By: Beth Ann Grimes, Mike Smith, and Maxwell Whitney
Paul A. Cantor, born in 1945, graduated from Harvard and currently teaches at the University of Virginia
Peter is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he worked with Paul A Cantor on the Article “The Empire of the Future: Imperialism and Modernism in H.G. Wells”
H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines and She H.G. Wells The Time Machine
H.G. Wells The Time Machine uses ideas such as Disraeli's “Two Nations,” the imperial frontier, and the idea of time travel that were based on the imperialistic narratives of the mid-1880's.
The “Two Nations” theory came about when Disraeli looked at the difference between the rich and the poor in Victorian England
In Haggard's and H.G. Wells novels, the “Two Nations” theory is portrayed through two tribes Haggard's portrayal of the two tribes is the British explorers and the African Natives The British explorers are more modernistic believing in the rule of law, and the European rule The African natives lean towards the rule of priests and witches
In Wells The Time Machine, the two tribes are portrayed by the Eloi and the Morlocks The Eloi are peaceful, docile, and friendly, where as the Morlocks are primitive (ape-like), evil, and cannibalistic representing the good vs. evil
“They spent all their time in playing gently, in bathing in the river, in making love in a half- playful manner fashion, in eating fruit and sleeping” (Wells qtd. In “Empire of the Future”)
The Morlocks are portrayed as the evil tribe that needs to be conquered by man because it cannot be trusted The evil tribe was commonly attributed as being cannibalistic, such as the Morlocks
The heros within Haggard's novels, the British explorers, are seen into the past into a backward land The British explorers meet up with African natives who are primitive in their ways. The explorers are holding onto the science and technology as well as principles of modern politics. Whereas the African natives are using magic and superstition as well as following the old regime
In The Time Machine, Wells uses the ideas of Einstein and Minkowski to show there is a fourth dimension- Time “Time is only a kind of space” (qtd. In “Empire of the Future)
In Haggard's novels, his heros travel into the past, but instead Wells decides to travel into the future, showing the imperial frontier of the future
In The Time Machine, Wells is bringing the Imperial Frontier to Britain In order to do this, Wells gives the future a tropical climate believing that the “Golden Age” life would come about due to the warm, tropical climate
“The many orientalizing touches touches in The Time Machine combine to portray a Britian that has in effect gone native, that has succumbed to the seductive forces it hoped to subdue on the imperial frontier” (Cantor and Hufnagel 236)
In the end of The Time Machine, Wells portrays the setting sun, showing that one day, the sun would finally set on the British Empire
Throughout the article, Cantor and Hufnagel show how Wells was bringing about the imperial frontier using the imperialistic narrative style that was quite popular in that time period.
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