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Linguistics and language patterns play a vital role in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. Wells gave close attention to language, and he seemed to understand how it influenced culture. According to the many critics, Wells also understood how to apply sociolinguistic characteristics to his texts to create an apocalyptic image for readers to apply to humankind in general. Building on what critics have argued, I analyze Wells’ focus on sociolinguistics, and how he uses language as a social semiotic; for example, Wells’ intentional lack of communication between the Eloi and Morlocks play a vital role in executing his elemental message on the effects of Victorian England’s caste system. I explore these syntactic devices and consider how they endorse or devalue Time through character communication, inferred linguistic meaning, and how language patterns collectively represent Wells’ opinions on social stratification. The outcome explains Wells’ strong political views, but also anticipated consequences for future generations. This is significant because Wells coined new words and utilized metalinguistic characteristics to emphasize linguistic diversity, which is displayed in the nature and function of language in the novel.I explore Wells’ contribution and impact on modern discourse and narrative theories, especially considering his views on its development and how those views influenced Wells’ writing.

Keywords: Linguistics, H.G. Wells, Time Machine, language, English


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • English

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • MPR 2

  • Event date
    • 22 March 2019

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Donna Gessell