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The Time Machine

The Time Machine

by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine Analysis

Literary Devices in The Time Machine

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

You probably noticed that there's a lot of fire in this book. Some of it is really hard to miss, like the first fire the Time Traveller starts, which gets out of control and burns down the forest (...

Setting

The 1890s, a gentleman-scientist's house (with servants) near LondonOur story takes place in a suburb of London called Richmond (which, yes, is part of London now). We don't see very much of the ho...

Narrator Point of View

First, let's talk about the Time Traveller as the central narrator – not just because he does most of the narrating, but because it's easier to talk about him. The Time Traveller tells his own st...

Genre

Science FictionIf a character in a story uses math to prove that time travel is possible, then builds a machine to travel through time, there's a good chance you're reading a science fiction story....

Tone

Since The Time Machine is told in the first person (or, rather, from two first-person points of view – check out "Narrator Point of View" for more on that), the tone that comes through is the att...

Writing Style

Stalling tactics. Before we talk about style, go read the section on "Narrator Point of View." Back? OK, so remember how the Time Traveller will tell us a lot of stuff he got wrong before he tells...

What's Up With the Title?

The title seems pretty basic to us: The Time Machine gets its title from the Time Machine invented by the Time Traveller. Without the Time Machine, there is no story of time travel. We suppose the...

What's Up With the Ending?

Seriously, what is up with that ending? It's very open-ended. The Time Traveller disappears and never comes back. We don't know where he went or why. The unnamed narrator makes some guesses to show...

Tough-o-Meter

If you were a British scientist and/or living in the 1890s, we'd rate this book a 3 or so. But since we're guessing that you're neither, then this book is going to offer some challenges. Some of th...

Plot Analysis

The Time Traveller says that he's been to the future and has a story to tell about what he found. (Chapters 1 and 2)A couple of guys sit around while one of them tells a story. This is a classic op...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

The discussion in the smoking room.The opening chapters set up the possibility of voyaging through time. While most of his friends are skeptical, the Time Traveller believes his Time Machine will w...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

From the beginning of the text to the discovery that the Time Machine has been stolen (the "Dude, Where's My Time Machine?" moment).In Act I of The Time Machine, we're introduced to the Time Travel...

Trivia

When Wells's mother worked as a housekeeper at Uppark, her quarters were in the basement. Might this have influenced Wells's ideas about subterranean living? (source).The fourth dimension (and be...

Steaminess Rating

The Time Machine answers the question we've all been asking ourselves: Is there sex in the future? The answer is a disappointing "not really." The Time Traveller does interrupt two Eloi flirting, a...

Allusions

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)...

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