The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells …Review by Yokibu Editorial
Posted on: January 16, 2021.

This is one of my all-time favorite childhood books, which is why it popped into my head while thinking of what book to review this week.

The author Herbert George “H. G.” Wells is considered by many to be the Father of Science Fiction. Yokibu Editorial had earlier reviewed one of H. G. Wells’ other science fiction novel—The Invisible Man.

The Time Machine was first published in the year 1895. The protagonist—known only as “the Time Traveler”—makes a wager with his friends that it is possible to travel across time. They hardly believe him.

The Time Traveler pulls out his handkerchief, lays it on the table, and informs his friends of the three obvious dimensions—length, breadth, and height—and further mentions “a fourth dimension—Time!”

By traveling through the dimension of time, a person could go from the present to either the past or the future and return to the present. His friends felt that he’d gone raving mad.

The Time Traveler revealed to his friends that such a time machine was ready to use. Seeing that his friends were still not convinced, he immediately invites them to visit his workshop to see it for themselves.

The time machine had a seat for only one person to travel, a dial to set the time, and two detachable metal levers—one for travelling to that time in the past, and the other for travelling to that time in the future.

The Time Traveler informed that without the levers, the machine was inoperable. He’d made the levers detachable for his own safety. He’d remove the levers and keep it with him, securing the machine.

This was anything unlike what his friends could imagine, and though they were awed that such a machine could be built, it was yet hard for them to believe that such a machine would actually work.

All but one of the Time Traveler’s friends left the place. To the only friend who stood there, the Time Traveler wished to demonstrate his machine. His only friend beholds the spectacle of the demonstration…

…the Time Traveler mounts the device, buckles himself into the seat, turns the time dial, and manipulates the golden levers—the time machine begins to spin reaching a frightening speed, and instantly vanishes!

The Time Traveler reaches 802,701 AD—eight lakh years into the future! The book is written in the narrative frame, using the Time Traveler himself to narrate his adventures and experiences.

The Time Traveler arrives at night, and experiences a completely different Earth. Humankind is divided only into two kinds—the Eloi who dwell on the ground, and the evil Morlocks who dwell underground.

His marker in 802,701 AD is a peculiar metal statue of a White Sphinx mounted on a high pedestal visible as a silhouette in the darkness. On one side of the pedestal is a set of doors inside which he hides his machine.

The Time Traveler meets a young Eloi girl named Weena, and the two of them grow fond of each other. Weena introduces him to her Eloi family, teaches him their language, and guides him about the place.

He comes to know the frightening truth about the Eloi and the Morlocks—the Eloi are raised as food for the cannibalistic Morlocks who climb out of their wells at night, take them underground, and eat them!

In one episode, the Time Traveler saves Weena from Morlocks in a well, and she returns the favor by gifting him a flower unlike anything the Time Traveler has seen. A special bond is formed between Weena and him.

However, when he wishes to return to the present, and visit her another time, the time machine within the metallic pedestal doors of the White Sphinx, is gone! Eventually the time traveler finds it and departs.

At the club, back in the present day, while the Time Traveler’s friends are wondering where he went, he suddenly appears. He shows Weena’s flower-gift, to his shocked friends, as proof of his travel to 802,701 AD.

This is only one such episode in the novel. There are more such interesting chapters, when the time traveler visits different times in the future, and has weird experiences with various types of futuristic humankind.

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