no longer an exclusively vicarious one.

Friday, January 28, 2005

English: Supp'y texts: Time machine

Title and Details:
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1895)
Type of text:
Novel (Science fiction)
Context and Purpose of text:
Written in England by Wells after becoming a science teacher. Gulliver’s Travels had been recently released and Wells wanted to show people that the advancement of mankind must be closely watched, otherwise man will destroy himself utterly.

What ideas of the imaginative journey are conveyed to the responder?
The reader joins the Time Traveller trying to convince his friends that he has made a time machine and has been travelling to the future in it. In this novel, the author brings up the idea that journeys can be physical, mental (the traveller’s friends). They can be painful and they teach the traveller much about his own society and how to change it. The journey does not have to be through space alone, but through time itself. At the end, Wells addresses the idea that many journeys do not end. The reader does not know what happens to the Time Traveller, whether he went to the past or future, or even whether he lived or died.

How are these ideas conveyed to the responder?
The narrative structure of the novel flicks between the present (where the traveller is telling his friends what is happening), and the time of the traveller’s journeying. This is in the future, but it is also in his past. Most of the story is told verbally by the traveller, in quotation marks and in the first person, but the rest (in real time), is told in the first person by the traveller’s closest friend who is never named, thus drawing the reader into the story and encouraging them to use their own imaginations to see what the traveller is telling them.

Links to poetry of Coleridge and Stimulus Booklet text:
Link to The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner in that it tells a tale of a man who has been on a fantastic journey and learned much about the way the world works, and has returned to teach another the lessons he has learned. Link to Journeys over Land and Sea in that it tells a fantastic, imagined tale of exploration and discovery, learning about the world not in physical terms, but in terms of how it will turn out in the future.


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