The Eloi metamorphose into Morlocks.Your MOGWAI is evolving... MOGWAI becomes GREMLIN! Your PAK BREEDER is evolving too... BREEDER becomes PROTECTOR! Could the reason that there are no elderly Eloi be that those Eloi who are not eaten become Morlocks, no longer able to gain sustenance except through eating their young who retain the ability to process plant matter? It'd prefigure the Babyeaters from Three Worlds Collide.
- Someone on another forum pointed out a few problems with this interpretation. First, there'd have to be some change to the baby schema in the Morlock brain to recognize young Eloi the way we recognize lambs, not the way we recognize human children. Nor does the text clearly establish that Morlocks know enough science to reestablish an Eloi ranch lost to natural disaster or overharvesting. And if the Time Traveller defeats them so easily using a blunt object and the light of a forest fire, they might not have the physical fitness to find another ranch.
When the Time Traveller (book version) mentioned that his earlier class struggle theory about the Eloi and the Morlocks was incorrect...
- …He was right. The creation of these two species followed an apocalyptic disaster turning the earth’s biome upside down. Plants were either unaffected or recovered but the animal populations never did. The surviving humans subsisted off of stored food until it ran out. When it inevitably did, they were faced with two choices: (a) adopt a protein-poor vegan diet or (b) engage in cannibalism. Those that took option A gradually evolved into the Eloi; their protein-starved bodies causing them to lose stature, their brains to shrink and they became herbivorous. Those that took option B gradually evolved into the Morlocks; as they became more and more carnivorous, their bodies adapted so that they were better hunters.
- The "apocalyptic disaster" could just be "the march of human progress" as it was understood in Wells' time. If you read predictions about the world of the future made by people around 1900, they almost always talk about entire lineages of animals being exterminated by humanity, sometimes for no other reason than "because we don't need them anymore". And this isn't presented as a bad thing, just an obvious consequence. Ecologism and wildlife conservation (outside of hunting reserves - maybe) wasn't even a concept in the industrialization era.
The Eloi and Morlocks are descended from survivors of a second invasion by War of the Worlds Martians.Wells's Time Travel story and his Alien Invasion story take place in the same Verse. At some point after War of the Worlds, the Martians back on Mars figured out a defense against Earth pathogens, launched a second invasion, and successfully took over the planet. Some of the humans were driven underground to hide from the conquerors, while others were kept imprisoned as blood-livestock. The blood-stock were selectively bred to be slow-witted, docile and dependent, becoming the ancestors of the Eloi. The underground humans retained some technical knowledge, but their ethics degenerated over the generations of hardship, to a point where they started eating the drained corpses of the blood-stock which the Martian overlords discarded. Eventually, the Martians developed the means to revitalize their native planet or leave the solar system altogether, and abandoned the Earth where gravity had always been an ordeal for them. Most of the blood-stock were left behind, and the subterraneans - too adapted, by then, to life underground and a carnivorous diet to change their habits - simply went on tending and living off the "herds" as Morlocks.
The Time Traveller wasn't human.He's actually a visitor from an advanced world, and came to Earth with one of two objectives. He either A) actually had a time machine and wanted to see if humanity was responsible enough to be trusted with it yet or B) knew what would happen to the future Earth and came to warn them. Knowing that simply dropping into the world and telling them would get him institutionalised by a society that wasn't very nice to it's mentally ill, he set up a backstory of sorts as a respectable member of society and tried to warn them once he thought he might actually be listened to.