to induce the reader to follow along joyously.
Pritchett was even more effusive in his praise, claiming in his essay "The Scientific Romances," "Without question The Time Machine is the best piece of writing. It will take its place among the great stories of our language. An Ironic Myth," that the novel has more "romance" than science, and is closer to the romances of nineteenth-century American writers such as Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne than it is to the work of Verne.
Philmus examines the novel for its capacity to satirize various "present ideals. For example, Richard Hauer Costa, author of H. Wells, a study of Wells's writing and life, calls the novel "a thrilling story of cosmic adventure. In this essay, Semansky considers the idea of progress in Wells's novel. Numerous countries and people feud over disputed territory, including the Palestinians and Israelis and the Pakistanis, and Indians.
Huxley, a popularizer of Darwin's theory of evolution and Wells's teacher and a primary influence on his thinking and writing, dies. InStephen Jay Gouldperhaps the twentieth century's most prominent proponent of evolutionary theory, dies.
Wilhelm Roentgen discovers x-rays and Marconi invents radio telegraphy, both of which dramatically change the way people live in the twentieth century. The continued development of technology in general, and of computer technology specifically, change the way that millions of people live, work, and play.
The late nineteenth century was a time when many people believed that progress, especially technological progress, could solve many of humanity's seemingly intractable problems, such as disease, hunger, violence, and exploitation. Wells, a devotee of science, seemingly endorses this view at the beginning of The Time Machine, as the Time Traveller, an inventor, creates a machine that travels in the fourth dimension. However, as the story continues, readers see that the Time Traveller discovers a future in which the only thing that has progressed is humanity's savagery and thirst for self-destruction.
The idea of progress emerged contemporaneously with the formation of the sciences and professional scientists and was significantly spurred by the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species in Although the notion of evolution was heavily debated before Darwin, Christian beliefs about the creation of the universe held sway in the popular imagination. Holding fast to the Genesis-inspired version of the origins of humanity, the church opposed many ideas of progress put forth by natural historians and scientists because they did not coincide with the church's literal interpretation of the Bible.
Such opposition also rationalized the inequality of classes, as humanity was seen as the object, rather than the subject, of change, and people were encouraged to accept their lot in life. Darwin's theory of natural selection and Marx's description of history as a class struggle gave many people a new conceptual framework within which to think about change and, more specifically, to view change as progress. They saw in both Darwin and Marx's theories the idea that humankind was improving with time, that its intellect was becoming more sophisticated, and that a classless society was inevitable.
Wells, however, did not equate progress with improvement, and the discoveries of the Time Traveller illustrate his belief that evolution does not necessarily mean evolution of morality or of the intellect. Wells's son and literary critic, Anthony West, sums up the writer's thinking on this subject in his essay "H.
Wells suggests that morals and ethics have their basis in man's behavior as a social animal…. The in tellect on the other hand is amoral and ultimately recognizes the single value of efficiency, so that a continuation of the line of development that had made man a reasoning animal might ultimately make him more callous, indifferent, and cruel, not more moral.
The Time Traveller's initial response after landing in the future but prior to meeting the Eloi, underscores this thinking. What if in this interval the race had lost its manliness, and had developed into something inhuman, unsympathetic, and overwhelmingly powerful?
But the Time Traveller sees this "ruinous splendor" as a kind of paradise, where "One triumph of a united humanity over Nature had followed another. After learning of the Morlocks' existence, the Time Traveller speculates on what had come to pass: I grieved at how brief the dream of human intellect had been.
It had committed suicide. It had set itself steadfastly toward comfort and ease, a balanced society with security and permanency as its watchword. It had attained its hopes—to come to this at last…. The rich had been assured of his wealth and comfort, the toiler assured of his life and work. Wells's depiction of the relationship between the Eloi and the Morlocks can be seen as a critique of the notion that "work" was a problem to be solved, rather than a necessary condition of humanity essential for the intellect to develop.
Before Marx drew closer attention to the horrific working conditions of laborers, locating their misery in the historic struggle between capital and labor in writings such as The Communist Manifestoworkers were largely resigned to their fate.
In The Annals of Labour: There is a sense of patient resignation to the facts of life, the feeling that human existence is a struggle and that survival is an end in itself.
Especially is this so in relation to the early death of wives or children—a fatalistic attitude that 'God gives and God takes away,' and that although one may mourn, one does not inveigh against the Fates which, to us, seem to have treated some so cruelly.
The working class would receive their reward not in this life but in the next. They waited for salvation, not progress, enduring hardship and suffering in their daily lives in the hope of securing a better one after they died. History was merely how one waited for the return of Christ. Wells mocks the Christian notion that life's purpose is to wait for salvation in his image of the winged sphinx, one of the first things the Time Traveller sees after "landing.
By putting wings on it, Wells creates a kind of hybrid angel. Instead of representing God's messengers, however, the statue signifies a degraded civilization on the verge of extinction. Marx had a different idea of salvation. An atheist who argued that history was evolving towards a classless society in which wealth would be distributed equally, Marx offered hope for millions of people who toiled in factories for low wages, but he also instilled fear in capitalists who benefited from the labor of the working poor.
Ironically, Wells, an occasional socialist, parodies communism in the Time Traveller's description of the Eloi, as what he initially sees as the perfect communist society turns out to be little more than an updated and more perverted story of the haves and the have-nots from his own time. Humanity's mistake, Wells implies in the novel, is in believing that through science and technology they had conquered nature.
Nature, for Wells, was a stronger force than society, one that could not be subjugated. Overriding Wells's belief in the moral rightness of socialism was his belief that, ultimately, humankind could not contend with the force of nature. The Time Traveller spells this out when he muses on the Eloi: I thought of the physical slightness of the people, their lack of intelligence … and it strengthened my belief in the perfect conquest of Nature.
For after the battle comes Quiet. Humanity has been strong, energetic, and intelligent, and has used all its abundant vitality to alter the conditions under which it lived. And now came the reaction of the altered conditions. What Do I Read Next?