Cite This Page
 
The Time Machine
The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Time

The Time Machine is so concerned with the theme of time that "time" is in the title. (And it's so concerned with time that the novel's other themes are all tied up with this one.) The time in The T...

Science

Science in The Time Machine isn't just about making awesome machines that travel through time. (For more about awesome machines, check out "Themes: Technology and Modernization.") Rather, science i...

Society and Class

The Time Machine presents two very different settings – the 1890s and the distant future – and seems to dare us to make connections between them. When the Time Traveller jumps into the far futu...

Change

Besides clocks and the position of the sun, change may be the best way to measure time. (In fact, since we can use clocks and the position of the sun to tell time only because they change, we could...

Technology and Modernization

Wells didn't invent the idea of time travel. Just to take one example, it's central to Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. But Wells did (more or less) invent the idea of a machine for time travel...

Passivity

There's a lot of passivity in The Time Machine, from people lounging in their awesome chairs all day, to entire societies giving up when the monsters come to get them, to the world no longer spinni...

Fear

Generally speaking, we don't like being afraid (except for Halloween, scary movies, and roller coaster rides). But fear can be useful: for example, when it tells us to get out of the way when a fal...

Awe and Amazement

The Time Machine is full of incredible things for us to be amazed at, such as: 1) the Time Traveller being late to his own dinner party (only slightly amazing); 2) the housekeeper zooming across th...

Man and the Natural World

Did you ever discuss in school whether humans were animals? We imagine Wells would say, "of course humans are animals – but a special kind." In The Time Machine, there is a fairly steady tension...

Community

Most people don't think much about community in The Time Machine. After all, it's more the story of a species than a community, right? While this is the story of a species (and social classes withi...

Need help with College?