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Referat: Book Report "The Time Machine"

Alles zu H.G. Wells  - The Time Machine

The Time Machine

by Herbert George Wells

1. Summary of the Plot:
At the beginning of the story the Time Traveller, a very ambitious English scientist and physicist, invites his friends and workmates to explain his new theory to them: he tells them that there have to be four dimensions in physics, not only length, breadth and thickness, but also duration or simply time. Therefore one must be able to move in time, just as one can move in space. He wants to prove his theory by experimental verification and so he has built a model of a Time Machine, which he starts now. The model disappears immediately, but the others believe in a trick. The Time Traveller tells them to come back on the next Thursday. One week later, the circle meets again, but the Time Traveller himself is too late. The men discuss the happenings the week before and time-travelling itself when he suddenly enters the dining room. His clothes are dirty and he limps and at first he does not speak. He wants something to eat before he would tell what has happened to him. After dinner they go to the smoking room, were he tells his story. At the morning of the same day his Time Machine was completed and he tried it for the first time. At first he just tried it out, he pressed the starting lever and almost immediately the stopping one. No changes were visible, but almost five hours had passed away. So he knew that his invention worked and he wanted to continue his journey into the future. The trip was not very comfortable and he had a bad feeling. During the time-travel he saw how the things around him were changing and the sun hopping swiftly across the sky. The speed increased and while at first a day appeared to pass in a second, soon a whole year passed by in one second and he was still gaining velocity. After a while the Time Traveller lugged over the lever and stopped – in the year 802,701. He found himself in on a green hillside and recognized some persons approaching him. They were very curious and soon he notices that they have the intellect of a five-year-old child. These people called Eloi seemed very nice and beautiful to him, although he was unable to understand their simple and primitive language. He stayed with the Eloi and recognized that women and men looked alike. He tried to explain their behaviour and figure with evolution. Since there was no visible danger for the people and the institution of a family was no longer needed, they did not need to have a strong figure to defend themselves and the sexes had no different tasks anymore and their differences vanished. Furthermore the Eloi were vegetarians and had always enough to eat and warm clothes, although they never had to work. The Time Traveller concluded from that, that they were living in some kind of a communistic system. During the following days he explored the new strange world and for instance he discovered new species of flowers and fruit. One day he returned from a trip and did not find the Time Machine at its place anymore and so he was very confused and desperate, because he was afraid of being caught at this place and time. He supposed, that the machine was hidden in a huge sphinx standing next to the place, at which the Time machine had stood before. Two days later he saved an Eloi girl called Weena from drowning and they become friends. Although the Time Traveller would have never expected her to be thankful, she was and did not leave his side anymore. Soon he found out that the Eloi were scared to death at night, while they were happy and carefree by daylight, but he had no idea why. Later he found out, that there was a subterranean population existing - the Morlocks. Those were perfectly adjusted to the life in the underground for instance by having extremely sensitive eyes. He concluded, that the human race of his time had developed into those two species. His new theory was, that the Eloi had developed from the Capitalists and the Morlocks from the Labourers, who worked for the “Upper-worlders” to guarantee their comfort. While the labourer had never seen the sunlight and worked subterranean getting adjusted to those conditions, the too-perfect security of the capitalist had led them to a slow movement of degeneration in size, strength and intelligence. The Time Traveller found out, that wells led into the underworld and knowing that the Morlocks had taken his Time Machine he dared to go down there just being armed with a box of matches. When he arrived at the bottom of the well he was surrounded by darkness and a bunch of Morlocks tried to examine him. He stroke one match after the other and the Morlocks were always immediately driven away. When his last match burned down, he panicked and fled being followed by the ape-like creatures. He escaped, but during his stay in the underworld he saw a pile of meat, which made him clear, that the Morlocks were cannibals and ate the Eloi. Back in the upper world, he went with Weena to the Palace of Green Porcelain he had seen on one of his trips. The Time Traveller was pretty surprised, when he noticed that this palace had once been a museum. Unfortunately they had not much time, because the night drew near. So he just took a box of matches, camphor and a lever he had found to defend Weena and him at night. They were really late and so they had to spend the night in a forest knowing that the Morlocks were following them. The Time Traveller stroke many matches to keep them away and lit a fire. Unfortunately he fell asleep and when he woke up, he had to realize that the fire had burned down. So he was again touched and examined by the some Morlocks, but this time he flipped out and killed some of them with his lever. Suddenly he saw a red light in the forest. The forest was burning and the Morlocks fled being blinded by the light. The fire had saved him, but when he looked for Weena, she was gone. The next morning he came back to the place where he arrived and found the door of the sphinx unlocked. Although he knew that this was a trap, he entered the sphinx. He saw the Time Machine in a corner and heading towards it, the door was closed behind him.
He had no matches but he was willing to fight against the Morlocks which had surrounded him and finally he was able to reach his machine to escape into future. He passed millions of years, because he wanted to know, how the history of mankind and of the earth itself will end. When he stopped again he found a horrible landscape. The sky was no longer blue, but red and black and the only life remaining were some plants and monster crabs. When he travelled further, he did not see any signs of life, the earth was dead. Knowing this, he travelled back into past until he arrived in his era. The Time Traveller arrived just a moment before he came into the dining room.
That is how he ends his story, but nobody but the narrator believes him. When the narrator visits him again the next day to get more information about time-travelling, he tells him to wait, because he wants to explore time again, but this time he wants to take pictures to prove his experiences. The narrator waits for the whole afternoon and finally he leaves. The Time Traveller will never return…

2. Main characters:
Eloi Morlocks Upper-worlders
only four feet high
very fragile
skin looks like porcelain
naive, intellect of a five-year-old child
male and female, children and adults look alike
vegetarians, don’t have to work
playing by daylight and hiding near a fire at night
scared of darkness live subterranean
ape-like creatures
small, but strong
white skin and flaxen hair on their heads and down their backs
strange large greyish-red eyes, which are extremely sensitive ( adjusted to darkness
cannibals keeping the Eloi as their cattle, seem to be very brutal, but as curious as the Eloi
scared of light, get blinded by it The Time Traveller very ambitious scientist living in the Victorian England
wants to prove, that time-travelling is possible
has to face the new world in the year 802,701
thinks of different theories how the new system of live came into being and how it is structured
has to realize that all his theories don’t even reflect a glimpse of the reality
returns when he gets to know, that life on earth will vanish
being a scientist at first he turns into an adventurer who knows how to survive
reasonable scientist turns into primitive savage fighting for his life ( personal evolution

3. Biography of Herbert George Wells:
born on the 21st of September in 1866 in Bromley/London
1883: attended the Midhurst Grammar School
1884: studied biology at the London Normal School of Science
T.H. Huxley was his most important teacher who brought him into contact with Darwinism and its theories ( strong impression on his lifework
1888-1895: various short stories and essays
1895: “The Time Machine – An Invention” ( bestseller, very successful
1896: “The Island of Dr. Moreau”
1897: “The Invisible Man, A Grotesque Romance” ( ( 2000: bad adaptation “Hollow Man”)
1898: “The War of the Worlds”, the story, Orson Wells’ radio play in 1938, which panicked millions of US citizens, was based on
1903-1908: member of the Fabian Society, a socialistic party
first WW as a chance for a new start after the destruction and supported the ideas of a world nation and of the League of Nations
always wanted the peace on earth, but after WW2 he realized, that mankind wouldn’t hear his warnings against the uncontrolled progress
one year after the first A-bombs had been dropped, H.G. Wells died on the 13th of August in 1946
( wrote more than 100 short stories and novels during his lifetime
( nobody had influenced the genre of Science Fiction more than H.G. Wells did, who had been a scientific visionary and social prophet

4. Analysis:
text form: novel
genre: Science Fiction
language: old fashioned English
time: narrator and Time Traveller – present
Time Travellers narration – past
structure: 1. introduction by the narrator, who tells the reader what he sees and hears
2. the Time Travellers narration
3. narrator talks with the Time Traveller, who disappears ( open end
4. epilogue of the narrator
setting: London in the 19th century and the same place in the year 802,701
central problems: 1. communism/socialism and development of society
2. class struggle between the capitalists and the labourers
3. evolution
4. question, where the uncontrolled development of science and technology would end
5. Sources: - H.G. Wells: “The Time Machine”(1895), OALD, , , “The Time Machine” movie (2002)
“Suddenly I halted spellbound. A pair of eyes, luminous by reflection against the daylight without, was watching me out of the darkness. The old instinctive dread of wild beasts came upon me. I clenched my hands and steadfastly looked into the glaring eyeballs. I was afraid to turn. Then the thought of the absolute security in which humanity appeared to be living came to my mind. […] Overcoming my fear to some extent, I advanced a step and spoke. I will admit that my voice was harsh and ill-controlled. I put out my hand and touched something soft. At once the eyes darted sideways, and something white ran past me. I turned with my heart in my mouth, and saw a queer ape-like figure, its head held down in a peculiar manner, running across the sunlit space behind me. It blundered against a block of granite, staggered aside, and in a moment was hidden in a black shadow beneath another pile of ruined masonry. My impression of it is, of course, imperfect; but I know it was a dull white, and had strange large greyish-red eyes; also that there was flaxen hair on its head and down its back. But, as I say, it went too fast for me to see distinctly. I cannot even say whether it ran on all-fours, or only with its forearms held very low…” (54-55)
“Here was the new view. Plainly, this second species of Man was subterranean. There were three circumstances in particular which made me think that its rare emergence above ground was the outcome of a long-continued underground look common in most animals that live largely in the dark – the white fish of the Kentucky caves, for instance. Then, those large eyes, with that capacity for reflecting light, are common features of nocturnal things – witness the owl and the cat. And last of all, that evident confusion in the sunshine, that hasty yet fumbling awkward flight towards dark shadow, and that peculiar carriage of the head while in the light – all reinforced the theory of an extreme sensitiveness of the retina.”(p. 57)
Jan Dreyer 12EN2
Bei diesem Dokument handelt es sich um eine Buchvorstellung des Buches "The Time Machine" von H.G. Wells im Fach Englisch und natürlich auch auf Englisch. Die Präsentation ist sehr ausführlich und wurde auch dementsprechend bewertet. Neben diesem dokument sollte man aber unbedingt auch noch auf den Film "The Time Machine" von 2002 eingehn und evtl. Ausschnitte zeigen... (2219 Wörter)
07.04.2005 von unbekannt
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