User:Eighty5cacao/misc/WMG dump/The Time Machine

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This page is about fan theories based on the novel by H. G. Wells. For theories based exclusively on adaptations of the novel, see User:Eighty5cacao/misc/WMG dump § The Time Machine (adaptations).
WMG This article contains wild mass guessing, or original research about the settings, characters, or events in a work of fiction.

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Speciation event

Morlocks and light

Exactly to what extent is light injurious to Morlocks? (Specifically: What light intensity is needed to trigger significant injury? Over what time scale is it fatal? What organ/system suffers the most damage? Chapter 7 mentions a conversation between the Traveller and Weena which suggests that the Morlocks find the light of a full moon uncomfortable, but it is not yet known what level is injurious.)


On the Wikia wiki for The Time Machine, someone mentioned that The Time Machine: A Sequel assumes the existence of some telepathic abilities in the Eloi. So does Time Kid, though it isn't truly a retelling of TTM in that it alters the names and ways of life of the species descended from H. sapiens.

There is little canonical support for such an interpretation, with one exception: In paragraph 26 of chapter 5, the Traveller says:

I had been restless, dreaming most disagreeably that I was drowned, and that sea anemones were feeling over my face with their soft palps.

The "sea anemones" are evidently a response to the Morlocks walking past him; what's relevant here is the imagery of drowning. Could it imply some psychic resonance from Weena about her impending drowning?

If we discard the assumption that the Eloi are relatively unintelligent compared to present-day H. sapiens, the existence of telepathy could explain why the spoken Eloi language is so simple and why there is no written form. I'm unwilling to take this step, though, as it would leave no obvious reason for Weena's nonuse of said telepathy after her rescue.

My guess on the physical basis of such telepathy: The time machine was built using a mineral with a physico-chemical property unknown to real-world science, such as hypersteric hindrance. Over a few hundred thousand years, the course of the nearby rivers changed just enough to run through a deposit (former mine?) of said mineral, allowing it to leach into the water. The chemical's temporal properties manifest in a biological system as various forms of ESP.

Even if an individual Eloi doesn't have much brainpower, it's possible that a community could exhibit more complex behavior while communicating telepathically. However, considering the Eloi behavior displayed in the novel, this argues against the existence of telepathy in that time and place. (On the other hand, what if the Eloi were deliberately playing dumb to hide something? TODO: Define "something." Consider the year 4004 as described in The Time Machine: A Sequel; additional discussion ("...there may be more to the Eloi than we can see..."))

And even if there is no real telepathy, the Eloi might have nonverbal communication skills good enough to look like telepathy to an outside observer, as mentioned on Cracked.

Is it possible that the Morlocks also have telepathic abilities and are using them to suppress certain cognitive functions in the Eloi? IIRC a similar idea was proposed during the development of the 2002 film, but most of the exposition didn't make the cut.

Naming conventions (review)

TODO: Clean up - keep the "review" of prior discussion as concise as possible

When I said that the Eloi "name themselves," I meant that literally, as opposed to an Eloi child being named by his or her parents. Since Eloi parents form no lasting social bonds with their children, they would not take up the responsibility of naming. Tepples mentioned "Lady Mondegreen In Universe" in the context of the Traveller discovering Weena's name. I believe it also applies to the way Eloi children name themselves: they observe bits and pieces of nearby adults' speech and adopt as a name whatever combination of syllables sounds good.

Similarly, Eloi naming could have used matronymics in an earlier time when allomothering was not yet common but the conveniences of modern society were already gone. (Patronymics are less likely because the child would spend less time with the biological father than with the biological mother. Also, this is unlikely to persist to the time of the novel, when two-part names have fallen into disuse.)

See also


Language and culture