• SumoMe

I recently finished The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, and much like the last BFM, the story is one that a lot of people generally know, but have not read the original novel. The Time Machine is an outstanding and quick read, as I read it in two sittings over 4 hours because the text pulls you in from the very start. Almost the entire novel is told from the point of view of the unnamed time traveler, who is recounting his adventure to the year 802,701 C.E.

Without spoiling the adventure, the time traveler loses his machine and gets into some trouble trying to recover it. My absolute favorite part of the book comes near the end, when he travels 30 million years ahead and describes the world as it nears the sun. The imagination of H.G. Wells is absolutely unrivaled.

The book raises some intriguing questions about man’s place and purpose in time. The time traveler meets some unusual “people” in the future, and places his own generation’s framework of understanding onto the time period he’s in (as this is all anyone can reasonably do). He forms a general narrative of the world around him and acts accordingly–although there’s no real proof that what he thinks is happening is actually what’s happening (it makes more sense if you read the book–I don’t want to give anything away).

As such, reading this novel made me ask myself if my understanding of the world is the most accurate, or if there is another way to view things. Obviously, there are multiple ways to view a singular or series of events (ask a hung jury). What’s important is to ask is if your understanding of (and actions in accordance with) the events around you is the most accurate telling of social structures, institutions, individual roles, governmental presence, and so on.

Answering this question requires study and education, as well as conversations with those whose opinions differ from yours. We should all strive to have a wide array of knowledge, and much like the time traveler apply this knowledge accordingly while acting in line with our understanding. Living otherwise would is not only mildly hypocritical, but in the aggregate leads to chaos and disorder of ourselves and society.

The Time Machine is a great read that I highly recommend to anyone interested in science fiction, adventure, classic literature, or great storytelling.