Using Critical Race Theory, close read The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
Resource: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells https://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/wells/timemach/timemach.pdf
Differentiate the following literary genres: science fiction, fantasy, myth, and utopia?
Is time travel/temporal relocation science or science fiction?
Resource: Dr. Ronald Mallett https://www.nbcnews.com/leftfield/video/time-travel-this-physicist-wants-to-build-a-time-machine-1261960259539
Characteristics of the Victorian time period, Industrial Revolution, determinism, imperialism, and colonialism
Provide basic concept information of the evolutionary work of Charles Darwin, On the Origin of the Species and development of Social Darwinism and eugenics.
Discuss the elements of the story such as characterization (of Weena, Eloi and Morlocks), setting (time period when novel takes place--incorporation of then current ideologies of the time), point of view (who is telling the story), conflict (cause and effect of societal actions on the future as perceived by the Time Traveler), plot (what are the major events that occur within the story?), and theme
- Record in Individual Journal
How may a writer include aspects of his time period in a literary text?
- Cite evidence from the text and record in Individual Journal
Students are to analyze and respond to the following excerpts to generate evidence to support the tenets of a Critical Race Theory analysis of the text.
Guiding questions for Chapters 1-5:
- How is race (gender) used to depict a hierarchy within the future race?
- White males as possessors of knowledge and having access to knowledge, controllers/conductors of the course of society
- Savage or “Negroes” used as the base standard by which to judge level of depravity or ignorance
- Morlocks considered dark, sinister figures, known to lurk in the dark, dangerous, deviant development from the subterranean, servants to the Eloi
- Eloi, descendants of the white race, the Capitalists, access to money, controllers of property
- Female considered childlike, treated like a pet
- How was white privilege depicted in the Time Machine?
- Time Traveler surrounded by white men who have access to power and knowledge
- Strategic thinker for the group, Fighter, Protector, Leader and Rescuer of women
- Driven to master his environment (thrive and dominate) and determine his fate
- Both his world and “future world” are assessed from his frame of reference
- Where there any points of interest convergence?
- When Weena was endangered, Time Traveler sought to protect her from the Morlocks
- Was there a counter narrative?
- No, any oddities that countered his assessment of the Morlocks was minimized—i.e., the taking of or tinkering with the Time Machine, seen as insignificant, his location of the time machine was considered a surrender or a response to his battle victory
How is a civilized man “better off” than a savage?
What are the implications of being considered a savage for the Time Traveler?
How does the Time Traveler see himself in relationship to the creatures?
What is the standard of beauty?
Who or what do the creatures look like?
What exactly do you think the “pretty little people” inspire in the Time Traveler? Why?
Compare and contrast how the Time Traveler describes Weena to how someone describes a pet.
On what basis did the Time Traveler conclude that “the creatures were fools?” Respond to the Time Traveler’s assessment of the “creatures as fools?”
Explain the Time Traveler’s point of view as it relates to the role of hardship, security and freedom in our lives. On what basis would you support or not support such a position? How do these concepts relate to the civilized man?
What do you think of the Time Traveler’s assessment of family and the gender roles of the members?
How do you think this connected to what was happening in the author’s London? Industrial revolution and the effect on agrarianism? Population shift from the country to the city?
What is the Time Traveler’s reflections on evolution? Social Darwinism? Human intelligence?
Has the Time Traveler located a state of equality among the creatures? Or has he found a world where the “weak” are the “strong?”
Is the Time Traveler citing a progression of where and what will result based on where society places its energy?
Compare and contrast the future world of the imagination and the “real” world encountered by the Time Traveler? Are either Utopia?
What knowledge does the negro from Central Africa possess?
What is the Time Traveler’s societal role toward the “negro?”
Using the “Central African Negro” as a standard, where does the Time Traveler place this future race?
Review the 1960 and the 2002 movie versions of The Time Machine and record your CRT analysis in your individual journals.
What effect does the change in cast color for the Elois create in the storytelling of The Time Machine?
What effect did such casting have on the role of the Time Traveler? Analyze the cinematic techniques used to present white privilege and the “Other”
Did you notice any cultural shorthand references that were not observed in the earlier movie version?
Compare and contrast the effects on the role of Weena/Moira and her relationship with the Time Traveler in both the novel and the movies.
Did having a female lead of color change the relationship between the white male protagonist? Explain.
Resource: The Time Machine movie https://archive.org/details/TheTimeMachine1960
Rewrite Chapter 6 of the Time Traveler’s descent into the well from the perspective of Weena (sexism or intersection of racism and sexism) or the Morlocks (racism). Consider what aspects of CRT need to be examined in order to present a counternarrative of either Weena or the Morlocks (Race/sex, interest convergence, privileges exhibited by the Time Traveler and the group’s voice that the Time Traveler fails recognize).