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What are the main key values of The Time Machine from H.G. Wells?

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kawaii01 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 24, 2013 at 11:32 PM via web

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What are the main key values of The Time Machine from H.G. Wells?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 25, 2013 at 12:09 AM (Answer #1)

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One value that is embedded in the work is the idea of making the world a better place.  Wells is a Progressive thinker.  The construction of a time machine that enables the individual view the future, and recognizes that the same elements that plague the present do so in the future tense are all representative of a Progressive desire to make the world better.  One of the values in Wells's work is to understand that there can be no escape from the social conditions of inequality and injustice that face us in the present.  Wells suggests that the desire to escape these will result in perpetuation of these realities in the future.

The use of science as a way to make the world better is another value that is in the work.  The time traveller invents the machine to look into the future.  He does not desire to control the future or obliterate it for his own good.  Rather, there is an implicit understanding that scientific advancement is linked to the betterment of all.  The fact that the time traveller is socially conscious and tells others of his experiences reveals the value of science being a socially progressive concept.  In this understanding, Wells's work can be seen as embracing the idea of science and an element of social enhancement, not detriment.

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