The Story of Humanity
The Eloi certainly have it made. They don’t have (much) of a care in the world past what brightly-colored fruit they will eat next, who is worth playfully flirting with (and more), and whether or not to take a nap. As the Time Traveler says, “To adorn themselves with flowers, to dance, to ding in the sunlight… Even that would fade in the end into a contented inactivity”. I have to admit, it does sound pretty nice. Except for a fear of the dark, the life of the Eloi seems pretty nice. But I can’t help but feel weirded out by it. It’s that simple idea that “if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.” The best idea I can think of for why this perfect society is so off-putting is, under reflection, somewhat simple: conflict.
Without conflict, there isn’t any texture in life. It’s all just skating along, la de da, until an uneventful death. Where’s the fun in that? We all hate unnecessary drama, or fighting, or arguments, but that doesn’t stop us from watching soap operas, or MMA, or reality TV. Without any of these speed bumps, what would be the point of it all? For someone to enjoy the good times, the times when you can laze around and eat, drink, and be merry, you need to have the bad times to compare it to. If you only eat your favorite foods at all times, wouldn’t it stop being your ‘favorite’ food, and just become food? The Time Traveler really hit home when he called the Eloi “childlike”; nothing sounds better than playing all day, but what really brings the good feelings and sense of accomplishment is overcoming the conflict. Reaching the climax of the story, thwarting the evil, overcoming adversity: that’s what makes life worth living.