Examples Of Social Darwinism In The Time Machine

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H.G. Wells: The Time Machine and Social Darwinism H. G. Wells published his debut science fiction novel The Time Machine in 1895. The popular story that gripped the imaginations of Victorian England would go on to become one of the most popular novels of all time. Part of this success was Wells’ founding the concept of time travel, a concept that is now almost universally understood and has appeared in countless adaptations spanning literature, stage, cinema and television. While time travel was an important aspect of the book and a novel on at that, there was another concept that had been introduced to the public under some controversy roughly 40 years earlier. In 1859, Charles Darwin’s seminal body of work The Origin of Species was published.…show more content…
The public became more receptive to the concepts of evolution. However there was still a dangerous mindset that evolution meant that Man was on the path to success, that every step forward was towards a better and brighter future. Wells had a pretty good understanding of the science and had “ studied science with T.H. Huxley, who was a big supporter of Darwin.” (Shmoop Editorial Team) Wells knew that Darwin proposed that our advancement wouldn’t be inherently better, simply different. He outlines this quite clearly in the novel. When the Time Traveler first meets the Eloi he proposes that they are the result of humanity conquering nature with technology, and subsequently evolving to adapt to an environment in which strength and intellect are no longer advantageous to survival. This is the example of the publics perception of Social Darwinism, that Man will one day prove victorious over nature. This is evidently not the case as Wells then introduces the Morlocks, a downtrodden species that it turns out to live off of the indefensible Eloi. The plight of the Eloi and Morlocks demonstrate that rather than continuing to advance, humanity has lost the qualities of intelligence and physical fitness that they hold in the present

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