Is Time Machine by H.G Wells Rasist

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Sang Joon ParkProfessor HabershawTechnology in Literature : Paper 1 rough draftAnalysis of the Time Machine by H G Wells H G Wells was a dedicated scientist, as well as a socialist with a strong interest in evolution. Both his socialist and scientific concerns often shaped his visions of the future. He wrote the poem The Time Machine in 1895. In the book, he travels into the far future where he finds out that the human race evolved into two completely different species- the Morlocks, who live underground, and the Eloi who live above ground.

The Time Traveler’s first interpretations give the idea of a utopian civilization. The first species he comes across are the Eloi, who are striking, but seem to live a liberal meaningless life. His initial diagnosis is communism - a system where factors of production are owned by a collective e.g. goods and labor (Amadeo par. 1) - this was because he noticed that the cottages and houses that looked familiar had been substituted by palaces for communal living. At first, the Eloi seem to be a society that lacks class as compared to the Morlocks- savage creatures who live below ground and seem to behave mindlessly to sustain the society’s functionality. It is at this point that the Traveler realizes that there might be a different reason behind what he has seen. He wonders if the social separation between the poor and the rich became so great that the two groups literally transformed into two distinct species. This paper focuses on the poem The Time Machine by H G Wells, as well as his view on the division of class, the impact of capitalism, as well as the progression of the human race.The Traveler's analyses of the future social order are basic ideas from his own time. Without a doubt, Wells clearly suggests that the future he talks about is intended to be a statement about the current state of the society, with regard to capitalism during the late nineteenth century.

Additionally, he proposes that the selective propensity of wealthier individuals, the enlarging barrier amongst them, and the savagery of poor people was to be blamed for the veering of the human species along the lines of class; consolidating the persuasive analyses of Karl Marx and Charles Darwin- both of whom Wells had read. In time, Wells' novel appears to suggest that the common laborers evolved into distinct animal groups and were driven underground and out of sight (Wells 63). This fear is deeply connected to an analysis of the contemporary society that Wells lived in.In the novel, the Eloi live in an endless dread of the Morlocks, and the Traveler is revolted by their appearance and propensities. In spite of his endeavors to display the narrative from a non-scientific point of view, his portrayal of his first encounter with a Morlock is filled with intuitive disdain (Wells 60). Perhaps this is an amplified, futuristic form of how the lower white-collar classes regularly saw the proletariat- in fear and hatred, somewhat because they lived in an endless fear of dejection. This can be supported by the fact that Wells father was a shopkeeper, and when his family would go through tough times, his mother would start working as a servant in West Sussex (Taunton par. 5). The Traveler’s hatred towards the Morlocks originated from his experience with middle-class individuals during his time. Additionally, the novel’s propensity of sympathizing with the Eloi comes from his own predispositions, as well as fear of upper-class individuals.

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The immense fear that the Eloi have towards the Morlocks can be noted; moreover, it is completely justified. It is much later that the Traveler realized that the Eloi live in immense fear because of years of being hunted down and eaten by the Morlocks. He compared the Eloi to fattened cattle, and the Morlocks to ants that preyed on the cattle’s flesh (Wells 81). What is more, it is clear that what was happening during the Victorian period and then, was in so many ways different. The Traveler concludes that the order of ways has completely been reversed- the rich were now in fear of the poor (Wells 75). Furthermore, the kind of future that Wells envisioned turned out to be an outrageous inversion of capitalism- a despicable form of socialism, where cannibalistic working class individuals would go after the exhausted rich individuals.The first impression one would get from the novel is that it was written based on racist assumptions when it talks about the two species from the future, the Morlocks and the Eloi. It describes the Eloi, as elegant brilliant haired creatures taken as an illustrative form of some glorified Aryan race; moreover, the Traveler can relate to them more as compared to the Morlocks- savage cannibalistic creatures who hunt them (Eloi) down. With regard to basic opposites, it would be easy for anyone to conclude that the Eloi, the good, reasonable species set against the wicked dark-colored Morlocks, the villains in the novel. Nevertheless, this dissimilarity is not grounded on race, but rather on the class states of Wells' own place and time- the difference between laborer and capitalist.He goes ahead to draw a clear parallel between the Morlocks who live underground and the regular workers of his own time: He wonders how even then, an East-end worker had to live in such artificial environments that he ideally ended up banished from the surface of the earth (Wells 63). This statement conveys with it an implied disapproval of the social circumstances of the time when regular workers lived in confined and harsh environments, away from natural settings. Nevertheless, the Traveler does not mainly focus on the social critique, but rather proceeds with the matter of attempting to outmaneuver the savage relatives of the working class.When considering the topic of racism in the novel, it is important to note that even if the two species- Morlocks and Eloi- were created on racist grounds as opposed to social grounds, they are both in the same way immoral. On the off chance that the Morlocks have turned out to be completely savage, the Eloi are no less savage in their own way; they are completely weak and ailing in all insight.

The Traveler may feel more inclined towards them than to the savage Morlocks; however, he is disheartened at the setback of human civilization; and in this, the advantaged high society ancestors of the Eloi are as much at fault, as the denied ancestors of the Morlocks are. As a matter fact, they are presumably more at fault, as they were the ones in wealthy and powerful positions, the socially exclusive who let everything go to squander.Several themes can be noted in The Time Machine and in Rudyard Kipling’s novel The White Man’s Burden. The themes are class struggle, race, and science. Class struggle: In the West, prior to the eighteenth century, everyone was born into a certain class, where they remained until they passed on. A hundred years later and, with the propagation of literateness and currency standardization, a class system arose (Enotes par. 1). Many people took the course of deep-rooted professions, for instance, law and medicine, and recent professions, for instance, psychology and writing. Nevertheless, the mass migration and the industrial revolution of rural workers into cities, and the distinctions between the haves and have-nots became more evident. Wells focuses on the struggle between the two categories in his vision of evolution, eight hundred thousand years into the future. The Traveler concludes that the society has transitioned into a form of communism, the first time he encounters the Eloi.

Nonetheless, the more he learns, the more he understands that the class struggles, that existed during the nineteenth century never ended, and they influenced the relationship between the Morlocks and the Eloi.Science: During the nineteenth century, science was being used as both a tool of understanding and a way of salvation. Many inventions and theories based on science aided science in replacing religion as the main way the human race related to the environment. It was during this time that inventions such as steel, and electricity came to be. The industrial revolution 1865-1900 brought with it the genesis of many inventions that we know today, for instance, ships (Bellis par. 1).Rudyard Kipling published the book The White Man’s Burden in 1899, a time when the white men were taking over the world. In fact, the novels’ original subtitle was “The United States and the Philippine Islands.” This was because it was during this time that the United States had just acquired the Philippines from Spain after they won the American-Spanish war (Shmoop par. 3).

The turn of events immensely inspired Kipling to publish his novel to the public as a way of calling out to the white folks to be an example to native individuals and show them how to be civilized. The main theme was race. It is clear from the novel that the white men are the saviors of the entire globe. The author does not touch much on the other races, or take time to differentiate various groups of people from each other. The novel primarily focuses on the White Man saving everyone else- groups of surly individuals who are in need of help.Moreover, the phrase “the white man’s burden” is often common among individuals who have not read the book as opposed to those who have. More harm has been done by Kipling’s reckless invocation as an example of uncouth racism; than by the careful analysis of what was really said. The idea that those who built the empire ought to think only of the services they might offer to the “quiet, sullen individuals” is not a dishonorable one. The empire-builders created useful projects, in most instances at the cost of their wellbeing. Various elderly residents of the previous colonies attested that the British gave an enhanced political guidance, which was much better. Additionally, residents indicated that the British provided long lasting materials to their nations as opposed to their own rulers since they attained freedom after the Second World War. As much as this was suggested, there was still something not right with the way Kipling viewed the empire.

One of the reasons being, often it has been said that individuals are better off ruling themselves badly, as opposed to being ruled well by others. Considering that notion, the empire is in a way more than an impertinence, and the moment the British realized that, after the Second World War, they subtly did away with their imperial pretensions. In the end, stronger than the sense they had for gratification, had been their reputation of ill choices.The Time Machine depicts the elimination of class. It becomes a main statement that demonstrates how the barrier between classes during the Victorian age was bound to get so much worse that the human species would literally evolve into two distinct species, where one group hunted down the other. This immensely negative vision of the future demonstrates not only the authors’ view of the circumstances of the nineteenth century class relations, but also his dread regarding what communism and socialism offered in their place.

The Time Machine was not in any way a racist novel, even though it had some racist overtones in the demonstration of the Morlocks and the Eloi. Additionally, some of the themes between The White Man’s Burden and The Time Machine were in a way related. In both novels there was power imbalance, one group was more superior to the other, and the inferior group lived in fear of the other group. The differences would be in The White Man’s Burden, the White Man was trying to save the world, while in The Time Machine, no one cared about saving the world, the human species had already evolved into two distinct species- it was too late for them.

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