Presentation on theme: "Chelsea Clay, Alexa Erickson And Drew Brown The Logic of Fantasy: H.G. Wells and Science Fiction H. G. Wells, Star Begotten: a Biological Fantasia The."— Presentation transcript:
The Logic of Fantasy: H.G. Wells and Science Fiction H. G. Wells, Star Begotten: a Biological Fantasia The H. G. Wells Reader
Critical Essays on H. G. Wells Wells and Social Class Rethinking Wells Utopian and Anti- Utopian Logic: H. G. Wells and his Successors W. Warren Wagar H. G. Wells: Traversing Time John Partington, ed. TheWellsian: Selected Essays on Wells John Hammond, The Time Machine: A Reference Guide
Poor living/working conditions. a. Women worked as house keepers b. Men had unskilled jobs c. Children had to work long days in the factories No education. The whole family worked. No entertainment.
Preformed clean labor: Banking, Engineering, Shop Keeping and other professional educated jobs. Education was open to anyone of this social strata. Had entertainment. a. Men mostly played cards and gambled. b. Women would go to different social groups or clubs.
Usually didn’t have to work all their money was inherited or gained from investments. Although they didn’t have to work they were well educated. Their whole lives revolved around entertainment. a. Parties b. Social gatherings c. Plays/concerts
Wells was the second major English Novelist, after Dickens, that came from the lower middle class. Although it was not noticed right away it has proved that social standings played a large part in the life of H.G. Wells. “The Time Machine is an important book because it manages to voice Wells‘ social aspirations and his deep social angers, while still maintaining the decorum required for its author to become a successful writer. It is an intricate stylistic feat, not to be accomplished in a single try.” (Huntington, 222). On page 14 in the novel is the first reference to social classes. It says that the Time Traveler “hated to have servants waiting at dinner.” This proves that the Time Traveler had a social conscience before doing his time traveling and seeing the way social classes interacted when meeting the Morlocks and Eloi.
Like it was said on page 14 in the novel, Wells has a strong opinion of unhappiness on servant and master relationships, but “accepts the privileges of the master position. According to Huntington, the normal person of our time would see that the two ideas contradict, but as we look in the past and how the times have changed people during 1895 took their servant for granted. To Wells rising in class was important and thought of to be necessary because of his upbringing. This same idea is modeled through the Time Traveler. Because Wells’ opinion is so strongly portrayed through the Time Traveler their idea of how servants should be handled is so similar. Therefore you see the relationship between the Morlocks and the Time Traveler as “hostile and complicated.”
“Vulgarity is a social crime not because it is false – quite the contrary! – but because those who employ it bluntly refuse to play the game.” (Huntington,224). The Time Machine, although controversial, avoided this vulgarity by ignoring class division. Although it was “ignored” it was still as looming issue between the Time Traveler and the way the Morlocks and Eloi were portrayed. The Morlocks were of the lower class by genealogy, but because Wells portrayed them symbolically the Morlocks did not immediately suggest a class style. The Eloi were the upper, more elegant class and that was clearly laid out in the novel. Because he criticizes the Eloi he makes it look as if the Time Traveler has similar feelings towards both groups. This makes The Time Machine as a novel less controversial. “The Time Machine, may explicitly raise the issue of class division and oppression, but it sanitizes it with an allegory of sorts. It does not commit the vulgarity of showing the lower classes as they are.” (Huntington, 225).
This did not come easily, which is shown in the different drafts of the book
The differnce in “The Chronic Argonauts” and “The Time Machine” and how Dr. Nedogipfel was more like a crazy scinceist. From his talk with Reverend Elijah we can feel his isolation. The time traveler wants to travel to learn.
Wells was very scared to bring up class struggle in his book. In the National Observer version he does not bring it up at all but in the New Review comes out and says what he meant.
Almost tires to cover up the class struggle by speaking from the head of a scientist. Bernard Loing said “ It is free from specific ideology, a prose the describes physical realities and immediate sensations. It conceals Wells’ deepest concerns while rendering a tale that speaks to them with power and an anger that he himself with publicly deny.”
Wells still has moments where he blurs what seem like clear formulations. He’s class criticism is deflected by his sympathy then he also keeps switching from class to speceis.
“success as a writer means becoming a member of the dominant class he condemns, and it is important to his conception of success that the social structure, so offensive at one level, remain in place so that he can secure his “place” in it….”