The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells
The Time Machine Chapter 7 Summary
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 7
- The Time Traveller feels worse – before, he just had to deal with the simplicity of the Eloi, but now he has to deal with the Morlocks, who he thinks of as "inhuman and malign" (7.1). Also, he's afraid of the dark and the new moon.
- Theory time! The Time Traveller first thought that the Eloi were kept in idiotic comfort by machines. Then he thought the Eloi were the masters of the Morlocks. Now he thinks the Morlocks are in charge in some way. This leads to one of our favorite lines of the book:
- "Ages ago, thousands of generations ago, man had thrust his brother man out of the ease and the sunshine. And now that brother was coming back – changed!" (7.2).
- Suddenly, the Time Traveller finds himself thinking about the meat he saw underground. But he doesn't know why he's thinking about it. (If you know, don't tell him – he's got to figure this one out for himself.)
- Unlike the Eloi, who just freeze up when they're scared, the Time Traveller wants to do something about his fear. He needs weapons and a secure place to hide from the Morlocks.
- So he takes Weena and starts walking to the Palace of Green Porcelain, the building he saw in Chapter 6.
- He's going to walk even though the comfortable old shoes he started out with are falling apart. (Note: if you decide to go time traveling, wear comfortable, sturdy shoes.)
- Weena stuffs his pockets with flowers on their walk. Two of these will travel back with him to the present day. He shows the flowers to his dinner guests in the smoking room and the narrator remarks that they are "not unlike very large white mallows" (7.6.). We prefer to think of them as Flowers of the Future!
- The Time Traveller and Weena continue on their way, but the palace is too far, there's a scary dark forest ahead of them, and his feet hurt. So they stop for the night on a hill.
- Afraid of a potential attack, the Time Traveller stays up all night and stargazes. He notices that the constellations have changed since his time. He thinks about the cosmic scale of things.
- Against that scale, he realizes that human concerns are pretty small and human history pretty easy to wipe out.
- Then he suddenly realizes that Morlocks eat Eloi, which doesn't really improve his mood.
- Luckily no Morlocks attack that night. In the morning, he throws away his shoes and they start up again for the Palace of Green Porcelain.
- On the way, the Time Traveller tries to consider the Morlock-Eloi ecology in a scientific way. But it's too disgusting for him and he has too much sympathy for the Eloi, especially Weena.
- So he again thinks about what he needs to protect himself: a safe place, a weapon, and some way to get into the Sphinx to get the Time Machine back.
- He also decides to take Weena back home with him to the present. (Not that that would cause any problems or anything.)
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 7