The Time Machine

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Weena is an Eloi woman whom the Time Traveller saves from drowning. Though he does not expect gratitude or recognition in return for his bravery, Weena surprises and charms the Time Traveller by following him everywhere from then on and adorning him constantly with flowers as a sign of gratitude and affection. The Time Traveller learns important things from Weena (including that fear is, after all, a pervasive feeling among the Eloi), and it is through her companionship that he begins to feel that this strange future is his home. Nonetheless, he is conflicted about how human she really is—she’s not particularly intelligent, but, as the Time Traveller says, “She always seemed to me, I fancy, more human than she was, perhaps because her affection was so human.” Thus Weena is a being defined by kindness, and her death in a forest fire that the Time Traveller inadvertently started is a tragedy.

Weena Quotes in The Time Machine

The The Time Machine quotes below are all either spoken by Weena or refer to Weena . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Inequality and Social Class Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Signet Classics edition of The Time Machine published in 2014.
Chapter 5 Quotes

For, by merely seeming fond of me, and showing in her weak, futile way that she cared for me, the little doll of a creature presently gave my return to the neighborhood of the White Sphinx almost the feeling of coming home.

Related Characters: The Time Traveller (speaker), Weena
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

The Time Traveller saves Weena from drowning without any expectation that she will understand what he did or be able to feel gratitude, but she surprises him with her deep displays of affection and her sudden commitment to remaining at all times by his side. Until Weena became his friend, the Time Traveller had no emotional connection to these beings and no affection for the world they lived in. It’s notable that it’s Weena’s kindness and devotion—which the Time Traveller seems to value less than intelligence—that makes the Time Traveller feel most at home. This points to the complexity of what defines a human. While the Time Traveller seems to insist that it is strength and intelligence that most define a human being, it is kindness and empathy that seem to cut to his heart. This will be even more apparent when the Time Traveller cannot convince himself to feel sympathy for the cruel Morlocks, even though they are stronger and smarter than the Eloi.

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Chapter 8 Quotes

I saw an inscription in some unknown character. I thought, rather foolishly, that Weena might help me to interpret this, but I only learned that the bare idea of writing had never entered her head. She always seemed to me, I fancy, more human than she was, perhaps because her affection was so human.

Related Characters: The Time Traveller (speaker), Weena
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:

The more the Time Traveller learns about the world of the future, the less he is able to rely on his notion of intelligence being definitive of human beings. The Time Traveller is repeatedly disappointed that the Eloi are no help to him in finding the time machine because they are so weak, stupid, and uncurious. Weena occupies a complex role, however, because she gives the Time Traveller friendship and comfort, which are important to his ability to keep up morale despite hardship and fear. This quote displays the Time Traveller’s ambivalence about how to categorize Weena—he thinks of her as being human because she shows affection and sympathy, but here he walks that categorization back in light of her lack of sophistication. He seems to be reminding himself that Weena is not like him because she lacks intelligence, even though the two of them have developed a genuine friendship. This again underscores the complexity of classifying what a human essentially is.

Epilogue Quotes

And I have before me, for my comfort, two strange white flowers—shriveled now, and brown and flat and brittle—to witness that even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and mutual tenderness still lived on in the heart of man.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), The Eloi , Weena
Related Symbols: Weena’s Flowers
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:

The narrator, having expressed his discomfort with the darker implications of the Time Traveller’s tale of the future (cannibalism, social inequality, loss of knowledge and culture), chooses to focus on the fact that he has Weena’s flowers for comfort. These flowers symbolize the gestures of kindness and sympathy that made the Time Traveller feel at home in the future—they are, in a sense, symbolic of the only redeeming aspect of the future of the human race. In one sense, this is an argument for kindness as a fundamental human quality and it gives hope for the future of humanity. On the other hand, though, it’s just this kind of selective logic (choosing to focus on the good instead of the bad, and not striving for the whole picture) that gets the human race in trouble to begin with. The very conclusion that the narrator makes, which is essentially “at least there are nice people in the dystopian future,” is exemplary of a kind of thinking opposite of the Time Traveller’s, who is always looking to readjust his worldview to fit his observations. In this sense, then, the ending is both a slight bit of optimism—that not all humanity will die out even in a dystopian future—and a bleak conclusion for that same future, indicating that humans are not as rational and capable as they think they are.

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Weena Character Timeline in The Time Machine

The timeline below shows where the character Weena appears in The Time Machine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
...to him, adorning him with flowers to express her gratitude. Her name, he learns, is Weena, and she seems to him childlike but benevolent. She follows him everywhere from then on,... (full context)
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
Weena’s behavior makes the Time Traveller understand that fear is still a presence in this society.... (full context)
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
...that he awakened with something touching him, the Time Traveller recalls, was before he met Weena. He had seen a grey being dash away, and he looked towards the hills and... (full context)
Inequality and Social Class Theme Icon
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
The Time Traveller returns to Weena without entering the well that day, but he continues to puzzle over the creatures until... (full context)
Chapter 6
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
The next morning, the Time Traveller resolves to descend into one of the wells. Weena runs after him, and when he leaves her at the mouth of the well she... (full context)
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
...to reach the well shaft without the Morlocks catching him. He climbs to safety, and Weena is waiting for him at the surface. (full context)
Chapter 7
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
...to look inside the green porcelain building he had seen before. He sets off with Weena, but soon realizes the distance is greater than he thought, and it is past sunset... (full context)
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
As darkness falls, Weena becomes frightened and tired and the Time Traveller has to carry her. He comes to... (full context)
Inequality and Social Class Theme Icon
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
The Time Traveller barely sleeps that night, and in the morning he and Weena traverse the wood. While they walk he reflects on what has led the Morlocks to... (full context)
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
...him to open the metal panels on the Sphinx statue. He says he will bring Weena back to his own time once he has retrieved the time machine. (full context)
Chapter 8
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
When Weena and the Time Traveller reach the Palace of Green Porcelain, they realize that it is... (full context)
Inequality and Social Class Theme Icon
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
In the gallery with the machines, Weena’s fear makes the Time Traveller realize that the floor slopes into darkness. In the dark... (full context)
Chapter 9
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
The Time Traveller and Weena leave the museum just before sunset, and the Time Traveller vows to walk as far... (full context)
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
...walk, the Time Traveller has been gathering sticks as tinder for the fire he and Weena will sleep by. As they walk through the woods, though, he feels the Morlocks close... (full context)
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
For a while, the fire lights the Time Traveller’s walk and he and Weena have no need for matches. He is dimly aware of the fire spreading, but is... (full context)
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
...hours before, but it is now raging through the forest. The Time Traveller looks for Weena so he can flee with her, but she is gone, so he flees alone holding... (full context)
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
The Time Traveller searches for Weena, but he cannot find her. He determines that she has died in the fire, and... (full context)
Chapter 12
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
...indicates that he doesn’t believe the Time Traveller, but when he inspects the flowers that Weena had put in the Time Traveller’s pocket he notices that they are highly unusual. (full context)
Epilogue
Inequality and Social Class Theme Icon
Technology and Progress Theme Icon
Humans, Nature, and the Universe Theme Icon
Fear and Kindness Theme Icon
...live as though he isn’t. Besides, the narrator has kept the two shriveled flowers of Weena’s that remind him that “even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and a mutual... (full context)