Wells is considered to be one of the most successful writers in English
language that came up with internationally popular novels like “The Time
Machine” and “The Invisible Man”. His works made way for a new era in the world
of science fictions which inspired many movies, comics and other media
productions that used similar themes with different storylines. Wells’ works
allowed human imaginations to reach a completely different level as far as
scientific theories and fictions are taken into account. His works were not
only a great source of amusement but at the same time were food for thought
about various aspects of human nature.
It is empirical to keep in mind that as
far as science fiction novels are taken under consideration, Wells is one of
the very few writers who managed to skillfully present completely new ideas or
concepts. His works would overwhelm the readers and would take them to a
different level. In “The Time Machine” and “The Invisible Man”, the author
might have followed a general theme of science fiction, but at the same time,
he also focused on two different personalities and their philosophies and
values. Careful analysis of different chapters of the books makes it much
easier to understand (Johnson).
If we consider these two novels, the
first issue that comes into the mind is the genre. Both are science fictions
which depicts concepts that are not possible (at least in the present day and
age) to come into reality. These are the works of fiction which helps the
readers to understand how far human imaginations can actually go and the power
of their mind to think of ideas that are very much impossible to come into
existence in the current time but does opens new paths of possibility.
In general, one of the basic
similarities that worth mentioning about these two novels is that both focuses
on two distinct human fantasies that people may find extremely mind boggling
but at the same time possible to comprehend. Both are great sources of thrill that
is worth mentioning. The storylines of these novels are considered to be
timeless as till this day and age they still are read all over the world. New
ideas have surfaced from these storylines but by nature are considered to be
pure original (Priest).
While the genre of the novels might be
the same, the themes are very much different. The first one talk about a
machine that allows people to travel to a completely different time of the
past, something that allows the traveler to take a glimpse of the events that
are now in existence only in books (Wells). On the other hand, “The Invisible
Man” talks about the central character having the ability to make himself
completely invisible in front of other people, something that offers same
intensity in terms of thrill but focuses on a very different theme (Handcock).
If we consider the personality of both
central characters, we can see that Griffin, the central character from “the
Invisible Man” becomes highly frustrated when he finds himself completely
unable to come out of the state of invisibility. He commits violence out of
frustration. At the same time, his actions also give some hints about the fact
that there is an evil side of his mentality. On the other hand, the time
traveler is scientist who has devoted his life to science and whenever there is
some form of difficulty that he has to face, he deals with it with patience in
most of the times and tries to look out for a rational explanation (Wells).
Wells used a first person narrative
style in “The Time Machine” where the narrator is an unnamed guest. It allows
the audience to get closer to the writer as it may give an impression to them
that the writer might have seen the whole story with his own eyes and now
describing it for the readers. This is a form of personal connection which
helps the writer to get closer to his readers. “Face this world. Learn its ways,
watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will
find clues to it all.” (Wells). Here the author gives
hint about the hasty present and future and warns the readers about it. However,
in “The Invisible Man”, the writer adopted a third person narrative style. But
at the same time, he also skillfully used first person narrations when he
described things from the eyes of a speaker. “I had never realised it before, but the nose is to the mind of a dog
what the eye is to the mind of a seeing man. Dogs perceive the scent of a man
moving as men perceive his vision.” (Wells)
this may not create the same kind of feeling which is noticeable in “The Time
Machine” without any doubt, this different writing style is also quite
effectively used by Wells to express the story in detail to the audience (Jablonkski).
The use of two different approaches by the author shows us his ability to play
with different literary styles when it comes to creating the novels (McLean).
we focus on the theme of “The Time Machine”, we can see that in this story the
author focused on a broader platform. He shows the audience how the entire
human race is likely to evolve over a certain period of time. The
representation of two different types of human beings after hundreds of
thousands of years is very much overwhelming. To make it even more occupying,
the author talked about one kind actually feeding on the other for survival. “Nature never appeals to intelligence
until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is
no need of change.” (Wells). Here the author focused on the need of change
and transformation in times of desperation which reflects though this novel.
the other hand, the crisis in “The Invisible Man” is much more personal. Here
Griffin seems to be struggling to get a hold on his emotions after a series of
failed attempts to make himself visible again (Taunton). So this leaves a
strong sense of agony in his mind. This forces him to act violently. “I went over the heads of the things a man
reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it
made it impossible to enjoy them when they are got.” (Wells). In the novel,
Wells did not only focus on the scientific aspects but also shed lights on a
philosophical aspect of being invisible.
conclusion, it can be said that while the genre might be the same for the two
novels that were discussed here, it is undeniable that they present two
separate flavors. At the same time, they also present two very different kinds
of struggles that the audience would find overwhelming. This is a great example
of Wells’ skill of being innovative and very much imaginative with his literature.
Tarryn. Revelation and the Unseen in H. G. Wells’s The Invisible Man. 2013.
Web. January 16, 2018. Available at: http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/colloquy/files/2013/08/handcock.pdf
Brandon. Analysis of the Time Machine, H. G. Wells. Web. January 16, 2018.
Available at: https://freebooksummary.com/analysis-of-the-time-machine-h-g-wells-66902
Steven. The Early Fiction of H.G. Wells: Fantasies of Science, 71–72 (New York:
Palgrave Macmillan) 2009.
Nina. Skin: A Natural History (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of
California Press, 2006), 164–65.
Christopher. Introduction to The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells (London: Penguin Classics,
1897c; 2005), xviii-xxi.
Mathew. Class in The Time Machine. May 15, 2014. Web. January 16, 2018.
Available at: https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/class-in-the-time-machine
H. The Time Machine. 1895. Web. January 16, 2018. Available at: http://www.planetpdf.com/planetpdf/pdfs/free_ebooks/The_Time_Machine_NT.pdf
H. The Invisible Man. 1897. Web. January 16, 2018. Available at: http://cbseacademic.in/web_material/doc/novels/2_The%20Invisible%20Man,%20by%20H.%20G%20-%20Class%20-%20XII.pdf