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The Time Machine

The Time Machine


by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

The work of ameliorating the conditions of life – the true civilizing process that makes life more and more secure – had gone steadily on to a climax. One triumph of a united humanity over Nature had followed another. Things that are now mere dreams had become projects deliberately put in hand and carried forward. And the harvest was what I saw! (4.24)

The Time Traveller sometimes seems to consider people as in control of nature. Here, for instance, notice that they "deliberately" carry out projects to help them "triumph...over nature." However, the Time Traveller sometimes also considers people as being controlled by nature – which we get a hint of here with the note about "the harvest" – that is, the change that people went through that resulted in the simple-minded Eloi. The use of the word "harvest" here is creepy, too, since the Morlocks do indeed harvest or breed the Eloi.

Quote #2

The science of our time has attacked but a little department of the field of human disease, but, even so, it spreads its operations very steadily and persistently. (4.25)

The Time Traveller sometimes takes an optimistic view of progress; for instance, medicine may be only at its beginning stages, but it's getting better all the time. (Think about all the incredible advances we've made in medicine in the hundred-plus years since this was written.) So our control over nature is increasing.

Quote #3

The whole world will be intelligent, educated, and co-operating; things will move faster and faster towards the subjugation of Nature. In the end, wisely and carefully we shall readjust the balance of animal and vegetable life to suit our human needs. (4.25)

The Time Traveller sometimes takes the view that humanity is destined to control nature, to bend it to suit our needs. This is what he imagines has happened between his time and the time of the Eloi.

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