The Time Machine – Analysis

There are numerous people in society who lack certain skills that they need for survival.


These people may lack intelligence and depend on other human beings to help them get
through life. However, most of the time, it is there fault that they lack these necessities. In
“The Time Machine” by H.G Wells, the Eloi had this problem. They were victims of their
own weaknesses because they didn’t understand that learning these important skills was
necessary for them to survive.

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When he arrived in the future, The Time Traveller, after seeing and hearing the
Eloi, concluded that they had an extremely low intelligence compared to the people that
lived in his time. They were often described as and compared to little children. “Then one
of them asked me a question that showed him to be on the intellectual level of one of our
five year old children.”(39) He was very shocked about this weakness that the Eloi
possessed. The fact that the Time Traveller lived 800,00 years in the past led him to
believe that over time, the generations got less and less intelligent and more involved with
having fun compared to the world where he lived.


The Time Traveller also realized that the Eloi were very dependent on other
people for many of there resources. He mentioned that the Eloi had houses and clothing
but he didn’t see any machinery or anything that could possibly produce these items.


“There were no shops, no workshops, no sign of importations among them.” (65) This led
him the believe that there had to be someone or something that was making these items for
them. Since the Time Traveller had already know about the low intelligence of the Eloi,
this didn’t come as surprize to him. He was able to come to the conclusion that the Eloi
cannot do very much for themselves.


Another fact that the Time Traveler came across was that the Eloi spent all day
playing games and doing nothing of importance. He didn’t understand how they could get
things done and survive in their world. “They spent all day of their time in playing gently,
in bathing in the river, in making love in a half-playful fashion, in eating fruit and sleeping.
I could not see how things were kept going.” (65) He thought that the Eloi acted just like
little children. The thing that puzzled him was how the society could function properly
when no one took anything seriously. He never saw an Eloi doing work or anything of
value. As a result, the Time Traveller didn’t understand how the Eloi stayed alive.


The Time Traveller eventually realized that many things frightened the Eloi. One
of these fears was darkness, which he found out from his friend Weena who was an Eloi.
“But she dreaded the dark, dreaded shadows, dreaded black things. Darkness to her was
the one thing dreaded.” (87) When the sun set at night, the Eloi would all go inside their
houses. The Time Traveler noted that he never saw an Eloi outdoors, or alone indoors
after dark. He was never able to figure out why the Eloi had this fright.
The Eloi were not aware of the fact that they could not survive without being able
to take care of themselves. It was not their fault because they didn’t have anyone to teach
the right from wrong. On the other hand, they should have realized that eventually they
would have to stop playing games all day and get serious. Unfortunately, they paid the
price for not learning how to survive without being taught.

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