important motivator in middle-class top-down reformist socialism as exemplified by the likes of the Fabian society: the introduction of reforms was as important to head off revolutionary sentiment as it was to improve the welfare of the working classes. A distinctly conservative form of socialism, no doubt, but preferable to many of the time than communism. The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had been published in 1848, ten years before The Origin of Species. The introduction begins with the words, "A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of communism," a deliberate provocation towards the powers of capitalism. The figures of the Morlocks are spectre-like, pallid ghost creatures that, when they do reveal themselves, disgust and frighten the Time Traveller. Even if, as the critic Samuel Hynes writes, 'the best representation of [the lower classes] is not... realistic: it is Wells's description of the Morlocks,' it is hardly a flattering portrait. (For more on this see Sample Questions).

It is, however, a mistake to assume that the views of the Time Traveller are exactly those of Wells. We know from the Epilogue that the story's Narrator remains more optimistic than the Time Traveller about the future. And though Wells was no communist, he does allow the Time Traveller to entertain the notion of communism favourably. When discussing the potential uses of a time machine, the Very Young man remarks, "Just think! One might invest all one's money, leave it to accumulate, and hurry ahead." To which the Time Traveller replies, "To discover a society erected on a strictly communistic basis." And when he does arrive in the future, he finds that all living is communal: "there were no small houses to be seen. Apparently, the single house, and possibly even the household, had vanished... 'Communism,' I said to myself."

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