* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Time Machine

The Time Machine

by H.G. Wells

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary References

  • Utopias (5.18), which were a pretty popular trend in the late 19th century. Two important Utopian works that Wells is probably thinking about are (American) Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888), where a Bostonian wakes up in AD 2000 and finds that every class issue has been resolved; and (British) William Morris's News from Nowhere (1890), where the future is better because work has become fun. At 5.40, the Time Traveller complains that he doesn't have a "cicerone," which is a fancy word for guide, because in these Utopian works, the stranger is usually led around by a native who explains everything very clearly.
  • Grant Allen, a novelist and nonfiction writer (5.28)
  • Thomas Carlyle (7.15), an English author (most famous for his anti-revolutionary views on the French Revolution)

Historical References

  • Battle of Hastings, 1066 (1.39)
  • Little Rosebery, either the politician Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, or one of Primrose's horses (2.13)
  • Phoenician decorations (4.8)
  • Carolingian kings (7.2)

Pop Culture References

  • Sphinx (3.9) – and check "Symbolism" for more on that
  • Dresden china (4.3)
  • Lemur, which is both a type of primate and a type of Roman ghost (5.34)
  • The Metropolitan Railway (5.38), which opened in 1853; as for "electric railways," the first of those in London opened in 1890.
  • Kodak camera (6.10)
  • Football (11.12). (Remember European "football" is US "soccer.")
  • Pall Mall Gazette (12.5)

Scientific References

  • Simon Newcomb – professor of mathematics and President of the American Mathematical Society (1.15)
  • Peptone – a form of protein (2.16)
  • Ichthyosaurus (4.12)
  • The younger Darwin (5.29) is Sir George Howard Darwin, who was an astronomer (and Charles Darwin's son)
  • Megatherium, Brontosaurus (8.3)
  • South Kensington (8.4) is the London borough where several big museums are located, including the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement