College Essay Examples

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Uniqueness of The Time Machine

This text is particularly unique because it attempts to reconcile and hypothesize what will happen to humanity in the future. In a way, it offers a dystopian take on the distant future of humanity. Furthermore, the text’s themes can be uniquely explored since the main character of the text is a time traveller, and the audience sees the events transpire from his perspective.

Title: The Time Machine

Genre: Science fiction

Tone: Scientific, dramatic, emotional

Logline: An eccentric inventor, desperate to prove time travel is possible, travels far into the future where he discovers humanity has devolved into two warring races.

Themes: Social class inequalities, exploration of the relationship between science and society in the future, the evolution of humanity

Important Symbols: The time machine, the Sphinx statue, white flowers, fire

Protagonist: The Time Traveller

Antagonist: The Morlocks

Important Secondary Characters: Weena, the Eloi

Brief Description of Main and Supporting Characters:

  • The Time Traveller: A British scientist who created a time machine to transport him to and from the future
  • The Morlocks: People from the future who live underground and work and serve the Eloi but are predatory and prey on the helpless Eloi
  • Weena: A woman from the future whom The Time Traveller rescues; he attempts to take her to his present time, but she faints and is lost in a fire
  • The Eloi: People from the future who live easily on the surface of the Earth, they do not do much but are implied to be of a higher social standing

Internal Conflict: Time Traveller vs. Realities of the Future (Time Traveller has difficulty understanding the society of the future, and he struggles to understand the warring humankind groups)

External Conflict: Time Traveller vs. The Morlocks (Morlocks are cannibals who repeatedly attack the Time Traveller and Weena. They also steal his time machine, which was his only way back to the present-day.)

Beginning: The Time Traveller explains the concept of time as the fourth dimension to his dinner guests and demonstrates a time machine that allows him to explore this dimension and travel through time. In doing so, The Time Traveller becomes the narrator.

Middle: After the fire kills Weena, the Morlocks attempt to use the machine to capture the Time Traveller.

End: The Time Traveller returns to his dinner party and produces two white flowers from Weena to his dinner guests. The original narrator takes over and visits the Time Traveller the next day, who promises him that he is travelling into the future again but will return shortly. However, three years later, the Time Traveller has yet to return.


The Time Traveller is hosting a weekly dinner party, where he explains his theories of time as a dimension. Skepticism increases amongst the guests when he introduces the time machine he created and claims he can travel into the future and across time. The Time Traveller promises to supply evidence of his travels and theories, and he disappears into the future through his time machine. Despite this, his dinner guests remain skeptical and believe they are being tricked.

A week later, other dinner guests arrive to a note from the Time Traveller explaining he is not at home but that they are free to begin in his absence. They oblige until he eventually arrives dishevelled and dirty. He tells his dinner guests that he travelled eight days. Further, he explains that he has become able to observe the speed of his time travel and see the world as time passes.

The Time Traveller arrives in the future, year 802,701. He encounters the Eloi and partakes in a fruit feast with them while making notes and observations about them. As he continues to explore the future reality, he befriends and saves Weena (an Eloi) from drowning.

Next, he encounters the Morlocks, who are a species that live and work underground. He discovers they work underground for the Eloi, and they are also who moved his time machine. As he descends into the Morlock world, the Time Traveller barely escapes a Morlock attack. Finally, he explores a green palace and an old museum with Weena, where he finds necessary tools.

The Time Traveller and Weena travel through a forest at night, where he builds a fire to protect them from the Morlocks. They decide to stop and sleep, but he realizes Weena is missing when he awakens and is under a Morlock attack. The fire is burning throughout the forest, and he experiences distress over the loss of Weena. Nevertheless, he escapes the raging fire and makes it back to the field where he first arrived.

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He gets into the time machine, but he accidentally advances further into the future. When he arrives in the distant future, he discovers that the sun and Earth are dying, and there is minimal life on Earth. This imagery haunts the Time Traveller, who opts to return to the present with his dinner guests, where he tells them the story of his adventures.

The dinner guests are still skeptical, so, partly to relieve his self-doubt about his experiences, he goes to his laboratory with his dinner guests to see the time machine. They find the machine there, albeit with some wear and tear. Nevertheless, the narrator of the story decides to give him the benefit of the doubt. The Time Traveller produces two white flowers Weena had given him.

The narrator returns to visit the Time Traveller the following day, where he is preparing for another journey. He promises to return shortly. However, the narrator reveals it has been three years, and the Time Traveller has still not returned.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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