Four Essay, Research Paper
?The Time Machine? by H.G. Wells and ?Nineteen Eighty Four? are two excellent science-fiction novels which explore and give to different views of the future. Both of the Novels look at the future in different ways because of different social attitudes and structures but both still have the same view of human nature and what it may lead to.
Written and based in the nineteenth century, ?The Time Machine? explores the Fourth Dimension of space. The protagonist, who is referred to as ?The Time Traveller? by the narrator, invents a machine that can transport him through time. The narrator, who is present at the ?Time Traveller?s? dinners, retells the ?Time Travellers story? of his adventure through time. Telling his wonderful story of travel through eras, we learn about ?The Time Traveller?s? adventures in the year 802,701 and what has happened to the human race. At first this new world seems perfect and it is inhabited by a wonderfully peaceful and caring race that is assumed to be advanced humans, the Eloi, but as the book progresses a new sinister and ugly race emerges from underground, the Morlocks. ?The Time Traveller? explains about how he had lost his time machine to the Morlocks and his great journey to try and retrieve his machine and return to modern day.
Nineteen Eighty Four was written in 1948 and takes place in a fictional totalitarian society of the future. The story begins in London on April 4, 1984. London is the capital of Oceania which is run by INGSOC. The government is called “The Party? and the main leader of it is called ?Big Brother? who is always watching your every move. Winston Smith works for the government altering history at the Ministry of Truth. He begins to wonder why life is so bad and tries to break out of ?Big Brother?s? tight regime. He falls in love with Julia, and is taken in by a man named O’Brien, who Winston thinks is a member of the anti-party society called the Brotherhood. Winston and Julia, with the help of O?Brien, find secluded locations where they can meet away from the praying eye of ?Big Brother?. When O’Brien turns out to be a member of The Inner Party, Winston and Julia are captured and hauled off to the Ministry of Love. Here, Winston is imprisoned and rehabilitated by The Party in Room 101. O?Brien tries to break down Winston by convincing him he is crazy, he uses Winston?s worst fears against him to grind him down and make him betray his vow to Julia.
H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent. His father was a shop keeper and a professional cricket player before he broke his leg. In his early childhood Wells developed a love for literature. His mother served from time to time as a housekeeper at the nearby estate of Uppark, and young Wells secretly studied books in the library. In 1883 Wells became a teacher/pupil at Midhurst Grammar School. He obtained scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London. However his interest faltered and in 1887 he left without a degree. He left and taught at private schools and began to write. Wells? debut book was ?The Time Machine?; much of this story?s realistic atmosphere was created using his extensive knowledge of technical detail.
George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) was born in Bengal in 1903. He was educated in a south coast preparatory school and then at Eton. From 1922 to 1927 he served in the Indian Imperial Police but he soon became dissatisfied as this role offended his conscience and he left Burma to go to Paris. From 1929 he took a series of poorly paid jobs. About this time he became a professed socialist, and the rest of his life was largely spent in defending and propagating what he considered to be true democratic socialism against its perversions. In 1943 Orwell joined the staff of Tribune, contributing a regular page of political and literary comment. Many of Orwell?s book looked deeply at totalitarian regimes. His last book, ?Nineteen Eighty-Four? was one of these books. It warned people of what may be to come in the future if politics were not to change. Orwell died in January 1950.
H.G. Wells clearly establishes his 19th century view of the future in the opening pages of his book. When The Time Traveller reaches the year 802,701 the description we get from him is that of a calm place with the most beautiful large structures:
?It was of white marble, in shape something like a winged sphinx.?
The future that H.G. Wells sees for the earth and London is very different to the London of the 19th century although there are some similarities. In 1895 when ?The Time Machine? was first published one of the main ways of measuring how technologically advanced a race or species were was to look at the physical attributes they had such as buildings or structures as there were no electrical goods invented at the time. One of the first things mentioned in The Time Traveller?s description of the future is that of the sphinx.
In the opening of ?Nineteen Eighty-Four? it is clear that the 20th century view of the future is a more of a technologically advanced race:
?The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously.?
Instantly the reader gets a sense that the future painted by George Orwell is that of a race that has advanced in electrical ways much similar to the way the world was going when he wrote ?Nineteen Eighty-Four? and George Orwell has created new pieces of technology which he sees will be a key for the running of a totalitarian state of the future.
Both of the main protagonists of the novels are very daring, do not fear much and push the barriers of fear to try and achieve what they can:
?I suppose a suicide who holds a pistol to his skull feels much the same wonder at what will come next as I felt then.?
Not knowing what was going to face him and whether or not he would live or return to his home again, The Time Traveller faced his fears and fought his way to try and achieve his ultimate goal in life by going into the future. All his possible fears were all wrapped into one and he had no idea what was to face him at the other end of his journey yet he pulled his way through. After his time machine was stolen The Time Traveller faced his worse fears in the new world again, the Morlocks:
?I was roused by a soft hand touching my face. Staring up in the darkness I snatched up at my matches and hastily lit one.?
Throughout the whole book it is clear that the Time Traveller strives to beat his fears to reach new goals, he is truly a pioneer of his time and is clearly a role model for people of the 19th century. Without his immense courage he would not have dared to go where no one had dared, he would not have found his time machine and he would not have discovered the deep secrets of the future.
As in ?The Time Machine? the main protagonist of ?Nineteen Eighty Four?, Winston, is always facing his worst fears and living on the edge:
?O?Brien would twist the dial again. And yet he could not keep silent.?
Even whilst under great torture Winston fought to keep his dignity and to stand for what he believed in, with even the worst things imaginable being done to his body. It was important to Winston to fight for what he believed in and to try to make the world a better place and bring what he could of the party down. Eventually, when faced his worse fear, rats, he gave into the immense pressure and torture being placed upon his body:
?Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not Me! I don?t care what you do to her.?
His spirit had been broken and he was no longer the renegade rebel fighting on behalf of the world against INGSOC. Now he was just another individual who believed all that the party told him without a single shadow of a doubt. It proves what can be achieved by using the worst fears of a person; it crushed the rebel in Winston:
?Anything that hinted at corruption always filled him with wild hope.?
Winston had once been a healthy young and strong man with ideas of freedom for everyone. Feeding on the fear of being caught, Winston got up to lots of things against the party and wanted them to fall.
In both books the main protagonists strive to complete their aims and face some of their worst fears in trying. The Time Traveller was subjected to more physical fears to bring him down which would have been a more common punishment at the time the book was written, whereas Winston had fears to grind down his mind until it was nothing but a mush that the party could sculpt into any shape that they wished to.
The Time Traveller?s partner in ?The Time Machine? is an Eloi named Weena which he had saved towards the beginning of the story and they form quite a tight friendship:
?Taking Weena like a child upon my shoulder?
The relationship was more like father and daughter or older and brother and sister than that of a couple or man and wife. Throughout the novel The Time Traveller looks out for Weena and makes sure she is alright much like a father would, although at times in the book The Time Traveller does seem to have some feelings towards her although it is more likely to be that of pity than that of a sexual nature.
In comparison there is a much more heated relationship in ?Nineteen Eighty-Four? between Winston and Julia:
?She flung herself into his arms, kissed him violently?
Although the affair these to have seems to be a purely sex it actually is more than that. Winston enjoys the fact that Julia is also against the party and he enjoys the fact that she has had sexual encounters with many other members of the party. He enjoys the fact that the party can be corrupted and likes to hear about things that may lead to its demise. Julia also agrees with him and she is also an emotional outlet for him. What they did is strictly against the party rules and he enjoys the fact that he is rebelling as he can not take anymore of the shell of the world the party has made.
In Nineteen Eighty- Four there is definite separation of people within the party all answer to each other until you get to the top, Big Brother. This is very similar to the sort of system which was implied by Hitler during World War II. Using the INGSOC and Big Brother, Orwell tries to give a warning to everyone that in the future there could be other evil parties with a dictator for a leader. INGSOC makes Big Brother a symbol of the party and he does not in fact exist. He is used as a symbol for them as it is harder to bring down something that does not exist than an actual person. ?The Time Machine? has two races in its future. Until quite far into the book the two races seems unlinked but towards the end it becomes apparent that they are both descendants of humans, there is then a sinister twist when it is discovered that the horrible and unpleasant Morlocks farm the harmless and beautiful Elois. Wells uses this to get the reader thinking about the way humans could end up (like the Morlocks) but the way humans could be (happy and worry free, like the Elois).Both of these books serve as a warning to the entire human race of the way humans could end up and that things need to change.
Correct and standard English is the basis of the language of ?The Time Machine?:
?There is no difference between Time and any of the three dimensions of Space except that our consciousness moves along it?
The majority of the language used is that of the Time Traveller conveying his journey to the on listening dinner guests. To be able to invent such an incredible machine would mean that the Time Traveller was clearly well educated. Many of the guests around his table are also well educated and hold quite senior positions in his town so it is expected by the time Traveller that they will easily be able to keep up with his use of correct English and his use of very technical words concerning his invention. He also uses a great amount of enthusiasm in his talks and uses vivid words to really bring his story alive. In comparison, whilst he is talking to the Eloi he uses many similar words and phrases due to the lower intelligences he perceives they have.
However, in ?Nineteen Eighty-Four? the language used is different due to the two different periods the books were set:
?It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger and trouble?
Throughout the book similar language to this is used, it helps to build the atmosphere of the world Winston is in. The language is very technical but quite boring, like the world which is all very technical and advanced but it is boring. It makes the world seem like a robot or a computer where everything is pre-programmed. H.G. Wells uses language to bring the book alive and to help keep the reader interested whereas Orwell uses it to add to atmosphere and to help describe the future. The language that INGSOC tried to impose the minimalist language of Newspeak onto the people of Oceania. Newspeak was a language of minimal amount of words which the government used as a sort of censorship. It was the ultimate censorship, controlling the words which people spoke. Since the book was written some of the words used in Newspeak have been incorporated into the English language e.g. ?Doublespeak? and sayings like ?ignorance is bliss?.
An essential part of any story whether it be a novel or a film is the use of tension, and both these books use it to add to the atmosphere of the novel and keeps the reader on the edge of their seats. George Orwell uses it to make the reader want to know what will happen next:
?He did not know where he was. Presumably he was in the Ministry of Love, but there was no way of making certain. He was in a high ceiling windowless cell with walls of glittering white porcelain.?
The use of suspense helps add to the tense atmosphere. Not knowing what is happening makes lots of different ideas and theories rushing through the readers mind. Where is he, what is he doing there, will he ever get out of there. Its use encourages the reader to think about what is going on in the book and what is going to happen. With this tension, it makes the reader want to carry on and find out all the answers to the questions and adds excitement and a new depth to the book.
In ?The Time Machine? H.G. Wells uses it to make the readers think about what the new and wonderful world maybe like:
?A colossal figure loomed indistinctively beyond the rhododendrons through the hazy downpour. But all else of the world was invisible?
Instantly the reader wants to know more about this new place and what is going to happen to The Time Traveller. It helps spark interest early on in the book and helps create a tense atmosphere. Without it, the novel would be dull and dreary and the tension just helps add to the excitement.
In the opening scenes of ?Nineteen Eighty-Four? George Orwell uses pathetic fallacy to help get his view of the future to come across:
?His chin nuzzled in his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind?
The use of weather helps to describe the mood of the time very early on in the book and helps with the understanding of the new place that the reader would never have visited. In this case it tells us that it is a generally a very cold, bleak and unpleasant place with the wind being Big Brother and his government blowing at you trying to break you down.
Using pathetic fallacy helps H.G. Wells to get across the calmness and idyllic state of the upper world the Elois live in:
?Above me, in the intense blue of the summer sky, some faint brown shreds of cloud whirled into nothing.?
Summers and blue skies will usually provoke happy memories in the readers mind and helps to bring across the tranquillity of the new place The Time Traveller has come across. The brown shreds of cloud which whirl into nothing represent his fears of this new place and they are disappearing just like his trepidation.
Both of these books are pioneers in the world of science fiction writing and have been hailed as 2 of the best books of all time. Their futuristic tales of mankind can serve as a warning for everyone of what could come if humans carry on the way they are. Orwell warns of an evil corrupt government taking control and running peoples lives for them which was very relevant to the time it was written, just 3 years after the war and Hitler and the Nazi party?s demise. H.G. Wells looks at the more physical aspects of human life and how people are always taking. It is a warning that humans could end up like the horrible underground living race but it is still possible to change and become a care free beautiful race. Each of these books tackle touch points of human culture and want to help change people for the better.