The Time Machine Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the characters actually operates the model of the time machine?

2. What is the texture of the Eloi's hair?

3. What frightens the Time Traveler badly enough to make him flee the underground lair of the Morlocks?

4. On what day of the week did the guests come for dinner?

5. What is the air temperature in this far future?

Short Essay Questions

1. When the Time Traveler sees the Morlocks for the first time, what does he notice about them and what conclusions about evolution does he draw?

2. What makes The Time Traveler push the lever again and leave the time period with the two creatures and the large, red sun?

3. What is the Editor's reactions when the Time Traveler tells him and the other guests of his journey?

4. What is different about the second dinner party, which is held a week after the first?

5. Describe the Time Traveler's reaction to the fact that his machine has been moved into the White Sphinx; what action does he undertake, if any, to recover the machine?

6. When the Earth is in perpetual twilight, the air thin and hard to breathe, and the sun is huge and red, what are the only two animals/creatures The Time Traveler sees? What do they look like?

7. What political system is discussed in Chapter 1 as a possible future for humanity and why has Wells included it?

8. Describe the point of view of the book's first two chapters.

9. Why, according to the Time Traveler, is the Fourth Dimension overlooked?

10. What does the Time Traveler discover when, at sunset, he goes to find a place to live on his first day in the future?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The role of food in this novel is significant, both in terms of conflict structure and in terms of the play of ideas. Describe the ways this novel thematizes the idea of food, eating, sustenance, and survival. Consider 1) the meals in the frame narrative, 2) the "cannibalism" represented by the Morlocks, and 3) the food eaten by the Eloi.

Essay Topic 2

This novel relies on systems of symbols, one of which is the use of light and dark. What ideas, feelings, and conflicts are symbolized by light, and which by dark? On the language level, what are the major strategies Wells uses to convey these symbols? Be sure to consider setting, characterization, figurative language, dialogue, point of view, etc.

Essay Topic 3

One example of the "devolution" is the social Darwinism that forces changes in humanity. Describe what social forces Wells was describing in this novel and how he thought they might help humans "devolve." How does Wells fictionalize these social forces in this science fiction? What are the speculative elements he uses to symbolize and explore these social forces and their effects?

(see the answer keys)

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