Although relatively trimmed and specialized in terms of their involvement, the characters – major and minor – sweat out a total embodiment of the peculiar roles they are assigned.
The Time Traveller
This man is as impressive in the story as in his CV. No wonder Wells opts to build the story around him and that is not surprising given what he brings to the table. The time traveller is many things wrapped in one. To mention a few – he is an inventor, a scientist, and a skilful Craftsman. Other things he can be are a daredevil, a guy with a good sense of humour, an adventurer, and even a trickster. He is smart and intelligent, and even though his story proves a bit far-fetched for the lads to believe, they still respect his person and hold him in high esteem.
The narrator, or Mr. Hillyer, is basic to the story, and if you say he is nearly as curious as a cat, you couldn’t be wrong. Punctual and very attentive to details, the narrator is one of the time traveller’s trusted guests and also one of the only two narrators deployed by Wells for the story, the time traveller himself being the other one.
Mr. Hillyer is very inquisitive and driven to investigate. Even though he doesn’t completely swallow the whole time travel fairy tale, a part of him still wanted to know more, perhaps maybe even taking a trip through time to see for himself. He is the closest to believing the time traveller’s adventures and he shows this by the way he keeps coming back for more even after everyone else is gone.
Although they are one of two futuristic extensions of man, the time traveller tells us these overworld inhabiting creatures are kind of dull, tiny, and fragile but also peace-loving, kind, beautiful, and most of all, happy and affectionate. Wells elects to bring in the Eloi as a symbol for the British elite or upper class who appears to be endangered, thanks to their ancestor’s years-long exploitation of another group called Morlocks.
Another one of humanity’s extensions except for this time the result is remorseless and callous, not to mention filthy creatures dwelling underground and in dark alleys. We get the impression that they didn’t start off as ugly and barbaric as they are described, but that a chain of events that spans over thousands of years gets them deformed into the despicable creatures they currently are.
The Morlocks are so many horrible things put together. For one thing, they are dirty. For another, they are cannibalistic. Wells designates these creatures as comparable to the lower class of the society whose years of bondage under the upper class have forced them to recourse to inhuman strategies of survival.
A loving and affectionate character, Weena happens to be one of the Eloi who is saved by the time traveller from drowning in the river. She is introduced to us as a beautiful and elegant female by the time traveller, although we don’t know how he’s able to figure that one out since he also tells us that it’s especially very hard to distinguish the creature’s gender. In a precariously unsafe future, Weena instils the feeling of love and peace and of expression of affection, no wonder the time traveller becomes so fond of her and plans to take her along with him to the present day.
Filby is one of the characters who play a very minimal but effective role in the book ‘The Time Machine,’ appearing only at the first after-dinner meeting with the lads. Described as contentious and argumentative, the red-haired bloke finds the time traveller’s claims irrational and unbelievable.
The Medical Man
The fact that he shows up on more than one occasion at the house of the time traveller indicates that he is quite fascinated by the story and mane even considered it believable at some point. The medical man knows for certain their host is very smart, intelligent, and able to pull off a breakthrough of that calibre but is adamant as he also knows him to be a trickster.
This man feels hooked by the time traveller’s stories and theories as much as the medical man, making himself available as much as he needs to. The psychologist thinks the story is great and even wonders how priceless a possibility as such would become to a historian. All in all, he doubts the reality of it and shrugs it off.
A Very Young Man
This man comes off at the first meeting seeming very involved and excited in the matter, but as he fails to turn up at subsequent meetings, we take it he finds it boring and too much of a farce to attend again.
By making an attendance only at the second meeting, we take the popular editor gets a scoop, perhaps from one of the attendees at the first meeting, comes up to see if it’s a good fit for his tabloid, but he is disinterested and never returns after his first experience.
Man With a Beard
Quiet and shy, it is no surprise he only makes it to the second meeting and never returns. He is among the guys drinking at the time traveller’s house but by his inactivity, even the narrator himself denies his presence.
The journalist seems like he likes to tell his own story more than listen to another person. He shows up during the second meeting and tries to highjack the spotlight from the time traveller by chipping in his story but no one cares, so he goes home, never to attend again.
The provincial mayor doesn’t appear to be a very smart man, nor does he look like he has science as a forte. He makes an appearance at the first meeting but there is too much mumbo-jumbo stuff flying around that he couldn’t bring himself to show up again.