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The Time Machine

by H. G. Wells
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In The Time Machine, how many Eloi are in the great hall?

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In Chapter Five of The Time Machine, the Time Traveller comes across a great hall in which he finds around twenty Eloi ("a score") asleep together. He often finds the Eloi huddled together in groups, but the reason for this behaviour does not become apparent until Chapter Seven. 

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In Chapter Five of The Time Machine, the Time Traveller comes across a great hall in which he finds around twenty Eloi ("a score") asleep together. He often finds the Eloi huddled together in groups, but the reason for this behaviour does not become apparent until Chapter Seven. 

The Eloi are the hunted prey of the Morlocks. The Morlocks hunt them at night, under the cover of darkness, which explains why the Eloi live and sleep in groups, often preferring to sleep indoors in places like the great hall, which offer some protection from the outdoors. This explains why Weena is distressed by the Time Traveller's decision to sleep away from the "multitudes," in Chapter Five. She understands the danger posed by the Morlocks and fears for the safety of the Time Traveller. It is not until Chapter Seven, however, that the Time Traveller makes this connection. Once this happens, he utilises the power of his matches to keep the Morlocks at bay.

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