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The Time Machine

The Time Machine

by H.G. Wells

Community Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"You have all heard what they have to say about this Fourth Dimension?"

"I have not," said the Provincial Mayor. (1.13-4)

The Time Traveller has a wide range of acquaintances, including people who don't seem like his intellectual equals (at least when it comes to science). What sort of community is possible when not everyone speaks the same language? Rather than a failure of community, could the Time Traveller's dinner parties be seen as an example of its success?  After all, he's imparting his learning and wisdom.

Quote #2

Filby tried to tell us about a conjurer he had seen at Burslem; but before he had finished his preface the Time Traveller came back, and Filby's anecdote collapsed. (1.52)

Practically the same thing happens to the Journalist in Chapter 2: he tells a story but nobody is really listening. Although Filby and the Journalist seem to fit into this social scene more than the Time Traveller, they aren't always listened to closely. And isn't being listened to part of what it means to be in a community? Maybe each of the dinner guests has their own problems with this community, or maybe no community is a perfect fit for everyone in it.

Quote #3

The fact is, the Time Traveller was one of those men who are too clever to be believed [...]. [W]e distrusted him. (2.1)

The dinner guests may listen to the Time Traveller, but they don't seem to trust him very much. Again, we're forced to wonder what's most important to a community: to be listened to or to be trusted?

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