The Time Machine: Class Conflict in the Victorian Period Essay

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For many years, the well-known novelist, H.G. Wells has captivated the minds and imaginations of readers with his multiple best-selling books; The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The War of the Worlds. These selections however are not Wells’ most controversial novel. The Time Machine, written in 1895, is Wells’ most talked about work. Multiple different themes and various sides are seen to be taken within this novel, one of these main themes being the separation of classes. While the Morlock’s and the Eloi, in H.G. Wells’ novel; The Time Machine, play an extremely important role in distinguishing the future for this book, one has reason to believe that there is a broader underlying meaning for these two types of…show more content…
The lower class, also known as the “working class”, were those individuals whom partook on the strenuous and dangerous jobs. These individuals were expected to work each and every day for multiple hours as a time and without a break. Although they worked extremely hard, the lower class was not paid well for their effort. Instead, they received the very minimum wage that one could, and were expected to live off of this (Allingham, 2002). Because the people of this class did not have as much money, their material items such as; housing, clothing, and food were very minimum. Even with the small amount of income that they received, the “lower section of the society was also burdened with numerous taxes that made their life miserable.” (Bishal, 2008) Lastly, the working classes remained shut out from the political process, making these individuals in reality separated from the rest of society (Allingham, 2002). The next class during the Victorian Era was known as the middle class. This was the class to which novelist H.G. Wells was a part of. The middle class consisted of factory owners, lawyers, engineers, merchants, traders and other professionals (Bishal, 2008). While the individuals within this class received more money and more rights as citizens, they were still considered to be of no importance compared to those of the higher class. The most privileged of the three classes was the “Aristocracy” or high class. Those of

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