The Time Machine/ The War of the Worl

- 1 -
The author H.G.Wells.
- 2 -

The books

The Time - Machine and The War of the Worlds.
- 3 -
Synopsis of Wells‘s fictions,visions and ideas,etc .
- 4 -

Personal opinion and conlusion


H.G.Wells was born in 1866 in Bromely in north Kent.He is from petty bourgeois provenance:His parents were poor shopkeepers.Wells‘s father left his wife,so Wells grew up alone with her.She,not ill - educated for her class and time,taught him the alphabet and brought him books from the public library.He seemed to become a very intelligent boy which his later success would proove.The jobs he had before his career as a famous writer tell us about his versatility and self - righteousness.He was an assistant in a pharmacy and an assistant - teacher,then a sholarship - student and later he was even studying natural science at Thomas Huxley..
His childhood fascination with science also found expression when he later wrote his novel "The Time Machine".This novel and also "The Invisible Man" and "The War of the Worlds" made him a popular writer.Appart from this job he was also a journalist and spoke with Lenin,Stalin and Roosevelt.He joined the socialist Fabian Society,an alliance that later turned sour.
There is also a small scandal about Wells:His love affairs came to head with the publication of "A Modern Love Story",which had a heroine who seduced the hero and which implied that polygamy was justifiable...
His wife was the young English author Rebecca West.
Wells became famous partly as a prophet. In various writings he predicted tanks,aerial bombing, nuclear war, and in The War of the Worlds gas warfare, laser - like weapons, and industrial robots. It was his tragedy that his most successful predictions were of destructive technologies, and that he lived to experience the opening of the atomic age in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.(He died in 1946 in London - quasi at the dawn of the atomic - age.)
In his life he initially was an optimist believing in progress,later he had been a sceptical antioptimist,but he has always been a figthing pacifist.

2a)The Time Machine:
The Time Machine might be considered the first work of modern science - fiction,and it is still the classic statement of an important subgenre.
But this novel about the Victorian future is more than a fantastical yarn. It raises chilling questions about progress, social orders, so called civilisation and the ultimate fate of the world.
Wells wrote this novel mainly because Charles Darwin published and proved his theory of evolution, which was the greatest scientific rumpus since the trial of Galileo.
Wells sees the evolution of two races as an outgrowth of nineteenth - century populations of capitalist predators.
The Time Machine is not a thriller or adventure story,but a fictionalization of Wells’s social concerns.

The two important characters are The Time Traveller,an old but lively grey - eyed man,very learned and whise,and The Narator,one of the guests of the Time Traveller who believes his story of the future.
There are furthermore The Eloi and the Morlocks, the two species that resulted from the evolution of man.
The Eloi live on the earth,while the Morlocks,gruesom creatures with no skin colour live under the earth where they have their machines,the result of the technical progress.They produce all the things the Eloi need,and the Eloi are just their livestock.
The Eloi are on the one hand beautiful childrenlike creations and live peacefully together,but on the other hand they have lost all intelligence and intellect.

The Time traveler meets in his house journalists and scientists and presents his new invention,the time machine.He explains how time - travelling should be possible:Time,he says, is a dimension like length,width and height, and refering to the fact that the man learned to fly there was no real reason why it should not be possible to travel along this fourth dimension.He demonstrates this at the example of a miniature time - machine and tells his guests that he intended to travel with his big time - machine.

A week later they should meet again and in the meantime the Time Traveller has travelled into the future.
He tells his guests about his adventure,about the Eloi,the fight with the animal - like Morlocks,and how he could escape,because the Morlocks had taken away his time - machine.
The narator is the only person who believes the Time Traveller,because he shows him a flower from the future and because he sees the time machine disappearing with the Time Traveller who decides to go on a second trip into the future,but he has not returned yet.

2b)The War of the Worlds:

With this book H.G.Wells created in 1898 the first novell about an interplanetary invasion,becoming a guiding star of countless martian - tales.As well as The Time Machine The War of the Worlds was written in response to several historical events.The most important was the unification and militarization of Germany.
Another specific event that inspired Wells was the fact mars being positioned particularly closely to earth in 1894, leading to a great deal of observation and discussion.
Orson Welles produced according to War of the Worlds the maybe most famous,but surely the most effective radio broadcast,1938 in the USA.Although announced as radio play,the public reaction was a mass - hysteria;the people panicly left the citties...

Mars and earth are in conjunction and the astronomers' consensus is that Mars was inhabited and that ist inhabitants were farer andvanced.
One evening,one of six space - shots that land in this storry in England streaks across the sky and crashes at Woking.The narrator and other people come running and see a great cylinder.After a while the martians come out,purse - like creatures with tentacles,who are unable to move properly because of the higher gravitation on earth.Most of all people who are around the first cylinder,watching its landing are killed by enormously effective heat - rays.The Martians set up a hundred - foot high walking machines atop each of which is a dome containing a Martian operator.With this machines the Martians gradually advance towards London.Military forces can't resist their heat - rays and gas attacks.The population flees madly,with no planning,no govermental controll,no resources.The narator is trapped for two weeks in a house next to the landing - place of the sixth cylinder.Along with him is the curate a weak an selfish man which the narrator was forced to knock down as he is about to scream to the martians in hysteria.As the martians disappear he meets the artilleryman.They think about how the humans could survive in the underground - system of London. Later he will find out,that Martians were all killed by terrestrial bacteria against which they had no natural defense.

3) Wells‘s fictions,visions,ideas:

Many critics compare Wells with Jules Verne,but while Verne refers his fictions to real scientific facts, Wells concentrates more on political and social future visions.Verne said about Wells that his stories didn‘t rensponse on very scientific bases;Wells invented,but he was nevertheless aware of the latest thought in science.
Wells reason to write fantasy fiction was to make money and to get on.He successfully did,thanks of the large appetite for the spine - chiller,the bizarre,the weird,and the apocalyptic amog nineteenth - century - readers.The public had heard with astonishment of the new inventions such as the electric light bulb or Benz's motorcars and to make oneself invisible,for instance, seemed no more or less possible than wireless comunication.

The concrete fictions in The Time Machine are as true as the fictions in Vernes’s Book Travel to the Moon refering to the later cognizances of Albert Einstein which bowled over the earlier scientific "truth":Noone before Einstein knew that "travelling" trough the dimension time is only possible
by moving with light - speed.Einstein’s gravitation - theory denies that a capsle could be shot to the moon
just by the power of a big canoon,as it hapenes in Travel to the Moon,but this could know noone before too.

Concerning the evolution Wells writes of the have and have - nots,observing that instead of the "great triumph of Humanity I (the Time Traveller) had dreamed of," the "splitting of our of our species along lines of social satisfaction" had become complete and the "exchange between class and class" that had kept society on a more or less even keel had long ago ended.
The Darwinian evolution theory,in the time of gen - technology by which we could influence the evolution completely,is today as actual as before.

The War of the Worlds:This book is partly simillar to another book of H.G.Wells,The Invisible Man, published one year before The War of the Worlds.In the former the Martians devaste and terrorize the whole country,inluding it’s citty,London and in the latter a man terrorizes a country too: "That invisible man must now establish a Reign of Terror.He must take a town,like your Burdock,...And all who disobey his orders he must kill and kill all who would defend them"
But The Invisible Man lacks of poetry and multiplication of meanings in comparision to the two other mentioned books of Wells.An example for the different meanings in The War of the Worlds is the part where the artilleryman - or Wells himself - gives his opinion concerning the evolution - theory of Charles Darwin:"Cities,nations,civilizations,progress - it's all over.That game’s up.We’re beat."They had to fight the Martians,and there had to be underground resistance,he tells on.Wells published this part of the book only later in the hardback - edition,because he went on to say by the artilleryman:"the useless and cumbersome and mischievous have to die....It’s a sort of disloyality,after all,to live and taint the race."

4)Conclusion and personal opinion:

With The War of the Worlds Wells put it into the test how the influece of a technical advanced power could affect the technical defenceless.
Well’s Time Machine is a negative utopia told as an adventure - story.
Wells was writing on the one hand science fiction,which is sometimes not as explicitly as at Jules Verne,an also famous and more earlier science - fiction writer,but on the other hand his books strike of social, political and evolutional future - visions,and are literary more prententious.Concerning this point,there is The Invisible Man,next to The war of the Worlds and The Time Machine,together they are Wells’s three most famous science - fiction novells,which is a bit of less poetical quality and which has been overexposed in films and TV - serials often crudely based on it.

I would almost have choosen the author Jules Verne - one reason for not taking him is the fact that he is no English writer - but I have nevertheless enjoyed H.G.Wells’s books;books you will not put aside until you have read the end.I don't have anithyng against his prooved intention to write science - fiction books out of commercial reasons.
Many writers of science fiction novels have gathered material from the fairly land of science, and have used it in their construction of literary fabrics, but none have done it more successfull than H.G.Wells.

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