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The Time Machine

The Time Machine

by H.G. Wells

Community Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

Probably my shrinking was largely due to the sympathetic influence of the Eloi, whose disgust of the Morlocks I now began to appreciate. (6.1)

Feeling is important to a community, and being part of a community can affect your feelings. Simply because he's been hanging around with the Eloi, the Time Traveller has picked up some of their emotions. This might sound strange, but it's not really that uncommon. If you walk into a room with a lot of nervous people, you'll likely find yourself feeling nervous too. Try it.

Quote #8

. . . from the bottom of my heart I pitied this last feeble rill [brook or stream] from the great flood of humanity. [...] And there was Weena dancing at my side! (7.14)

While the Time Traveller sometimes feels with the Eloi, here he feels for them. They're not self-aware enough to pity themselves (just look at Weena dancing), but the Time Traveller is able to pity them from his outsider's perspective. So here's an example of a feeling that's only possible to someone separate from a community. The poor Time Traveller can never seem to find a community that fits him.

Quote #9

However great their intellectual degradation, the Eloi had kept too much of the human form not to claim my sympathy, and to make me perforce a sharer in their degradation and their Fear. (7.15)

Immediately after he pities the Eloi (and thus separates himself from them), the Time Traveller reminds us how close their feelings are. (There are some "Society and Class" issues that might cause him to feel that way.) Again, community involves both closeness and separation. The dinner guests listen to the Time Traveller but don't believe him. The Time Traveller feels fear with the Eloi (as a part of them) but also pities them (as an outsider).

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