Monday, January 29, 2007

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

The Time Machine was a novel written by H.G. Wells as most of you might know from reading it. It was adapted into a movie in 1960 and again in 2002. The 2002 version starred Guy Pierce as the time traveler and had Orlando Jones as some hologram guy. Let's just say, it wasn't a very good adaptation. They completely changed the plot of the movie. I won't spoil for you if you really do want to see it. Now onto the text.

To me, The Time Machine was a rather interesting book that was released for its time. Although science fiction novels of today are a bit more elaborate and creative in setting up a feature, I believe that Wells' interpretation of the future is as good as any other interpretation. Wells included a great deal of detail in describing the scenery of the future. The time traveler describes, "Already I saw other vast shapes-huge buildings with intricate parapets and tall columns, with a wooded hillside dimly creeping in upon me through the lessening storm" (21). (I have a different version of the book so the page number may not correspond, sorry). With this type of detail, Wells is able to create a future that almost seems to exist.

One aspect of time travel that is "cliche" is the idea that if you do something to time, then the present will be effected. This then suggests that the Time Traveler should tread carefully into the future and avoid all contact with the future. However, the Time Traveler is a scientist. And as a scientist, his job is to discover the truth. As a scientist, they should be able to discover the truth at all costs. He needs not follow any rules of conduct because he is in the future. Anything he does in the future will not affect the present time he is in. The time traveler conducts himself well as a scientist, seeking to learn about the world at that time.

Continuing on the idea of science, H.G. Wells was apparently a Darwinist. I feel that The Time Machine was a perfect illustration of his thoughts of Darwinism.
Life is very different in the year 30,000,000. The Time Traveler finds that there are new species of plants and trees that have replaced London’s former landscape. There are no longer signs of higher technology. The humans themselves have turned into a seemingly different species. He discovers two kinds of races, the Eloi and Morlocks. As a Darwinist, one would expect the society to progress so that human kind would be stronger, smarter, faster, and bigger than the previous species. However, the Time Traveler comes to find that they have degenerated to smaller, weaker, and monkey-like people. There were no signs of technological advances at all. However, the fundamental idea of Darwinism is survival of the fittest. The Eloi and Morlocks are the ones who are surviving, so the must be fitted to adapt to this time period.

As the Time Traveler continues to learn more about the Eloi and Morlocks, I cannot help but think that this is Wells own critique on the capitalistic nature of Britain. People like the Time traveler could be part of the working class for all their lives, but once provided the opportunity; people would automatically join the upper class, even if they hated their lifestyle. The time traveler sympathized with the Eloi, even though he hated their fragility and childish acts. Wells is also criticizing the fact that if the upper class continue to mistreat the working class, it would continue throughout society, even into the year 30,000,000.

So, I'll leave you with this final question, Will we become the Eloi and Morlocks in the year 30,000,000?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like how you added the movie poster on the blog. I have never seen the movie, because it seemed a little too weird for me. It's really diappointing that the movie is so different from the book. But that's what often happens when they turn a great novel into a film. To answer to your question, I honestly don't know about the whole world, but at least in America, I think we'll turn into the Eloi. Just because, the US is such a superficial country. As a mass communications student, I have learned how the media and Hollywood pretty much control everything. Movie stars are more famous and important in this country than the president of the United States. I mean, stupid people with no talent like Paris Hilton becomes a role model in our society. And she's constantly being praised for just being "rich." And look at all those young girls suffering from eating disorders to look like those uneducated stick-figure rich girls like Paris and Nicole, instead of trying to get into college or working out to be healthy. For these reasons, I think that we are going to be the weak, naive, superfical Eloi. Sad! =(

1/30/2007 6:02 PM  
Blogger Silbi Song said...

Irene and Josh! The comment above (1/30/2007 6:02 PM) was posted by me. Thank you! =)

2/07/2007 7:23 PM  

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