The Time Machine Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Time Machine

The Time Traveler is certain he has created a device for moving forward and backward through the dimension of time. He proposes that his colleagues that they return next week for supper and they will be given proof. Filby returns to find that they are all at the house waiting in anticipation. Finally, the Time Traveler arrives in a disheveled state, covered in dirt and dust insisting on dining before he will recount his adventure to the group. He has built a time machine over the past two years and he launched himself through time just that morning. He said traveling through time feels like falling and produces a nauseous feeling. He traveled ahead in time to a period in time to eight hundred and two thousand into a hailstorm. He finds lovely but frail human-like creatures dressed in fine robes and sandals. They are simple-minded beings without depth, but absolutely harmless and they greet him with a garland of flowers around his neck. He notes their culture and customs, as they don't work but play, bathe, eat and sleep, are housed in pretty dwellings, and subsist on a diet of fruits. Gone are all traces of disease, fungi, gnats, weeds, pollutants, etc., from the earth.
Click here to see the rest of this review

That night his time machine disappears. He is in a panic, trapped in the future. He carries on like a madman for a while then regains his nerve and sets in for a long period of learning and discovery. Eventually he rescues a woman named Weena from certain death by drowning and she becomes inseparable from him. He happens to notice pale white figures moving quickly through the night carrying off dark objects. They have grayish-red eyes and hair down their backs. He likens them to human spiders, with lanky arms and legs and cruel repulsive faces. He now realized that humankind had evolved into dual species. The well to do had ceased to labor and become mindless things of worthless beauty, the Eloi, while the worker class had become a subterranean and nocturnal dweller creating and maintaining gigantic machinery, the Morlocks, providing all the needs of the upper world beings. He climbs down a well and is confronted by hordes of them, escaping by lighting matches and swinging a metal club at them.

He learns that the Morlocks surface at the new moon when it is darkest on the surface and they cull the herd of Eloi on whom they feed. Finally the Time Traveler retrieves his machine, but only after losing Weena in a forest fire of his own making during his flight from the Morlocks. He moves further ahead to in time to make his escape, stopping when the sun is huge on the horizon and there is a vast ocean where once there had been land. He is sickened to find giant crabs now seem to be the dominant life form and quickly moves ahead again. He travels in spurts of time, a thousand years or so each until the sun is a dull giant ball in the sky around a million years into the future. The beach is without life except for simple lichens plants. It is frighteningly cold and icy as he witnesses a spectacular solar eclipse.

The Time Traveler comes back to the present but has only a flower or two to show for his journey through time. The crowd is skeptical of his claims and they depart after his tale that night. The next day Filby goes back, sees the machine in the lab and is convinced the story is true. He leaves the room only to return just as the Time Traveler has taken off on another journey.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

The book tells the story of the Time Traveler's journey nearly a million years into the future and the very unexpected and disturbing society he finds there. The Time Traveler formulates various theories based on what he observes of the society, which each, in turn, prove to be oh, so wrong! In the end, his realization of the future is especially terrifying considering it is the result of our current social structure.
The review of this Book prepared by Kathleen

The main character, the time traveler, creates a time traveling machine and travels thousands years into the future. There is no human race, but two spin-offs, a race full of what seemed to me as a sort of elves. They live their lives on the surface of earth with complete happiness, then theres the other race, described as a spidery type of human, very vague. The book is just a guess of what the author thinks will happen in the future, and seeing as it was made in the 60's or so, it is incredibly good.
The review of this Book prepared by Stephen Pendlebury

Chapter Analysis of The Time Machine

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 50% FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Time Travel:    -   largely forwards/future Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Time Travel story?    -   Yes Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one person from different culture of other persons Intense exploration of society's culture?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scientist Age:    -   20's-30's


Terrain    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   distant future Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Time Machine

H.G. Wells Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian