Saturday, April 26, 2008

Quotes from H G Wells' "The Time Machine" (novel)

Quote from the novel titled The Time Machine by H G WellsMain post about this novel is here. Quotes below are in order they appear in the novel.


  1. "if Time is really only a fourth dimension of Space, why is it, and why has it always been, regarded as something different? And why cannot we move in Time as we move about in the other dimensions of Space?"

    "Are you sure we can move freely in Space? Right & left we can go, backward & forward freely enough, & men always have done so. I admit we move freely in two dimensions. But how about up and down? Gravitation limits us there."

    "There are balloons."

    "But before the balloons, save for spasmodic jumping & the inequalities of the surface, man had no freedom of vertical movement."


    "We are always getting away from the present movement... Just as we should travel down if we began our existence fifty miles above the earth's surface."


    "a savage or an animal has" no way "of staying six feet above the ground. But a civilized man is better off than the savage in this respect. He can go up against gravitation in a balloon, & why should he not hope that ultimately he may be able to stop or accelerate his drift along the Time-Dimension, or even turn about & travel the other way?"
  2. "Strength is the outcome of need; security sets a premium on feebleness."
  3. "What, unless biological science is a mass of errors, is the cause of human intelligence and vigour? Hardship & freedom: conditions under which the active, strong, & subtle survive & the weaker go to the wall".
  4. "Humanity had been strong, energetic, & intelligent, & had used all its abundant vitality to alter the conditions under which it lived. And now came the reaction of the altered conditions.
    For countless years ... there had been no danger of war or solitary violence, no danger from wild beasts, no wasting disease to require strength of constitution, no need of toil. For such a life, what we should call the weak are as well equipped as the strong, are indeed no longer weak. Better equipped indeed they are, for the strong would be fretted by an energy for which there was no outlet... This has ever been the fate of energy in security; it takes to art & to eroticism, & then come languor & decay."
  5. "I learned very little of drains & bells & modes of conveyance, & the like conveniences, during my time in this real future... Conceive the tale of London which a negro, fresh from Central Africa, would take back to his tribe! What would he know of railway companies, of social movements, of telephone & telegraph wires, of the Parcels Delivery Company, & postal orders & the like? ... think how narrow the gap between a negro & a white man of our own times, & how wide the interval between myself & these".
  6. "It is usual to assume that the sun will go on cooling steadily in the future. But people ... forget that the planets must ultimately fall back one by one into the parent body. As these catastrophes occur, the sun will blaze with renewed energy".
  7. "There is a tendency to utilize underground space for the less ornamental purposes of civilization; there is the Metropolitan Railway in London, for instance, there are new electric railways, there are subways, there are underground workrooms & restaurants, & they increase & multiply. Evidently ... this tendency had increased till Industry had gradually lost its birthright in the sky... it had gone deeper & deeper into larger & ever larger underground factories, spending a still-increasing amount of its time therein... Even now, does not an East-end worker live in such artificial conditions as practically to be cut off from the natural surface of the earth?

    ... the exclusive tendency of richer people ... is already leading to the closing, in their interest, of considerable portions of the surface of the land. About London, for instance, perhaps half the prettier country is shut in against intrusion. And this same widening gulf ... will make that exchange between class & class, that promotion by intermarriage which at present retards the splitting of our species along lines of social stratification, less & less frequent. So, in the end, above ground you must have the Haves, pursuing pleasure & comfort & beauty, & below ground the Have-nots, the workers getting continually adapted to the conditions of their labour... Such of them as were so constituted as to be miserable & rebellious would die; &, in the end ... the survivors would become as well adapted to the conditions of underground life, & as happy in their way, as the Upper-world people were to theirs."
  8. "I understood now what all the beauty of the Over-world people covered. Very pleasant was their day, as pleasant as the day of the cattle in the field. Like the cattle, they knew of no enemies & provided against no needs. And their end was the same."
  9. "intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, & trouble. An animal perfectly in harmony with its environment is a perfect mechanism. Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit & instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no change & no need of change. Only those animals partake of intelligence that have to meet a huge variety of needs & dangers."


cassandruhhh said...

this helped me ! thanks :)

Anonymous said...