The Time Machine: Bullseye Step into Classics Series [NOOK Book]

Overview

Illus. in black-and-white. When a turn-of-the-century scientist travels into the distant future in his time machine, he expects to find progress and superior people. But instead he discovers a world in decay. Reading level: 2.4.  

A scientist invents a time machine and uses it to travel to the year 802,701 A.D., where he discovers the childlike Eloi and the hideous underground Morlocks.

...
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The Time Machine: Bullseye Step into Classics Series

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Overview

Illus. in black-and-white. When a turn-of-the-century scientist travels into the distant future in his time machine, he expects to find progress and superior people. But instead he discovers a world in decay. Reading level: 2.4.  

A scientist invents a time machine and uses it to travel to the year 802,701 A.D., where he discovers the childlike Eloi and the hideous underground Morlocks.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Two of Wells's sf masterpieces get the red carpet treatment here. These "critical text" editions contain the full text plus annotations, indexes, appendixes, and bibliographies. Though these editions are pricey, Wells's works deserve serious consideration. Libraries should at least stock up on a few extra budget paperback copies of Doctor Moreau to meet demand generated by a forthcoming film remake starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer.
From the Publisher
“[Wells] contrives to give over humanity into the clutches of the Impossible and yet manages to keep it down (or up) to its humanity, to its flesh, blood, sorrow, folly.” —Joseph Conrad
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307814487
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012
  • Series: Bullseye Step into Classics Series
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 342,522
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

H. G. Wells
Ursula K. Le Guin has published more than one hundred short stories, two collections of essays, eleven books for children, five volumes of poetry, and seventeen novels. She has received numerous awards, including a National Book Award and a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Oregon.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Biography

Social philosopher, utopian, novelist, and "father" of science fiction and science fantasy, Herbert George Wells was born on September 21, 1866, in Bromley, Kent. His father was a poor businessman, and young Bertie's mother had to work as a lady's maid. Living "below stairs" with his mother at an estate called Uppark, Bertie would sneak into the grand library to read Plato, Swift, and Voltaire, authors who deeply influenced his later works. He shoed literary and artistic talent in his early stories and paintings, but the family had limited means, and when he was fourteen years old, Bertie was sent as an apprentice to a dealer in cloth and dry goods, work he disliked.

He held jobs in other trades before winning a scholarship to study biology at the Normal School of Science in London. The eminent biologist T. H. Huxley, a friend and proponent of Darwin, was his teacher; about him Wells later said, "I believed then he was the greatest man I was ever likely to meet." Under Huxley's influence, Wells learned the science that would inspire many of his creative works and cultivated the skepticism about the likelihood of human progress that would infuse his writing.

Teaching, textbook writing, and journalism occupied Wells until 1895, when he made his literary debut with the now-legendary novel The Time Machine, which was followed before the end of the century by The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds, books that established him as a major writer. Fiercely critical of Victorian mores, he published voluminously, in fiction and nonfiction, on the subject of politics and social philosophy. Biological evolution does not ensure moral progress, as Wells would repeat throughout his life, during which he witnessed two world wars and the debasement of science for military and political ends.

In addition to social commentary presented in the guise of science fiction, Wells authored comic novels like Love and Mrs. Lewisham, Kipps, and The History of Mister Polly that are Dickensian in their scope and feeling, and a feminist novel, Ann Veronica. He wrote specific social commentary in The New Machiavelli, an attack on the socialist Fabian Society, which he had joined and then rejected, and literary parody (of Henry James) in Boon. He wrote textbooks of biology, and his massive The Outline of History was a major international bestseller.

By the time Wells reached middle age, he was admired around the world, and he used his fame to promote his utopian vision, warning that the future promised "Knowledge or extinction." He met with such preeminent political figures as Lenin, Roosevelt, and Stalin, and continued to publish, travel, and educate during his final years. Herbert George Wells died in London on August 13, 1946.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The War of the Worlds.

Good To Know

In 1891, Wells married his cousin Isabel. However, he eventually left her for one of his brightest students, Amy Catherine, whom he married in 1895.

Wells was once interviewed on the radio by an extremely nervous Orson Welles. The two are unrelated, of course.

Many of Wells's novels became film adaptations, including The Island of Dr. Moreau, filmed in 1996 by Richard Stanley and John Frankenheimer, and The Time Machine, filmed in 2002 by Wells's great-grandson, Simon Wells.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Herbert George Wells (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1866
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bromley, Kent, England
    1. Date of Death:
      August 13, 1946
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
1. The Text 1
2. The Sphinx-Question 2
3. The Two Socialisms 4
4. Eloi and Morlocks 7
5. The Two Cultures 12
The Time Machine: An Invention (1895) 19
App. I. The Chronic Argonauts (1888) 174
App. II. The Time Traveller's Story (March-June 1894) 196
App. III. Excerpts from The time Machine (Jan.-May 1895) 221
App. IV. "Mammon," by Walker Glockenhammer (H. G. Wells) 229
App. V. "The Fourth Dimension," by E. A. Hamilton-Gordon 233
App. VI. Excerpts from "Evolution and Ethics," by T. H. Huxley 240
App. VII. Robert W. Paul on the Time Machine and the History of Movies 244
Bibliography 247
Index 255
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Reading Group Guide

When the intrepid Time Traveller finds himself in the year 802,701, he encounters a seemingly utopian society of evolved human beings but then unearths the dark secret that sets mankind on course toward its inevitable destruction. An insightful look into a distant, bleak, and disturbing future, The Time Machine goes beyond the reaches of science fiction to provide a strikingly relevant discussion of social progress, class struggle, and the human condition. Hailed as a masterpiece of its genre, H. G. Wells's famous novella about the perils of history and the hubris of modernity comes vividly alive in this remarkable reissue of a unique 1931 illustrated edition.

1. As Ursula Le Guin mentions in her Introduction, The Time Machine was once published in a collection titled Seven Scientific Romances, and indeed H. G. Wells was known to refer often to the novella as a "romance." This may seem an unusual way of classifying The Time Machine. Why might Wells have deemed his work a "scientific romance"? What elements of the story, and of Wells's own motivations for writing it, would justify that categorization?

2. In Wells's Preface to this edition of The Time Machine, he refers to himself in the third person, as "the writer," until he startles the reader by referring to "my story" at the midpoint of the essay. Why might Wells have made the choice to refer to himself in the third person, and what effect did this have on your response to the rest of the book? Did his apparent objectivity provide an additional sense of credibility to the text? Why might he have abruptly switched voices, making the piece more personal, after establishing himself as an objective observer?

3. The story of The Time Machine is framed by a dinner party. The banquet, or dinner party, is prevalent in literature as both a trope and a literary device. The use of a dinner party in science fiction may, however, seem somewhat untraditional. Why might Wells have chosen a dinner party as a framing device for his story? What purposes does it serve? In a story about time and time travel, did it help to ground you, the reader, in the present?

4. The Time Machine, written in 1895, is often viewed as a radical and insightful discourse in the science of time/ space relations. As a piece of fiction, it is entertaining and provocative, but Wells also delves into a profound discussion of time as a fourth dimension. The Time Traveller's explanation of these scientific ideas is rather detailed and quite scholarly. Where in the story does he first explain these ideas, and how does he do so? While this may be exposition for the rest of the story, what other purposes might Wells have had in engaging this discussion in such detail? What might Victorian readers have thought about these ideas? What might the character of the Time Traveller reveal about Wells's attitudes toward science and the scientific pursuit?

5. The issue of credibility comes up at the outset of The Time Machine. How does the Time Traveller attempt to give credibility to his ideas at the beginning, and what devices throughout does the character use to make the time-travel premise believable for his audience? What techniques or ideas does Wells use to make the premise credible for his readers?

6. Throughout the novel, the only character named is Weena. Each of the Time Traveller's companions is referred to by either first initial or occupation, and the narrator's identity is not even disclosed until the book's conclusion. Why might Wells have used this technique? Is the fact that Weena is the only character acknowledged by name meaningful to the book?

7. Written at a time of rapid economic growth and industrialization in England, The Time Machine is renowned as a work of social criticism. It is known that Wells's own political beliefs were leftist. Describe the relationship between the species of the future, the Eloi and the Morlocks. How might The Time Machine, in its depiction of the future and the struggle between these species, be a metaphor and prophecy for the age in which Wells was living?

8. It is noteworthy that the Time Traveller comments so often on the year in the future to which he traveled, 802,701. Why was it necessary for Wells's to set his story so far in the future? Does the extremity of the setting make the novel more or less relevant as a work of social criticism?

9. The idea of evolution arises often in this book; the discussion of it falls into the categories of both scientific commentary and social criticism. How does Wells depict the evolution of the human race? What factors contribute to the final results? How do the Eloi evolve into androgynous automatons, while the Morlocks devolve into brutish troglodytes?

10. The processes of evolution and devolution as depicted in The Time Machine provide interesting insight into the concept of gender roles in modern society. How does Wells construct his criticism of gender and society through the depiction of these two species? How do you think his Victorian audience would have responded to this type of commentary?

11. The Time Machine is a work laden with symbolism. The Palace of Green Porcelain stands out as having significant meaning in terms of both the plot and the social commentary it affords. What is the relevance of the palace in the year 802,701, what is it in the Time Traveller's age, and how does the palace figure into the plot? While in the Palace of Green Porcelain, the Time Traveller chooses a few "weapons." What are they and how does he use them? It is interesting that the matches he selects figure the most prominently into the story. Is the importance of fire in the far distant future ironic? Find, describe, and discuss other symbols that appear over the course of the novel.

12. While the story takes place far in the future, the hero of the story, a civilized British scientist, experiences profoundly primitive emotions over the course of the story. At what points in the book is it evident that the Time Traveller is regressing to a primitive state? What does this character development say about "time travel," in scientific, evolutionary, and emotional terms?

13. What purpose does the Time Traveller's foray to "the end of the world" serve in the story and in Wells's social commentary? This episode appears desperate and hopeless. Do you think Wells was truly pessimistic about the future of mankind? How does Wells remind the reader that optimism is not only present in his story, but essential? How do Weena's flowers figure into the optimism/pessimism discourse?

14. The Time Machine is a major work of utopian/dystopian fiction. What is a utopia? A dystopia? Describe the physical landscape of the future as Wells envisions it. What elements of both utopia and dystopia are immediately noticeable? How is the social landscape simultaneously utopian and dystopian? How does this theme figure into the idea of appearance versus reality, a debate that also figures prominently in the novel?

15. Wells certainly opens the doors for discussion with this novel, and it is clear that he felt extremely connected to the ideas conveyed in the book. To what extent do you think the character of the Time Traveller was a literary mask or mouthpiece of the author? Are there any aspects of the book that lead you to believe Wells was more or less hopeful about the future of mankind than his protagonist?

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    It is not very interesting

    I have read about 54pages so far and i am not very interestedin it ):

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2001

    Fascinating....

    I read this book in only four days; I only stopped because I needed to sleep. Wells's speculation at the possible future, and its relationship to his era (about the turn of the century), as well as ours, is intruging. this is the first work that i've read of his, and i look forward to reading more. it's a great introduction to science-fiction as well as a classic novel; it is short yet effectively despcriptive, with a feeling of realism to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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