Study and Discussion questions for John Campbell's "Twilight"

In our previous class, we suggested that SF is derivative.  That is, SF authors often draw on and extend the ideas and situations presented by previous authors.  This is certainly true with Campbell's "Twilight," which is without question derived from Wells's The Time Machine.   Consider the following issues as you read and review Campbell's story:

 

  1. How does the narrative structure of "Twilight" parallel that of The Time Machine?  Does Campbell extend the plausibility device implicit in the narrative structure?  How does the narrative structure encourage our willing suspension of disbelief in more complex ways than does the structure used by Wells?
  2. How do the inhabitants of Earth 7 million years in the future compare to Wells's Eloi?  What similarities and differences are there between the Eloi and Campbell's futuristic Earthmen? 

  3. How is Campbell's address to the idea of a static utopia, a perfect future society, similar to Wells' address to utopia in The Time Machine?

  4. What other specific comparisons can you draw between Wells' novella and Campbell's story?