Fritz Leiber’s use of the parentheses and dashes evoke a sense that Greta Frozane is aware of the reader and shares her feelings with them which can often times be comical. For example, in chapter 4 Greta states “I decided the satyr’s English instructor must have been quite a character, too. Wish I’d met him-her-it” (32). Since the story is about time travel, Greta meets all sorts of “its” (people, aliens, other species) and here the dashes create a comical thought process while still reminding the reader of the stories science fiction elements.
The National Observer rendition of the Time Traveler and especially the scene in which he returns from his adventures in the year 12,203 A.D. seems to focus less on the current social class standing of man and more on the role that humanity will play in the grand scheme of history. The strangest part of this is that the story is sandwiched between a book review for what is essentially an American Girl’s handbook to snatching and catching British gentleman as husbands and an account of a golf match between gentleman and professionals that ended obviously with the professionals winning the game. These seem like such mundane and time appropriate topics compared to the tale of a man traveling in time and realizing that humanity is less important that it would like to believe. The danger and implications that the novel held, for example, the Time Traveler’s inability to return home along with his relationship to both the Eloi and the Morlocks, seems trivialized in this version of the events. The Eloi “began to weary and then irritate [The Time Traveler] because of their unsustainability,” which is a contrast from the strange connection that he seems to have with both the Eloi and the Morlocks. The lack of connection trivializes the story and make it as unbelievable as the characters who are listening to it seems to believe it to be. The fact that this story is sandwiched between two trivial pieces of unimportant information makes it seem as though anyone reading it would trivialize the story unlike reading in a book where someone would expect t find some greater meaning in the context of the story.