Free Study Guide for The Time Machine by H. G. Wells-Book Summary|
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The narrator is of a new generation of young minds, deciding what they believe, and what they want to do with those beliefs. As the character who receives the final word, his words gain an emphasis. Since he ends on a fairly upbeat note, the reader is left with an overall optimism of lifeís possibilities, tempered by a warning to live in consideration of the potential future.
The Time Machine follows the pattern of many of Wellsís novels, with a narrator beginning the story, creating a frame, for the other, more important story. In The Time Machine, the narrator is at the Time Travellerís house, and the scientific ground is being laid for the rest of the story. The narrator, Hillyer, is named, but this is not used much as it is unimportant who the narrator is. His most important function is to suspend his disbelief of such a fantastic concept as time travel, and provide a measure of realism to balance the unreal nature of the rest of the story.
On the night of the second dinner, the novel shifts into the Time Travellerís point of view, as he begins the story of his eight-day journey. This continues uninterrupted until the seventh chapter, in which the Time Traveller offers further evidence for his tale, in a handful of flowers that had been placed into his pocket by Weena. This break allows for a pause in the rising action, building suspense somewhat, but more importantly, reminds the readers that the story they are reading is being told ďin personĒ by the person who experienced it, looking back on his adventures, rather than being constructed by an author spinning a tale just for the enjoyment of his readers.
After the Time Traveller ends his story, the narrator resumes his role as interpreter for the reader. As the narrator sympathizes with the Time Traveller, and believes that it might be possible, in light of the evidence--the flowers, the wear and tear of the machine--the Time Travellerís observations are given a weight that might not have occurred otherwise. The readers of the novel, whether in Wellsís time or ours, most likely will not take his novel for fact, or for possibility even, but the structure of the novel adds to the realistic portrayal of the information, which gives validity not to the actuality of time travel, but the potentiality of class differences increasing. Time travel may not be possible, but understanding the nature of oneís society and the ills of a strict class hierarchy, are possible, and a focus of the novel, in its content as well as its structure. Reading the first hand account of the future society allows for a greater sympathy with Weena and the other Eloi as well as a greater understanding of the horrors of the future, which, for Wells, are directly related to the evils of the present. The Time Traveller, when he is the narrator, is given free reign for his musings, and then, in the Epilogue, the narrator is given the same, allowing for a bit of hope, and a warning, for the readers as they complete the novel.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on The Time Machine".
. 09 May 2017