The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine book cover
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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

In groups, draw a timeline with pictures of the evolution of human beings, beginning with prosimians and ending with the large crab-like creatures the Time Traveller encounters towards the end of his adventure. Be sure to include the Morlocks and the Eloi. Present your timeline to the class, and discuss how your timeline of human evolution differs from that of other groups.

Assume the Time Traveller returns after three years. Write the thirteenth chapter, speculating on the kind of evidence he presents to the narrator about his travels.

Wells believed that the human race was destined to destroy itself. In class, discuss the possibility of Wells's belief. How might what he said more than a hundred years ago come to pass in your own life or the near future?

In The Time Machine, humanity "evolved" into the Morlocks and the Eloi, each representing a class of people. In groups, discuss other possible ways humanity might evolve in the future, and report your speculations to the class.

Write a short essay identifying a specific time in the past to which you would like to return, and present reasons for your choice.

Mark Twain's 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court was the first novel to deal with time travel. However, the hero of that novel has no control over his journeys through time. Compare Wells's novel with Twain's, paying particular attention to the ways in which each uses time travel to satirize popular thinking and public policies. Discuss your comparisons in class.

Wells's novel has remained popular more than one hundred years after its initial publication. What do you think accounts for its popularity? Be specific with your responses, and discuss as a class.

The Morlocks represent the devolution of the working class of Wells's day. Many modern and contemporary representations of working class people in film and literature represent them as heroic, yet Wells's demonizes them. In a short essay, account for this choice.