Study Guide

The Time Machine Chapter 8

By H.G. Wells

Chapter 8

  • The Time Traveller and Weena reach the Palace of Green Porcelain, which is falling apart. It's also actually made of green porcelain, which might surprise you if you were getting used to the Time Traveller being wrong.
  • The Palace reminds the Time Traveller of a museum, probably because it was a museum. The lobby has part of a dinosaur skeleton and there are glass cases full of stuff on display. It sounds pretty much like any museum we might find today. The Time Traveller calls it a "latter-day South Kensington" (8.4). (South Kensington is an area in London where the major museums are.)
  • The Time Traveller and Weena explore the museum, looking for tools to help them against the Morlocks.
  • In the minerals section, the Time Traveller looks for the ingredients to make gunpowder, but he can't find any.
  • He also looks for clues about how this whole situation came about. Unfortunately, the section on natural history is mostly empty, all the displays rotted away, so he can't figure out how people tamed nature.
  • In a dark part of the museum, he's reminded of the Morlocks. To protect himself, he pulls off a piece of metal from one of the machines on display to use as a mace. (He describes the piece of metal as looking like a lever from a signal box, which would look something like this. Also, when he says "mace," this is what he means. It's basically a club.)
  • Now that he has a weapon, he wants to go kill some Morlocks. But he doesn't want to leave Weena alone.
  • They find a falling-down library, where the Time Traveller can't find his own works.
  • In the chemistry wing, he finds a box of matches and some flammable camphor. He does a little dance to celebrate finding the matches (8.10). (We might've done a celebratory dance after traveling into the future, but that's just us.)
  • He also finds the weapons section, but the guns are all rusted and he thinks his impromptu mace will work better than any sword when he tries to open the Sphinx.
  • There's also a room full of statues and idols, and the Time Traveller does what we all want to do: he carves his name into an idol.
  • He finds dynamite, but it doesn't work.
  • The Time Traveller and Weena take a rest in the museum courtyard.

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