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The Time Machine

The Time Machine

by H.G. Wells

Society and Class Quotes Page 3

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

The Upper-world people might once have been the favoured aristocracy, and the Morlocks their mechanical servants: but that had long since passed away. The two species that had resulted from the evolution of man were sliding down towards, or had already arrived at, an altogether new relationship. (7.2)

The Time Machine shows us that everything changes. So where the upper class might've been on top at one point, now things don't look so great. (While the Time Traveller is examining this on the level of society, we could also discuss this theme on an individual level: when you're rich, you might not think about the people below you – until you become one of them.)

Quote #8

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)

This is probably one of the most awesome quotes from the book. It marks the connections between people not just within the same society, but as part of the same extended family. It notes the crime done ages ago – depriving one brother of his birthright – and reminds us that repression tends to be a temporary situation. (The metaphors Wells uses here – brother fighting brother – remind us of biblical stories, like Cain and Abel or Jacob and Esau.)

Quote #9

So, as I see it, the Upper-world man had drifted towards his feeble prettiness, and the Under-world to mere mechanical industry. (10.4)

This may be the final kicker for the Time Traveller: the problem isn't just that people have become inhuman, but that the changes have gotten out of control – we've "drifted." (Compare that to some of the language in "Quotes: Man and the Natural World" section, where people deliberately direct natural forces.)

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