D-503’s Animal Instincts

No! After everything that had happened, after I had unequivocally shown my feelings toward her!

Besides, she did not even know whether I had gone to the Office of the Guardians. After all, she had no way of knowing that I had been sick — well, that I generally could not…And despite all this…

A dynamo whirled, hummed in my head. Buddha, yellow silk, lillies of the valley, a rosy crescent… Oh yes, and this too: O was to visit me today. Ought I to show her the notice concerning I-330? I didn’t know. She would not believe (indeed, how could she?) that I’ve had nothing to do with it, that I was entirely…I was sure there was going to be a difficult, senseless, absolutely illogical conversation […]

I hurriedly stuffed the notice into my pocket — and suddenly saw this dreadful, apelike hand of mine. I recalled how I-330 had taken my hand that time, during the walk […]

And then it was a quarter to twenty-one.

[…]and all the shades dropped suddenly, in all the houses, and behind the shades…

A strange sensation: I felt as though my ribs were iron rods, constricting, definitely constricting my heart — there was not room enough for it.” (Record 9, page 40).

D-503’s attitude toward sex prior to meeting I-330 is the same attitude he holds toward any other biological function. As all things are in Zamayatin’s dystopian future, sex, what One State calls “lowering the shades,” is a highly regulated process in which one must seek permission and follow the proper protocol. D-503, ever loyal to One State, even rejects O in Record One when she makes her spontaneous desire known to him: “How funny she is. What could I say to her? She had been with me only the day before, and she knew — as I did — that our next sex day was the day after tomorrow.” To D-503, sexuality is just another primitive impulse the ancestors could not control. D-503 never takes notice of other Numbers lowering their blinds, but suddenly, as he heads to see I-330, he addresses the routine and even seems to be excited by it. As D-503 increasingly begins to address the sexuality of the other Numbers, he finds himself confronted by his own feelings of desire, which he quickly succumbs to in his encounter with I-330.

The sultry, iconoclastic I-330, is, for all intents and purposes, is what we “ancients” call a tease. The (deliberate) result of her seduction is a very “ill” D-503, who is deeply perturbed by the possibility that his forebears had perhaps not conquered the elemental force of love and reduced it to mathematical order by the Lex Sexualis. Under One State’s strictly systematized order, love and sex are not mere biological requirements, but tools of rebellion that can never be stamped out completely.

Blowing D-503’s Mind With Math

“Her brows make a sharp mocking triangle: “My dear, you are a mathematician. You’re even more, you’re a philosopher of mathematics. So do this for me: Tell me the final number.” / “The what? I…I don’t understand. What final number?” / “You know–the last one, the top, the absolute biggest.” / “But, I-330, that’s stupid. Since the number of numbers is infinite, how can there be a final one?” / “And how can there be a final revolution? There is no final one. The number of revolutions is infinite. The last one– that’s for children. Infinity frightens children, and it’s essential that children get a good night’s sleep….” (p. 168, Record 30)

I think this is one of the most clever passages in Zamyatin’s entire novel. After 29 Records filled with inner turmoil over developing a “soul” that doesn’t gel within the rules of OneState, D-503’s entire world is flipped by using the same language he’s hid behind. This conversation comes after D-503 has been exposed to ideas beyond OneState’s accepted worldview, but is still frustratingly on the fence about betraying his ‘perfect’ government. I-330’s tone here is like a parent telling her child Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy isn’t real. This is why her citing infinity is so effective. By this point in the book, we’ve established that OneState is a society where humans are Numbers, romantic sonnets are written about the union of 2+2, and people like D-503 see mathematical logic as more dependable than God or free thinking. Since no previous emotional appeal has fully converted D-503 out of the static universe he lives in, it takes the novel’s own obsession with numbers to give him an epiphany. I-330 comparing her revolution to infinity is a callback to D-503’s frustration with irrational numbers as a child. He’s forced to use his imagination to interpret an unanswerable question, thus his world is flipped upside down the minute he has to think as “Me” instead of “We” in terms he can grasp. After that, only removing his imagination could ever put D-503 –the ‘child’ told that OneState’s founding was the final revolution– back to sleep.

A Conspicuous Discrepancy

“Negro lips stretched, eyes bulging…. I, the real I, grabbed the other me, wild, hairy, panting, by the neck, and said to R: ‘Forgive me, for the Benefactor’s sake! I’m sick, no sleep, don’t know what’s wrong with me….’

The thick lips smiled fleetingly: ‘Yes, yes, I understand! I know all about that — theoretically, of course. Goodbye!’

From the door he bounced back like a black ball to the table and tossed a book onto it: ‘My latest. Meant to leave it and nearly forgot. Bye!’ (Wet B) Bounced out,” (Record 11, 63).

This turbulent moment in the text stood out because it is one of the first moments that incorporates any type of racial or ethnic categorization of the Numbers into the novel. While I recall the narrator describing R as “African” at another point in the story, the term Negro seems conspicuous, particularly when viewed against the uniform background of the Number’s society. Why would Zamyatin have the narrator include this type of racial categorization, and what are the implications of this considering the publication history first in English, but translated from Russian?

Upon close reading, another moment in this passage I would like to focus on is the use of “I” and “me” and how the first line becomes confusing with who is speaking and about whom. With the “Negro lips stretched” followed by an ellipse to “I, the real I, grabbed the other me,” Zamyatin blurs the line between R and D-503, since it would seem that the I is connected to the Negro lips, despite the fact that we know that R has thick “African” lips. Furthermore, we are confused by the “I” and the “me” and who is grabbing whom about the neck. At first, I thought that D-503 was grabbing R, but when I read it again this passage seems to describe the internal struggle between the narrator’s two emerging identities. It seems odd, then, that his rebellious self is described as “wild, hairy, [and] panting,” particularly when this description follows the introduction of “Negro lips stretched, eyes bulging.” Does this seem too racial a reading, or do you think it is appropriate?

Final note: I included that last little paragraph with the tossing of the book because the alliteration is spectacular! – and an appropriate representation of the poet in R.

 

D-503’s Introspection

“I became glass. I saw into myself, inside. There were two me’s. One me was the old me, D-503, Number D-503, and the other…the other used to just stick his hairy paws out of his shell, but now all of hum came out, the shell burst open, and the pieces were just about to fly in all directions…and then what?”

This particular section of We contributes to the internal conflict that D-503 is struggling with between renouncing his free will entirely to the OneState or to embrace his individuality and make his own choices. Over the past 10 records, we can notice a significant change in his mental processing; a shift away from the calculated conformity of the OneState towards autonomy in thoughts and feelings, which D-503 seems entirely uncomfortable with admitting. The language that Zamyatin decides to employ in this record is intentionally hyperbolical to contribute to D-503’s inner conflict and desire to distance himself from freethinking-thinking separate from that of the entirely totalitarian and despotic OneState, which would probably resulting in his death. He also uses this language to demonstrate the regret and shame he feels in choosing to drink with I-330. Example of this include the alcohol being called “green poison” (56), or saying that I-330’s arm “crept” (56) around him. Additionally, he struggles to go to sleep that night and appears to be a little little frantic, continuing to blame the “poison” (58) for his actions, claiming that he’s “done for” and “in no condition to fulfil [his] obligations to OneState”(58). D-503’s introspection allows readers to gain more of an understanding about the extent to which he fears the OneState, and how this is the primary force driving him into submission.

D503 As An Emergent Subject and Echo of the OneState

“The cheerful little crystal bell in my headboard dings 7:00 A.M.: time to get up. To the right and left through the glass walls I see something like my own self, my own room, my own clothes, my own movements, and all repeated a thousand times. It cheers you up: You see yourself as part of an immense, powerful, single thing” (33-34).

Part of what intrigues me so much of D503’s journey in We is his transformation as an emergent subject, beginning with identification and evolving to alienation. It is in this passage that we not only receive a visual of what it’s like to live within the glass walls of Zamyatin’s dystopia, but we are able to glean from D-503’s narration the voice of the government’s oppressive restraints on the attitudes and beliefs of each of the subjects. In D-503’s account, he assumes possession of each of the things he sees multiplied apartment after apartment, “my own self, my own room, my own clothes, my on movements,” (34). Ironically, it seems, none of these things are his in the first place. Each identified, be it his self, his room, his clothes, his movements, are shared not only between those he sees depicted directly in front of him, but among EVERYONE in the OneState. Additionally, in the conclusion of the quote, however, “you” is repeated, identifying the ideals that have brainwashed D-503. For D-503 to address his reader as “you” is to establish a relationship between himself and whoever is meant to be reading his entry. It appears, however, he does not really seem to be addressing his reader with his own thoughts at all, but rather reiterating ideas of the OneState which are no more his thoughts than any other number among him. The relationship is illusory: it is rather an echoing of OneState ideals disguised as genuinely felt opinions of D-503.

The Wavering Narrator

Strange-today I’ve been writing about the loftiest summits of human history, the whole time I’ve been breathing the purest mountain air of thought…but inside there is something cloudy, something spidery, something cross-shaped like that four-pawed X. Or is it my own paws bothering me, the fact that they’ve been in front of my eyes so long, these shaggy paws? I don’t like talking about them. I don’t like them. They’re a holdover from a savage era. Can it really be true that I contain…

(Record 5, Page 23)

This passage from Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We struck me as worthy of comment, for it is one of the first instances of the narrator’s wavering sense of self and thus, allegiance to OneState. Up until this point, the narrator identifies himself as a cog in the machine that is OneState; his work on the INTEGRAL and his written account all done on it’s behalf. In this passage, rather than account for the OneState, addressing those it wishes to educate/dominate upon the completion of the INTEGRAL, the narrator accounts/addresses himself. As if this act wasn’t treasonous enough, putting his own interests before the state’s, the subject matter of it is as well. In a confused, apprehensive tone, he describes “something spidery, something cross-shaped like that four-pawed X,” like his paws, a remnant of the savage era (23). Unlike his paws, though, he refuses to utter what this “X” is, for perhaps possessing it is the ultimate treason. Therefore, by not uttering it, the extent of his treason is reduced; he is wavering. Later in the text, the reader learns that possessing a soul is considered an illness, possibly shedding light on what “X” is. The language that the narrator uses in the passage also showcases such wavering, for he utilizes a combination of familiar and unfamiliar words when referring to his body. In the pages preceding this passage, it seems as though the narrator only uses man-made inventions, the familiar, to describe the human body, as he does in the passage by using “X.” Yet in the passage, he also utilizes the unfamiliar, words referring to the natural world, that which lies beyond the “Green Wall,” such as “moutain air,” “cloudy,” and “spider” (23). Such wavering is induced and fostered by I-330 throughout the novel.

Prompt: Zamyatin (group 1)

Our responses to dystopian texts are often heavily shaped by the represented setting: the category emphasizes the rules of the imagined world (e.g., everyone’s a number) rather than the way this world is represented. But of course there is no dystopic world without the representation. To focus your analytic reading, choose a passage in which the embedded situation of address strikes you as worthy of comment: who speaks, to whom, on what occasion, with what tone; what are the implicit rules of what can and cannot be said. (“Situation of address” does not mean dialogue in the text but the speaking situation of the narrative itself.) How do linguistic and formal cues shape our interpretation of the narrative?

To forestall too much grasping at the lowest-hanging fruit, I am arbitrarily decreeing that you must not use Records 1 or 2. Carefully quote and cite the passage you wish to discuss, then write a single paragraph on its details. If you notice that someone has already posted on your passage of choice, it will be most useful to our class discussion if you choose another passage. But it is also acceptable to respond thoughtfully to a foregoing discussion, provided you point to new details in the text. There’s no need to reach definite conclusions, and mini-essays are forbidden.

For credit, posts must be published by 5 p.m. on Monday. Group 1 is required to post, and group 2 members may take this occasion to do one of their two off-week posts.

The Philosopher and the Frame

One thing which jumped out at me during the initial reading of “The Time Machine” was the sense of reading a philosophical text which creates a dialogue between semi-defined characters as a jumping off point for a philosophical treatise. This version only exacerbated this feeling, and it made me consider how this initiating dialogue alerts the reader to a method of critical analysis necessary to understand the resulting dialogue. I was impressed by the amount of questions posed by ColorlessGreenSheep in their post, and I agree that the suspense of these questions makes the novel version much more intriguing.

Overall I wished that the article version had used the rigorous dialogue to try to delve more deeply into a philosophical idea of a society by asking questions from all different perspectives, while suspending belief to a certain degree. The interplay of belief/disbelief in the Time Traveller’s story lends depth to Wells’s novel, but it occasionally preempts important questions about the nature of the world and the society. Without these questions, I feel that it is almost impossible to rely on any of the Time Traveler’s theories with conviction. We are presented with details like vast underground Morlock machines and refused any inquiry into the nature of these topics. There is only minor curiosity by the listeners. The first person narrator of the novel seems genuinely interested in future society and seems to accept the physical evidence of the flowers, but the narrative of the Time Traveller obscures his personality and input. In the article, the red-headed man makes some comments similar to the book’s narrator (“to discover a society…erected on a strictly communist basis”), he also becomes associated with violent inquiry (“with violence, the red-haired man wanted to see [the time machine]”). The format of questioning characters could have allowed an interested and spirited discussion of what is admittedly a completely awesome story and permitted greater thought on the details of the Morlock/Eloi society. Unfortunately, the argumentative dinner guests prevent most actual thought on the story, instead trying to relentlessly question the believability of the narrative. I would love to read an updated edition, in which a house of professionals and thinkers contemplate a story with their wonderful, magical friend….hopefully in lower-case.

The Time Traveller’s Network of Listeners

As ColorlessGreenSheep noted, the National Observer version of the text includes far more dialogue than the book. The characters are changed so that they do not necessarily directly reflect scientific areas, but rather are more representative of the “everyday” man or woman, allowing the discourse to be filled with less scientific terminology and making it more accessible to the general public.  The increased dialogue allows for a certain objectivity; though the time traveler is the only one who has experienced the journey, his story becomes  verifiable when others actively question each detail. The time traveler’s narrative then becomes each character’s as well because they are able to take on his perspective. This is evident when Wells writes, “We have no doubt of the truth of your story, said the red-haired man to him that traveled through time; but there is much in it that is difficult to understand”. When others believe the time-travelers story, then only can it be viewed as a scientific truth.

“In Line With Current Theory”

The National Observer edition of The Time Machine isn’t so much an early version of the story as it is a serialized group of reflections on the topics that would ultimately become thematic elements of The Time Machine, using the narrative framework that would eventually underpin the more well-known version. Here the focus is far more on the story’s nature as something a high-minded man is relating in his parlor to a group of fellow high-minded men. This might actually make it more suited to its context, however – the National Observer is essentially a written version of this sort of forum, more a vehicle for the musings of its contributors than a literary publication. If any of Wells’ constituents were providing seven-part narratives, a) it’s not in evidence here, and b) it was likely for the sake of giving their thoughts on the affairs of the world a little more rhetorical weight than, say, an equivocating review of a French book about antisemitism. That he was later able to expand these roundtables about the fate of society into a classic work of science fiction is a credit to his talents as an author. Which is not to say that these early iterations of the concept are somehow inferior – honestly one my favorite parts about The Time Machine, in reading it, was the idea of it as something related, explained, possibly debated, in a cozy environment amongst friends. There’s plenty of that here. Plus, even the material that didn’t survive directly in the final product still had a noteworthy influence on it – check the later-excised “grey man” chapter in the New Review version, which has no parallel in the National Observer‘s telling of the Time Traveler’s post-12,203 return to the present, and you can find his thoughts about evolution from the “Time-Traveller Returns” chapter in action:

“The faintly human touch of these little creatures perplexed me greatly. If you come to think, there is no reason why a degenerate humanity should not come at last to differentiate into as many species as the descendants of the mud fish who fathered all the land vertebrates.”

Right down to the line about mudfish. Which might tell us something about Wells’ continuing intent for the story as it evolved into something more literary: as seems to often be the case with him (and much of early science fiction), he aimed to deliver a Rollicking Adventure Narrative set in a world whose excitement derived from its accordance with his theories about then-emerging scientific and sociological principles. So really, he kept on playing at the National Observer game. He just made it more fun to watch for outside observers.

The Title of: Time Traveling: Possibility or Paradox?

I find it interesting that the snippet of the beginning of Wells’ The Time Machine was titled Time Traveling: Possibility or Paradox? because in this context it seems to humorously assume that Wells is an expert on time travel, or that he’s conducted experiments on time travel and this was the forum he decided on to share this groundbreaking information. It takes the fiction out of science fiction by the simple act of titling it in a way which makes the reader assume they will get a scientific answer, rather than the beginning of a fictional story. This leads me to think about how another of Wells’ works, The War of the Worlds, was treated in a similar matter when it was aired on live radio in 1983, presented as a news bulletin for the first 60 minutes. What this tells us is that science fiction holds a certain power over our imaginations, a certain suspension of disbelief which become more and more apparent in the different ways you try to frame it.

Character Titles- from the Magazine to the Novel

Upon examining the first section of The Time Machine as it was published in The National Observer in March 1894, one of the most jarring changes is inarguably the lack of proper titles for the various characters- with the exception, of course, of the Time Traveler, who in this version of the story is instead referred to as the “Philosophical Inventor”.  The red-haired man remains as described in both iterations of Wells’s work, but others—the Very Young Man and the Provincial Mayor, for example—are reduced to lower-case titles.  Further, some of the characters are completely absent; where is Filby, the Medical Man, the Psychologist?  Who is the “common-sense person”, and why has the narrator contributed nothing to the conversation outside of the opening, unspoken description of the setting?  Above all- what motivated Wells to add in his seemingly unnecessary capitalizations of these characters’ titles in his novel, and why did he decide to bring more characters into the mix when the few present in edition of The National Observer seemed to carry out the conversation perfectly well on their own?  One could argue that “naming” the characters with a simple attribute—be it their profession or the color of their hair—adds a sort of science-fiction mystique to them; “the psychologist” is expected and mundane, whereas “the Psychologist” immediately seems to be capable of far more than his lower-case counterpart.  Further, the smaller group of men could simply be due to a word limit imposed by the publication, and the increase in numbers present in the novel contributes in a way to the legitimization of the Time Traveler’s thoughts and machine.  Rather, the fact that so many thoughtful, educated people are held captive by their own curiosity in the vicinity of the Time Traveler makes the possibility of time travel feel all the more real (although the version in The National Observer is nearly just as convincing).  As such, it could be said that Wells may have simplified his cast of characters in the version he delivered to The National Observer for the sheer sake of drawing readers’ attention to the content of the dialogue rather than who exactly was delivering said dialogue.

Novel vs. National Observer

Upon the start of my reading of the National Observer’s “The Time Machine” I already begin to see differences to the novel. For instance, the character that we know of as “The Time Traveller” is referred to as “The Philosophical Inventor” (446, Wells), which, to me, seems like a mouthful, and a tad bit pretentious. Going forward, even just on the first page, the language is vastly different in this version than in its novel counterpart. Just in the first line he explains the conversation between the profession labeled gentlemen and the Time Traveller, or in this case, the Philosophical Inventor as, “expounding a recondite matter…” (446, Wells). This phrasing here seems to be weightier, fancier, and more intrinsically detailed language than to that of the novel. The language of the novel, to me, seems to be more simplistic, yet gives off an air of intelligence without stepping into the territory of pretension. To further prove my point, only a few lines down the page he describes the chairs which they sit upon in such a way that you would think it was an integral part of the story, rather than just a detail: “Our chairs, being his patents, embraced and caressed us, rather than submitted to be sat upon,” (446, Wells). In my opinion, the story relayed to us of the Time Traveller sounded more like a truthful tale, despite its more dramatic nature, in the novel, than in this magazine. Reading the National Observer version, I find myself incredibly aware of the fact that I am reading a piece of art, a made up tale, because of its beautiful literary language. However, the novel gives you a sense of believability by addressing you with language that is less artistic and wordy, and more of a cut and dry scientific account. The way the novel regales the tale of the Time Traveller’s journey, to me, is given to us better in the form of language displayed in the novel. In my opinion, that version of language gave me a better interest and feel for the story of the Time Traveller and his journey than the magazine version.

The Time Traveller : The Philosophical Inventor

In the National Observer version, The “Time Traveller” becomes the “Philosophical Inventor.” A once mystical characterization becomes ironically disorienting with a concrete professional identity. The “Philosophical Inventor” is a man of the mechanical sciences with interests in the metaphysical. Nothing about his literary presentation seems off until he claims to be able to time travel. Not to say he is any more suspect than the Time Traveller’s claim to science fiction fame, but the verbal difference adds another layer of disbelief. Yes, the difference in characterization gives the reader the ability to grasp onto his identity a bit more than the presentation of his occupation as time traveler. However, he can clearly be read as a philosophical storyteller, not necessarily the sci-fi hero the narrator leads one to believe. Therefore, thinking of him as a man who invents for a living adds the ability to look at him as a peddler of his philosophical imaginings. Specifically, his entire tale can be easily transplanted outside of a sci-fi narrative and consumed as a philosophical hypothetical scenario. One does not really know if he really time travels, but the heart of his arguments about the devolution and degeneration of a future society remain.

 

The Infamous Two-Column Format

The experience of reading The Time Machine out of a magazine was completely different from the experience of reading it out of my Dover Thrift edition.  Right off the bat, I have to contribute this different experience to the format of the story.  In the National Observer version, the story is written in two columns side by side. This format, in my opinion, screams magazine.  I immediately associate the story with that kind of short story that gets published in a magazine and then forgotten forever.  In my mind, a story is crystalized when it is published in a book, but if it is in a magazine, it could easily be forgotten or lost because it is not easily accessible.  The magazine will eventually stop printing that issue that holds the story and thus, there will only be a limited amount of copies of the story in circulation.  While books are not necessarily immune to going out of print, they certainly do not go out of print as fast as a magazine issue and they are hard copies, as in not pieces of paper stabled together.  In book format, it can reach more readers and stay alive.  This feeling of impermanence is triggered by this format of two side-by-side columns.

Wells Allows for Individual Thought

The magazine article A.D. 12, 203: A Glimpse of the Future features many interruptions of thought not only from the Time Traveler himself, or “I” in this case, but from the surrounding audience.  Wherein H. G. Wells’ novel the Time Travel appears to have final say in all ideas and theories, this article provides points of reflection for both the reader and the other characters. For instance, the Time Traveler takes a moment to ponder and states “What might appear when that hazy curtain was altogether withdrawn? What might not have happened to men” (500)? These series of questions give the reader a moment to input their theory, in contrast to the novel which has the Time Traveler creating his own theories after just being in the future for a short time. Also, later on in the article the medical man is allowed to chime in with “That…entirely discredits your story” (500). By allowing another character to contradict the Time Traveler, Wells provides conflict for the reader to be able to decide for themselves what they believe to be true instead of completely accepting all that is told by the Time Traveler. This sense of doubt appears to be more present in the article version of The National Observer than the actual book version.

Work Cited

“A.D. 12,203.” The national observer, 1890-1897, vol. 11, no. 280, 1894., pp. 499-500.

The Voice of Time: A Man of Science or Philosophy?

After reading “Time Travelling: Possibility or Paradox” in The National Observer, perhaps the most significant detail for me was that the Time Traveler is referred to as the “Philosophical Inventor” (446). As the “Time Traveler,” which appears in both The New Review as well as the novel version that we are observing in class, one perhaps establishes several presuppositions about the character without having read much into the story at all. The “Time Traveler” essentially signifies that even though the story has hardly began to develop, he is directly associated with the event of traveling time, and that he perhaps has a significant role in that development. As we have the other characters present in the narrative identified solely as how they behave or what occupation they practice, so too is the Time Traveler identified by a singular facet of his life. The “Philosophical Inventor,” on the other hand, generates  a different approach at the story’s direction and development. As the Time Traveler, one could ask a variety of questions. “Has he actually traveled in time?” “At what point in his life did he travel time, and for what duration?” As a well established man of science, known in many “scientific circles,” (The New Review, pg. 98) one is perhaps inclined to trust his judgement. But a philosopher, on the other hand, elicits interrogation not only on his activities, but also calls into question the validity of not only what he is claiming, but perhaps even his motivations behind his actions. One may have questions that differ greatly from that which they would demand of a man of science. “Is the time travel hypothetical or literal?” “What sort of experience is the philosopher hoping to gain in his expedition?” “How will his discovery benefit anyone other than himself?” It is in this difference that a reader immediately experiences the story in a different way, starting simply with the first sentence of the story.

Narrative Differences

What stood out as I read “The Sunset of Mankind,” in which the Time Traveller introduces the Morlocks, was the drastic difference in the structure of the story. While the novel version is  told entirely through a frame narrative — save for the beginning and end, where the first-person narrator details the interactions between the Time Traveller and the various other characters — the National Observer publication is a dialogue between the Time Traveller, the “red haired man,” the “common-sense” person, the “medical man,” and the “very young man.” It is through this dialogue that several questions are posed and answered directly: Do the Eloi have skilled labor, as is suggested by their garb? When did civilization cease to exist and allow the “unfit” to rapidly multiply? What is a morlock?  What about the change in climate? Rather than allow the Time Traveller divulge the details of the story and slowly reveal the answers to these questions, this interruption in the narrative seems to work as a tool to satisfy the reader’s curiosity or perhaps quell skepticism. However, the splitting of the Eloi and the Morlocks, which is explained in the novel as a result of the “social difference between the Capitalist and the Labourer,”  becomes lost in the dialogue. What is also lost in the dialogue is the evolution of the Time Traveller’s knowledge of the strange environment in which he finds himself. In the novel, as the Time Traveller narrates chronologically, the reader is limited to his present state of knowledge and the suggestion there is more information to come: “I dare say you will anticipate the shape of my theory; though, for myself, I very soon felt that it fell far short of the truth.” The benefit of the frame narrative is that the reader is able to accompany the Time Travellor on his journey of discovery