A timeless story, old and new.
No, not a review of H. G. Wells book of the title, though inspired by it. A previous post also inspired by The Time Machine is here.
As the time traveller in the book is unnamed, I have adopted the name George for him, as used in the 1960 film The time Machine.
When our time traveller George arrives in the year 802,701 his first impression is of a kind of future Eden. An impression soon dispelled. But what did the people of the time, the Eloi think of George?
The Eloi were, even by today’s concept, a primitive people. Humanity had apparently regressed even though they were so fare into the future. They had lost or abandoned the accumulated knowledge of history. There seemed to be no technology, no weapons. a peaceful race, at least on the surface.
What would this seemingly primitive people think of our time traveller, George?
Maybe they would consider to be a harmless eccentric, with strange ideas and clothes not quite fitting in with their society. A bit like Jesus in biblical times, not quite fitting in with society.
The Eloi people had, apparently, no knowledge or concept of Jesus but I think it might be possible that George presented a Jesus like figure to them in some ways.
George came amongst them with what to them would be radical, new ideas and thoughts. He upset the established order. Became, in a way, their protector or perhaps ‘Good shepherd’. He was a teacher. The time traveller was able to perform what, to their eyes, might seem like miracles; the Eloi people had not seen matches before to light a fire.
The peaceful Eloi were under the malignant domination of the Morlocks, an underground race feeding on the Eloi treating them like cattle, a source of food and forced labour. Like Jesus tried to show the Israelites how to stand up to the Romans, occupying their land, and their own priests, the Pharisees, George tried to show the Eloi that they did not need to submit to the Morlocks.
Might this portrayal of the time traveller as such a figure by H. G. Wells have been deliberate? Was Wells’ choice of name for the Eloi people chosen from the words Jesus is heard to have said at his crucifixion?