The Time Machine Quotes

Quotes are abundant from the book ‘The Time Machine’ which flaunts endless examples of some prominent themes Wells manages to nail within the story.

From thematic ideas built around science to technology to society and social class among other things, the reader is served a rich vein of well-amplified quotes herein within the book.

The Time Machine Quotes



Quotes On Science 

The unpleasant sensations of the start were less poignant now. They merged at last into a kind of hysterical exhilaration. […] So with a kind of madness growing upon me, I flung myself into futurity.

Time Traveller

Coming right off the gate of chapter three, this quote is one that is very hard to ignore. We see here how the time traveler comes up to challenge the popular assumption that science or any scientific inquiry must completely be devoid of a person’s subjective feelings and emotions, and instead be based upon facts, evidence, and raw, tangible data.

Per this generally held belief, the time traveler begs to differ by the reality of his discovery that he couldn’t quite separate his feelings from his work. He realizes that, as a matter of fact, his fears and emotions towards science are part of what drives in an adequate supply of passion which leads him to start with time as a fourth dimension.

As I stood there in the gathering dark I thought that in this simple explanation I had mastered the problem of the world – mastered the whole secret of these delicious people. […] Very simple was my explanation, and plausible enough – as most wrong theories are!

Time Traveller

Throughout ‘The Time Machine,’ there is a replete of quotes where we find the time traveler second-guessing and questioning his scientific competencies, and this is one of them. Although he strives towards perfectionism – as do all scientists, here we find the time traveler struggling to accept the fact that he may have miscalculated on one of his hypotheses in the future. We understand that he is an advanced scientist who is way above most of his contemporaries and should very likely beat himself up when he makes a mistake of a no-brainer, but he’s only human and one thing humans do best is make mistakes.   

I tried to look at the thing in a scientific spirit. [..] And there was Weena dancing at my side!

Time Traveller

This is another part where we find the time traveler wrestling to marry science and his emotions. In the future, he gets into a first encounter with the kind-of-scary Eloi race and goes lily-livered and frightened, and that’s putting it mildly. Then he gets to know them better and discovers they’re kind of cute, s\ofthearted, and loving, and he immediately falls for them even had to risk his life to save one of them (called Weena).

He discovers another bunch called Morlocks, the callous and brutal race which, it turns out, eats Eloi for dinner. The time traveler, now friends with the Eloi, is surely not letting that happen. In this quote, however, we see the time traveler’s inability to stand up for the objectivity and balancedness of science by his action of taking sides.

Quotes on Society And Social Class

. . .where violence comes but rarely and off-spring are secure, there is less necessity – indeed there is no necessity – for an efficient family, and the specialization of the sexes with reference to their children’s needs disappears. We see some beginnings of this even in our own time, and in this future age it was complete.

Time Traveller

This is part of the commentaries produced by the time traveler when he discovers that the future people, or society, are actually kind of genderless. He tries to correlate this trend with his own time and even he realizes that the practice, which now is a finished product in the future, started from his time and his own people in the past.

The Upper-world people might once have been the favored aristocracy, and the Morlocks their mechanical servants: but that had long since passed away. The two species that had resulted from the evolution of man were sliding down towards or had already arrived at, an altogether new relationship.

Time Traveller

Here in chapter seven, the time traveler runs by us the idea of the social class carried well into the future from his time. Puzzled by the two creatures and their interaction amongst themselves, he theorizes that perhaps the Eloi and the high breed upper class, and the Morlocks their lowlife laborers, but he sees just off the horizon a brewing hostility championed by the Morlocks to tip the scales.

Quotes on Technology and Modernization

Our chairs, being his patents, embraced and caressed us rather than submitted to be sat upon.

Mr. Hillyer

Now we all can agree that a weird-looking contraption capable of hurling someone to and fro in time is obviously the first pick when one is considering the theme of technology, but Hillyer the narrator channels our attention to the technological quality of an object so trivial as a chair can posses.

I have thought since how particularly ill-equipped I was for such an experience. When I had started with the Time Machine, I had started with the absurd assumption that the men of the Future would certainly be infinitely ahead of ourselves in all their appliances.

Time Traveller

Here, the time traveler is caught thinking out loud as he is surprised by the reality of a future that appears to have halted technological advancement. Of an honest opinion, anyone opening the first pages, in all frankness, will have their mind in the same place as the time traveler’s (who expected nothing less than a more cutting-edge tech society, going into the future). But, what we see is the opposite; a so-called advanced civilization that appears to have given up on technology and innovation. Here Wells dishes out a hard lesson to the reader to not expect technology to endure side by side with man.

About Israel Njoku
Israel has a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. He loves entertainment, pop-culture and the arts and tries to extract themes with wider reaching implications from them through rigorous analysis.
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