Wells wrote the book "The Time Machine" in recognition of the direction that mankind was taking. He had a fascination with science, socialization, and human progress. The book was written with a concern for human destiny.
The story begins with the guests having dinner at the Time Traveler’s home. He had instructed them to begin dinner without him. He arrives a little later in a somewhat confused state. He had just returned from time travel.
The time traveler had found some little people. He was disappointed because they seemed to be domicile. They were child like and disappointing to him. They live in a utopia like world. One day he saves Weena, a delicate little creature. She teaches him about her world. The people are called Eloi and they are very fearful of the dark.
The time traveler finds that there is another race that exists in the world. They are the Morlocks. They are a subterrain species that live in the dark caverns of earth. They are like lemurs and spidery. They exist in an underground world. They are fearful of matches and light.
As the time traveler learns more about the future he discovers that the Eloi are being fattened up for the kill so that the Morlocks can feed on them. Their world is not really Utopia.
Weena and the Time Traveler are stuck in the woods when the Morlocks take Weena. A big fire starts in the woods. When he goes to the doors to rescue her, he finds his time machine sitting right outside the doors. As he starts to make his escape, the Morlocks descend upon him. he makes it to the future just in time for his meal with his guests.
The guests are not sure if they believe him, but he places some strange white flowers on the desk. They are still unsure about his story. In the end he leaves on the time machine and his friend speculates where he has gone. He wonders where in time he has gone and what his destiny will become.
"The Time Machine" is primarily a social critique of H.G. Wells's Victorian England projected into the distant future. Wells was a Socialist for most of his life with Communist leanings, and he argued in both his novels and non-fiction works that capitalism was one of the great ills of modern society.
The most obvious theme you could explore when writing your essay is that of a continuing class struggle, even 800,000 years in the future. As the Time Traveller overlooks the future Earth he notices that the individual family has disappeared and presumes this society to be a form of communism. This theory is disproved when our hero is introduced to the Morlocks, but we can then begin to see obvious distinctions between the Haves and the Have-nots. Even in the names of the two species we can notice discrepancies. The word Eloi itself sounds like the word 'elite,' describing a rich, elite being, while Morlocks is a seemingly perfect word to describe a brutish, ape-like creature. So even in the future Karl Marx’s theory that “all history isa history of class struggle” remains pertinent.
"The Time Machine" is Wells's Socialist warning of what will befall mankind if capitalism continues to exploit workers for the benefits of the rich. If your essay is about the themes explored then you might look at the following
- class strugge
- evolution and social Darwinism
- the white sphinx
- time and relativity
you could also refer to
Chris Semansky. "The Time Machine: Essays and Criticism." Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 17. Detroit: Gale, 1998. eNotes.com. January 2006. 15 February 2010. <http://www.enotes.com/time-machine/idea-progress-time-machine>.