literature, aspirations, even the mere memory of Man as I knew him, had been swept out of existence." Wells is making the point that human history may have a long span, but it is little compared to evolutionary time, which is a fraction of geological time, which is a tiny slice of universal time. Also, whilst the Time Traveller does make mention of the "State" and implies an ideology of quasi-communism amongst the Eloi, there is clearly little vestige of a political system or intellectual framework left to these future-men: any ideology has become fixed by evolution as biological instinct. The idea of social behaviour as a biological trait was picked up by the Social Darwinists, and today this baton of human social behaviour as an innate product of evolution has been passed to the field of socio-biology. Indeed a perception of socio- biology as the natural successor to Social Darwinism has done little to help its image within the social sciences. (See Further Reading).

It can be difficult to appreciate the strength of Wells' 'prediction' given that, thanks to its fame, the final revelation of the true nature of society in 802,701 is generally known before the book is approached. The Time Traveller takes some time to reveal the full picture, but the final conclusion is reached through a process of increasingly pessimistic theories about the state of man. And he leaves clues to the potential trouble in paradise. No sooner has he suspected that mankind might be united by a common passion, he speculates, "what if in this interval the race had lost its manliness, and had developed into something inhuman, unsympathetic, and overwhelmingly powerful?" And, as an Eloi seems to think that the Time Traveller came from the sun in the thunderstorm, he quickly realises that the Eloi are not geniuses he might have hoped for: "were these creatures fools?... I had always anticipated that the people of the year Eight Hundred and Two Thousand odd would be incredibly in front of us in knowledge, art, everything. Then one of them suddenly asked me a question that showed him to be on the intellectual level of one of our five year-old children... A flow of disappointment rushed across my mind. For a moment I felt that I had built the Time Machine in vain." And then on discovering the presence of the Morlocks his preconceptions are knocked again: "The great triumph of Humanity I had dreamed of took a different shape in my mind. It had been no such triumph of moral education and general co-operation as I had imagined. Instead, I saw a real aristocracy, armed with a perfected science and working to a logical conclusion the industrial system of today. Its triumph had not been simply a triumph over Nature, but a triumph over Nature and the fellow-man." But of course, even this is not the full reality of the horror that awaits man.

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