Why does H.G. Wells identify most of the characters in The Time Machine by title rather than name?
H.G. Wells' The Time Machine - like most science fiction - is more diagnosis than prognosis. In his novella Wells offers a critique of the capitalist structure of the Victorian society in which he lived, but projected into the distant future. There, 800,000 years hence, the ruling class has become a distinct but degenerate species, the Eloi, while the working class has become the subterranean and cannibalistic species, the Morlocks. As the novel opens, the narrator recounts the explanations of time travel given by the Time Traveler to a party of sceptical dinner guests. Nameless, these men are instead identified by their professional titles - a Psychologist, a Medical Man, a Provincial Mayor, and so on. In effect, they constitute one character, one spokesman who, couched in the lap of Victorian luxury, scoffs not so much at the technology of time travel, but at the Time Traveler's vision of a class-ridden future. Thus, the nameless dinner guests, representing the elite of Victorian society, but surrounded by a working class they do not acknowledge, symbolize the ennervated and characterless Eloi surrounded by the predatory Morlocks.