The Time Machine

what criticism is wells making of the upper class of his time in his description of the eloi?

chapter 7

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

The TT's Victorian upper-class disgust with the poor comes out in this chapter. First, he "instinctively" loathes the Morlocks, much as someone raised in class-conscious English society would immediately react to poverty. When he figures out that the Morlocks are the true masters of the Eloi, his sympathy with the Eloi overshadows whatever ideas he may have about the rich being justly punished. The Eloi, the last vestiges of the humanity he embraces, are too much like the TT for him to revel in their defeat.

Yet the TT does acknowledge that the Morlocks' growing power is a logical progression of class tension. His idea that the Morlocks, driven by necessity, have overtaken the ruling classes is thoroughly Marxist. Wells, a Socialist for much of his life, knew Karl Marx's basic recipe for how Communism would start in societies (note that Russia did not become a Communist state until 1917, which is why the narrator at the beginning is so in wonder of the possibility of a Communist society): the working class--the proletariat-- eventually gains a "class consciousness," an awareness of themselves as oppressed, and then unites to overthrow the ruling class. While we see no evidence that the Morlocks have this class consciousness, the TT does posit that they have turned to the Eloi for food when their supply was depleted.