User:Eighty5cacao/misc/Eloi physiology (fanon)/Weena
|WMG||This article contains wild mass guessing, or original research about the settings, characters, or events in a work of fiction.|
- This page assumes that by some stroke of luck, the Time Traveller correctly determined the names of Weena and the Eloi and Morlock species. Also, it assumes that he more or less correctly evaluated his own proficiency in the Eloi language.
- Some sections assume Damian Yerrick's hypothesis on psychoactive drugs in Eloi–Morlock society.
In Ch. 5, Weena demonstrates greater emotional intelligence than other Eloi in her community:
This [rescue] happened in the morning. In the afternoon I met my little woman, as I believe it was, as I was returning towards my centre from an exploration, and she received me with cries of delight and presented me with a big garland of flowers—evidently made for me and me alone.
Some readers have argued that any Eloi would respond affectionately to such a rescue. Regardless of whether that is accurate, the delay in Weena's response appears to exceed the attention span of a typical Eloi.
|How would a typical Eloi respond after being rescued?|
At best, the rescue would have provoked a shallow display of affection, including brief smiling and/or hugging. The victim would not likely have returned to the rescuer afterward.
I proceeded...to question Weena about this Under-world, but here again I was disappointed. At first she would not understand my questions, and presently she refused to answer them. She shivered as though the topic was unendurable. And when I pressed her, perhaps a little harshly, she burst into tears.
Perhaps Weena has a better conception of sadness than an average Eloi. What happened to her to make her feel genuinely sad about the topic? Perhaps a close friend or immediate family member of hers was recently killed by the Morlocks? (That Weena has a clear conception of "close friendship" would be another sign that she is unusual.) Compare the emotional responses of other Eloi:
I began, bawling like an angry child, laying hands upon them and shaking them up together. It must have been very queer to them. Some laughed, most of them looked sorely frightened.
I wasted some time in futile questionings, conveyed, as well as I was able, to such of the little people as came by. They all failed to understand my gestures; some were simply stolid, some thought it was a jest and laughed at me.pointing to the bronze pedestal, I tried to intimate my wish to open it. But at my first gesture towards this they behaved very oddly ... Suppose you were to use a grossly improper gesture to a delicate-minded woman—it is how she would look.
...in a foolish moment, I made threatening grimaces at her, and she simply laughed at them.
Generally, the Eloi do not form close personal relationships except to mate, as they are r-strategists with limited social cognition. Weena, on the other hand, has wanted to "just be friends" with other Eloi for much of her life. Other Eloi probably misunderstand her inquiries, especially since their language is unlikely to distinguish clearly between these different types of attraction. Thus, they get creeped out and decline to interact with her further.
It is possible that Weena looks nerdy by Eloi standards.
It is possible that Weena is also more intelligent in general. For example, she willfully refuses to discuss the Morlocks because she knows something about their way of life. (Chapter 7: "Weena had put this into my head by some at first incomprehensible remarks about the Dark Nights." Assuming the Traveller is correct, this implies that Weena has sufficient attention span and memory to observe the moon phases over about a month, as well as sufficient intelligence to understand the implications of the moonlight intensity. The fact that Weena's comments were "at first incomprehensible" suggests that they contained some information beyond the basic "night = Morlocks = bad" level, though certainly not a full description of Morlock hunting and feeding habits.)
In contrast, the other Eloi have a long-standing taboo against even thinking about the Morlocks. (As some readers may put it, "The first rule of the Morlocks is: You do not talk about the Morlocks.")
|Lunar phases or seasons?|
From Chapter 7: "The moon was on the wane: each night there was a longer interval of darkness."
The word "interval" seems wrong here; the context makes clear that the Traveller meant to talk about the brightness rather than the length of the night.
For further justification, the Traveller found the weather to be quite warm, which rules out the coldest part of the winter. Second, the shorter observation time scale of a month is more consistent with what's known about Eloi cognition, even considering that Weena is above average. The Eloi would probably understand the seasons in terms of temperature and other climatic variables; they wouldn't pay enough attention to day length on a yearly scale.
Cracked mentions a real-world example of moonlight affecting predation activity of lions in Africa, citing The Telegraph. That case is mainly about the effects of moonlight on prey activity; here we'd also have to think about the predators (i.e., Morlocks), in particular the specific light level that they find uncomfortable. As for the Eloi themselves, it could matter whether they leave their eyes open while sleeping (as observed in present-day human infants, according to Cracked) and how well their brains process the information thus obtained (see #4 - livescience.com).
In various situations, Weena might attempt to strain the definitions of existing words and/or compose new words from established roots. This could contribute to misunderstandings between her and other Eloi.
One particular intelligent behavior Weena may exhibit is the use of the (calm) surface of a body of water as a mirror to look at herself. Other Eloi probably wouldn't understand what she is trying to do, due to their limited self-awareness (see also Mirror test).
|Behind the scenes information|
A similar intelligent!Weena interpretation occurs in the short story "The Truth about Weena" by David J. Lake. As Wikipedia summarizes, "[the Time Traveller] is accompanied by Wells, and succeeds in rescuing Weena and bringing her back to the 1890s, where her political ideas cause a peaceful revolution."
(I was reluctant to use the word "smart" because it has undesired negative connotations.)
TODO: I have not actually read it myself, mainly because I have not found a way to legally purchase a copy other than as part of a collection. Also, "what I don't read I can't infringe." Summaries are hard to find on common search engines, and the most relevant Wikia wiki has no article specifically on this story.
Other sequels make differing assumptions about Weena's intelligence.
Genetics (working title)
|Second-order fanon (depends on another page)|
The aforementioned behavioral differences may result from one of two effects of a genetic mutation: faster metabolism and/or excretion of the psychoactive drugs found in Eloi food crops. The other effect is an adverse alteration of lung development.
In ch. 9, Weena may have been "playing possum." (Note that this explains only Weena's initial collapse; regardless of how that happened, she would still have died in the fire if she remained unconscious.) Such a response may benefit the Eloi if the Morlocks avoid disease by not eating Eloi found to be sick or already dead. The response may be suppressed in a typical Eloi by the drugs.
How much hypopnea occurs in opossums and other real-world examples of thanatosis? Compare the Traveller's descriptions of Weena's condition, "She seemed scarcely to breathe" and "I could not even satisfy myself whether or not she breathed" in IX.6-8.
Might Weena be the only Eloi in her community who is intelligent enough to care about naming herself? Alternatively, perhaps Weena is the only one smart enough to pick one name and stick with it her entire life, while other Eloi are less consistent in their use of name-like sound patterns.
To what extent could Weena be representative of an Eloi raised in an "ideal" environment (present-day technology, with no psychoactive drugs and no Morlocks)? The mutation hypothesis shouldn't matter much under the stipulation that the drugs are avoided. See the talk page, though the actual content of the discussion may eventually go elsewhere.