26 Following

The Singularity of Multiple Thoughts

This is me, free.

My Review of H.G.Wells' The Time Machine

The Time Machine - Greg Bear, H.G. Wells

The Time Machine is a multi-layered, dually structured novella, with the main plot lingering on both Physicalism and philosophical supernaturalism. It is a social doom prophecy which explores a model of society on the brink of chaos, as a consequence of social injustice.


From the perspective of a listener to the tales of a time traveller with questionable credence, the story narrates the physical embodiment of magnified industrialism, in the form of human evolution. Visiting the distant future, the traveller sees a utopian society with a suspiciously perfect lifestyle. He is acquainted with the Eloi, a weaker and smaller descendant of the humans, people who were of devoid of any tactical or logical sense due to the absence of any societal hardships. He questions the sustenance of such fragile creatures and their worldly existence.


Soon, he discovers the dark underbelly of the seemingly majestic superficiality - the Murlocks. An evolutionary product of the working class; beastly creatures who have been plagued by reality, and hardened by the horrors that come along with it. After countless generations of the nurturing of such a delicate dichotomy, they finally seek revenge and the destruction of the ones responsible for their existential predicament, the Eloi. Armed with physical strength, and, more importantly, common sense, their victory seems inevitable. However, the traveller does not stay there long enough to witness the outcome, escaping to a few other eras, including the death of our planet, and returns home to tell his story.


The entire journey is just an exacerbated fictional manifestation of our socioeconomic structure. While the intellectualism of the upper class made a solid base for a left-wing order, their weakness and stupidity due to indulgently isolated upbringing have favoured for greater power to the working class - the clearest form of emergent Socialism. While the novella superficially seems to be purely fantasy-based, it subtly weaves these political themes in a way that meaningfully completes it.


The fact that none of the listeners (except the narrator) believe the time traveller's story could be symbolic of humanity's ignorance to such consequences, and his sudden disappearance at the end may hint at the fact that our chance to fix these issues has been missed.


The futurism of this story can undeniably keep anyone engaged. His visit to the end of our planet can also be seen as an explicit expression of the doom prophecy. However, I feel that his visit to the beach, where he is visited by giant crabs, is truly unnecessary. Otherwise, this book is truly ahead of its time.


The multiple perspectives that can emerge from this story truly make it one of a kind. It was the book that created this genre, and I would say that it is a must-read for anyone looking for a mind boggle.