Study Guide

The Time Machine Chapter 10

By H.G. Wells

Chapter 10

  • The Time Traveller returns to the seat on the hill. He looks down on the Eloi, who don't realize that they are like cattle.
  • He gets sad about the passing of human intelligence, calling it suicide: people were smart enough to make the world a more comfortable place – but as the world got more comfortable, people became less smart.
  • He thinks that only a huge variety of needs and dangers keep people smart and strong. Without the dangers, the Eloi drifted toward "feeble prettiness" and the Morlocks drifted toward "mere mechanical industry" (10.4).
  • This would be a fine system if it were stable. But clearly the Morlocks ran out of food, and so they turned to the obvious replacement: the Eloi. This is the Time Traveller's final theory on this issue.
  • The Time Traveller takes another nap, then goes to open the Sphinx and get his Time Machine.
  • When he gets to the Sphinx, though, the doors are open.
  • The Time Traveller throws away his club. He suspects a trap, but he thinks he can deal with the Morlocks since he has matches.
  • But when the Morlocks try to trap him, he discovers that his matches will only light on the box, which was stolen in the last chapter.
  • Still, the Time Traveller manages to fight the Morlocks off while he reattaches the levers.
  • And then: time travel!

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