This is an extremely nineteenth-century-style theory, tinged with socialism, Darwinism and other ideologies to the taste of its time, and would make the novel a journey into the past, rather than into the future, were it not for the fact that it is never supported by events. It is an entirely unjustified conjecture and, if it proves anything, it is that the body travels faster than the mind, whether in time or space. He who crosses the sea changes his sky, not his soul (Horace).
Our amateur anthropologist continues to make his bricolage of conclusions… One will wait in vain for the irruption of an omniscient figure, or one who can simply communicate to the protagonist the history of that strange world: a comforting and paternal figure in the style of the Great Lama of Shangri-La. No one comes to his aid and the bewilderment increases as we go deeper into the future, where there is no longer any trace of human activity in that same place, so the protagonist deduces that the species has become extinct (and yet, who is to say that there are no humans in another region, in another country, on another planet, on another beach?)
We are continually tempted to follow the reasoning of the protagonist, but, if we are a little honest, we will admit that we cannot draw conclusions. Just as we ignore where the anonymous “Time Traveler” ended his days, we also ignore the reason why the days of the year 802,701 belong to languid little vegetarian men and their nights to fierce whitish vermin.
Today, when we are aware of the flaws in the history we have told ourselves, as well as the one we have imposed on other peoples (remember the anthropology of the Traveler), we can appreciate better than before what makes The Time Machine a timeless work. Even if the author himself was convinced by the speculations of his character – a doubtful thing, since he carefully conceals any source of reliable information – Wells was able to construct, with or without awareness of it, one of the most enigmatic twilights ever postulated for the human odyssey.