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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #11

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I don't think that the Morlocks should be considered heroes though. They are quite as degenerate as the Eloi, and apparently have lost the capability of supporting a higher culture. Nowhere is there any mention of Morlock art or scientific inquiry; they seem to be only somewhat more intelligent than their livestock.
The Morlocks do create and manufacture though, so should we consider culture only in terms of its art or science?
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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:39 AM   #12

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I remember a mention the Morlocks evolved from miners, hence they live underground. And the wealthy had servants to do everything for them, such as prepare food, so lost the ability to do this, hence the Eloi need feeding.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #13

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The Morlocks do create and manufacture though, so should we consider culture only in terms of its art or science?
Please note that I said "higher culture." I don't deny that the Morlocks have a culture. For that matter, so do the Eloi. However, the Morlocks seem content to maintain the ancient machinery and harvest their relatives. There is no sign that they have any real interest in the universe. I would describe both species as ignoble.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #14

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The student of Darwin's Bulldog Thomas Huxley and a member of the Fabian Society combines these two elements in a book that satirises the idol aristocracy by turning them into the food of the working classes thanks to evolution.

He's making a point about evolution which still wounld'nt have been widely accepted back then and his socialist politics. He also alledgedly anticipates WWII and poses the philosophical dilemma, are we evolving? Something still not solved today.
From Chapter 5:

'But people, unfamiliar with such speculations as those of the younger Darwin, forget that the planets must ultimately fall back one by one into the parent body.'
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Old February 20th, 2011, 01:11 PM   #15

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Why a white Sphinx? What does it represent? Is it a mythical reference to the fact that the Traveler is in the "three-legged" stage of humanity and that there is a riddle or quandry to be solved, or is it something more allegorical, and if so, what?
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Old February 20th, 2011, 04:11 PM   #16

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Why a white Sphinx? What does it represent? Is it a mythical reference to the fact that the Traveler is in the "three-legged" stage of humanity and that there is a riddle or quandry to be solved, or is it something more allegorical, and if so, what?
White or pale = drained of blood, deathly. Wells also describes the Sphinx as "leprous." So the coloration I think indicates degeneration and decay. As for why a sphinx in particular, I think your reference to the Riddle of the Sphinx is probably appropriate, though just as the Sphinx in the story has started to fall apart, the human species as the Time Traveller knew it no longer exists. We've moved beyond the "travels on three legs" stage I think. There is also the fact that the Egyptian Sphinx is a sort of guardian of tombs. So the White Sphinx guards the tomb of the human species which exists no longer...

All of the above is trite and contains no real insight I think, but nobody else had bothered to reply. And what the hell, Wells may have meant nothing more than what I gleaned.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #17

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A major theme of the book is the need for struggle in our lives to give it depth and meaning.

The Eloi are the logical end to the Industrial Revolution that HG Well witnesses in the 19th century. All the problems of Mankind finally resolved. Abundant food, no disease, no need for families to raise children. Everything is finally easy.
And it's made us shallow and boring. Are we already halfway there?

Another series of books, Micheal Morecock's "Dancers at the End of Time", also deals with this theme, with very deliberate links to this book. In his books the distant future is all massive parties and self gratification. A bit more optimistic of a future.

Another book... Ka, by Roberto Calasso. This is a collection of ancient Hindu myths. I remember a passage where god decided that his immortal children had become boring with endless abstract discussion. So he invented Sex and Death to give them something to fight over.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 12:15 PM   #18

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White or pale = drained of blood, deathly. Wells also describes the Sphinx as "leprous." So the coloration I think indicates degeneration and decay. As for why a sphinx in particular, I think your reference to the Riddle of the Sphinx is probably appropriate, though just as the Sphinx in the story has started to fall apart, the human species as the Time Traveller knew it no longer exists. We've moved beyond the "travels on three legs" stage I think. There is also the fact that the Egyptian Sphinx is a sort of guardian of tombs. So the White Sphinx guards the tomb of the human species which exists no longer...

All of the above is trite and contains no real insight I think, but nobody else had bothered to reply. And what the hell, Wells may have meant nothing more than what I gleaned.
I wouldn't say it was trite, it's plausible. My own interpretation would be that the Sphinx is a straightforward parallel of ancient myth except it embodies the riddle of the future. The ancient riddle was 'Which creature in the morning goes on four legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening upon three, and the more legs it has, the weaker it be?' The future riddle was: who are the Eloi and the Morlocks? The answer is the same in both the ancient and the modern: Man. As to why the sphinx is white ... who knows, perhaps it was the first colour that came to mind.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 01:42 AM   #19

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My favorite part's the ending, i.e., when he travels to the far future.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 02:19 PM   #20

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Definately a real despair there. I wonder if it was just Wells' way of saying, "All for naught?"
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