The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells
The Time Machine Time Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Scientific people [...] know very well that Time is only a kind of Space." (1.18)
This is the Time Traveller's central argument and the basis for his Time Machine. It's also an example of how we have to re-think time and look at it from a scientific perspective. When the Time Traveller speaks about "time," he's not talking about the day-to-day version that people experience but about a scientific conception of time.
"I say," said the Editor hilariously, "these chaps here say you have been travelling into the middle of next week! Tell us all about little Rosebery, will you?" (2.13)
There's some argument over who Rosebery is. Whoever it is, we can see that the Time Traveller's perspective on what's important isn't shared by your average Londoner, who is focused more on the day-to-day stuff that doesn't matter in the long run.
All the old constellations had gone from the sky, however: that slow movement which is imperceptible in a hundred human lifetimes, had long since rearranged them in unfamiliar groupings. But the Milky Way, it seemed to me, was still the same tattered streamer of star-dust as of yore. (7.11)
Although the Time Traveller sees these changes, he realizes that they go beyond the personal perspective of time. (The Time Traveller may be pretty great, but he doesn't have "a hundred human lifetimes" saved up.) And yet, while this cosmic view goes beyond the personal, the Time Traveller also notes that some things haven't changed, like the Milky Way. Or perhaps that is merely wishful thinking, as he qualifies it with "it seemed to me."