The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine book cover
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What a thesis statement of the book The Time Machine?

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Gracie O'Hara eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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A thesis statement is a sentence which summarizes the main point of a paper. It cannot be a summary or something uncontroversial as that is not worth arguing. Instead, it should take a stance on some element of interpretation with respect to which educated readers may differ.

One very interesting element of The Time Machine, which could potentially be a thesis for a paper, is its pessimism. Much of "hard" science fiction can be grounded in techno-optimism, the assumption that even if future highly technological civilizations may be flawed, technology at least offers the hope of a better future, creating solutions to problems of poverty and inequality. Wells's viewpoint is highly pessimistic, one showing gradual degradation and decline over time.

For him, technology seems to degrade rather than enhance human potential. One might take as a thesis either that Wells's pessimism was due to the nature of industrial England in his period, in which large scale manufacturing had resulted in environmental degradation and oppression of workers or, alternatively, one might argue that his concern was not so much with the practical and material results of industrialization but with its effects on the human spirit.

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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A strong thesis must state an opinion. In other words, it must be arguable. A thesis statement, for example, shouldn't only say that the novel is about traveling 800,000 years in the future, because that is a "fact" revealed in the book.

Beyond stating an opinion, the thesis should be specific. For example, you wouldn't want to simply say that the novel was about class struggle. You would want to state what about class struggle Wells was exploring or critiquing. For instance, a strong thesis might argue that Wells was not worried about small differences between classes but arguing that too wide a gulf between the upper and lower class has a negative effect on both classes and on society as a whole. You might, on the other hand, want to argue that Wells was critiquing Victorian faith in progress by showing a future society that was decaying, not improving. Whatever thesis you pick, be sure you have sufficient evidence, usually in the form of quotations from the novel, to back up your argument.

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