I just finished rereading H. G. Well’s The Time Machine. I had read it when I was younger while in primary school, and unfortunately, the images haunting my memories were from the movies based on the novella.
When one ponders life in England of 1895, the notions of industrialization and human progress were the portents of an extremely happy human race of tomorrow. The tomorrows were unlimited in what humans could accomplish.
However, the working classes were providing the foundation for the upper class to live in their stately manors and regal palaces. The workers’ lot was not to touch the empyreal heights of wealth or engage in the waltzes of Johann Strauss.
The workers’ brioche was not fancy. It was the common grains the wife bought when the budget allowed, but in winter coal would be more important than bread.
The book does not paint a rosy portrait of human progress or evolution to superior life forms in the future. What the Time Traveller finds in the distant futures of his travels is life forms as alien as one would find on planets in the Orion star cluster.
The Eloi of The Time Machine could be described as hobbits in size but without the sterling qualities of the hobbits. They seemed to exist without purpose, imagination, drive and curiosity.
All the elements which compel humans to strive for betterment and exploration are sadly lacking in the peaceful Eloi who are more Nordic in appearance but lacking any other diversity. The survival of the fittest over the vast centuries has given the human race Eloi in England, but we do not know what lay beyond the Great Empire.
The Eloi are trusting, peace-loving, vegetarians who live in a pristine environment without political strife, pollution, societal mores, or war. These surface dwellers have no fears except the moonless nights when the nocturnal terrors of the deep come to the surface.
Under the surface of the bucolic countryside dwell the Morlocks. These fiendish creatures who evolved from humans are the caretakers of a society long forgotten.
They operate subterranean machines. They provide clothes and other necessities for the Eloi.
In turn, with other animal life diminished, the Eloi are the main staple of the Morlocks’ diet. Interestingly the Morlocks never converted to vegetarianism. Perhaps, it was their preordained tasks of living underground and being caretakers of the past which kept them carnivores.
It would have been best for these two distinct groups of surviving humans to have adopted the same vegetarian diet. Unlike the Eloi the Morlocks have a purpose which they never deviate from—taking care of the machines whatever they were.
Like the legends of the vampires, sunlight was a painful experience for Morlocks. Fire was an unknown element until the Time Traveller and his matches arrived on the scene.
Evolution has taken its toll on these creatures. The Morlocks are viewed as villains, but in reality they are just the byproduct of human evolution without the moral compass of right and wrong as currently defined.
Morlocks exist today. As you view this planet traversing the cosmos, you can hear the voices about this group or that contingency which do not fit into the current model of civilized society.
Who knows whether by 802701 what constitutes morality today or civilized society will be long forgotten in the mists of time. Society with its complex layers of strata will be reduced based on the survival of the fittest and all that implies.
If H. G. Wells were alive today and wrote the Time Machine what would he say about the future? Probably, it would not be too different than what he wrote in the 1890s.
It has been said that the future has not been written. Tomorrow is a new day, a blank page.
Unfortunately, this is not totally accurate. The foundation of tomorrow is based on decisions and actions of today. These foundational points will determine the tomorrows of the human race in whatever form it may evolve.
In the final analysis we all are Time Travellers heading for an unknown future. One day we will just fade into our tomorrow from which we will not return.
G. D. Williams © 2018