ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hop On A Time Machine...Ticket To Tunnel Vision?

Updated on August 28, 2017

The Concept of Time Travel Is Fascinating, But....

Imagine being offered a ticket on a device that could travel through time. Would you take it? if your answer is "yes," imagine that the ticket has a few conditions:

  1. You may choose only one time period, either a specific time in the past or in the future.
  2. There is a slight possibility that you will not be able to return to the present.
  3. If you choose to return to the past, you may not change anything even one iota; otherwise, the entire course of history will be altered.

Do you still want to take the trip? Before you answer that question, let's consider each of the conditions. First, you need to choose: past or future? It might be more interesting to check into the future, since you already know what happened in the past, but consider this: what if you travel too far into the future and find.... nothing. Hopefully, you'd be able to get back to the present. If not, it wouldn't be too interesting to be floating around the (non-) universe in a Time Machine. Of course, chances are you would end up somewhere. You might just find yourself, like H.G. Wells' Time Traveller, in the land of the Eloi and the Morlocks.

If you read Wells's The Time Machine, you might recall that enticing as The Traveler's destination seemed at first, he quickly learned that you can't judge a book by its cover just as, in this case, by its lush, green fields and sweet, simplistic (i.e.: not too bright) inhabitants, the Eloi. At first glance, it seemed to The Traveler that the Eloi lived an idyllic, carefree life. It became clear that this was not the case when the planet's other species, the cannibalistic Morlocks, arrived and snatched a few Eloi to take back for dinner to their underground habitat of darkness and machines. "Of course," you may be thinking, " As soon as I'd see the Morlocks approaching I'd head for my time machine and zoom back to 2017." Sure you would... if condition #2 didn't kick in, that is.

If you still hope to take a trip to the future, you might want to consider the picture that Aldous Huxley painted (in 1931) of the dystopian world of 2540 AD in Brave New World. You might be awed by the idea of a Hatchery where human embryos are created/ engineered at a factory complete with conveyor belts in order to provide the five castes of human beings that inhabit the World State. Your awe might quickly turn to horror, however, as you learn that the five castes (alpha, beta, delta, gamma and epsilon) are programmed in different ways to ensure that the Alphas will become the intellectuals/leaders of society and the Epsilons the mindless laborers... with all else in between in descending order of abilities. An added bonus (for the World State, that is): strong emotions, human relationships, the arts, religion and science have been sacrificed in order to ensure the State's own brand of "happiness" in a State-sanctoned state (forgive the pun) of stability.

Fast Forward to... the Past

If you decide that a visit to the future might be a bit risky, you might want to consider a trip back to the past. After all, we do know what happened back then. You can only choose one destination, though, and you must bear in mind condition #3: you cannot change anything, even minutely. Ancient Rome or Egypt might be an interesting choice. There were some good times to be had back then. Of course, there also was a lot of bloodshed. If you choose Rome, you'd better become fast friends with the emperor. Oh, right... he was murdered. Forget Rome. Egypt would be an interesting place to go, with the pyramid and the Sphinx and the crypts et al. You might not want to get stuck there reading nothing but hieroglyphics on stone tablets for eternity, though, if condition # 2 kicked in.

If you'd like to stick around home, the time period for you might be during our very own Revolutionary War. You could head up to Boston or down to Philadelphia and meet some well-known forefathers like Sam Adams, Ben Franklin or George Washington. You might even be able to convince John Hancock to sign something for you. On the other hand, you could go not quite so far back, to 1861 or thereabouts, and check out the Civil War first-hand. On second thought, you might just want to hand around New York and read about it in the newspapers. Speaking of newspapers, perhaps you could snag a job as a journalist and interview General Grant or General McCleallan. It would be really exciting to get Robert E. Lee's and Jefferson Davis's take on the situation, too... but then again, I think I'd stay away from the South. Things weren't too stable down there, if you recall. Abraham Lincoln would be the epitome of a dream interview, but he was awfully busy back then. Not only that... you might be tempted to warn him to stay away from Ford's Theater. ( According to condition # 3 on your ticket, you can't change anything, remember?)

Condition #3 does cast a shadow on quite a few trips, as a matter of fact. It certainly would cancel heading back to the World War I era, for example. It would be amazing to meet some the the writers from the 1920s, though, like Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, to name just a few, but you'd probably get so enmeshed in their dialogue that you might let something slip. World War II might also prove to be a poor choice. How could anyone go back there and not attempt to change a few things?


Author Jack Finney actually took a look at time travel into the past in his novel Time and Again and, twenty-five years later, From Time To Time. His traveler, Simon Morley, faced a dilemma of- literally- historic proportions when he travelled back to the past in an attempt to find an answer to a situation that troubled him. After traveling to the past and back to the present several times, Morley ended up making a life-changing decision that affected not only himself, spoilers here. Suffice it to say that Jack Finney had some interesting ideas about time travel.

Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's wife is also a good read, but it definitely has the potential to dissuade one from taking a trip through time. Thanks to a rare genetic disorder, Niffenegger's traveler, Henry DeTamble, got stuck in an uncontrollable time warp. Not only did DeTamble have no control over where or when he would end up when he traveled through time; he would always arrive at the destination naked. This certainly would make the concept of time travel far more of a challenge than many of us would be willing to face.

So.... have you decided whether time travel is for you? It certainly would be a difficult decision to make, particularly with those three conditions attached. Becoming a part of history definitely would be an amazing experience, but accepting the position of detached observer would be almost impossible. Perhaps it might be a better idea to stay right where you are and play a role in creating history. Think about it........

You Decide

If you could travel through time, what would you do?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • PatriciaTL profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia T Lowe 

      8 years ago from Lehigh Valley

      I appreciate your comments and support, tgnewzz and megssgere. I do think time travel is a fascinating concept. Have you seen the two movie versions of The Time Machine? I think the older one is much more true to the novel than the more recent version.

    • megsshere profile image


      8 years ago from California

      Hmmm...very interesting..The Time Traveler's wife and HG Wells' The Time Machine happen to be my favorite creations btw.

      Loved you take. Useful and voted up:)

    • thegoodnewzz profile image


      8 years ago

      Yeah, what it? That is definitely a frightening thought about traveling some where and going to the wrong place or finding out you can't come back! I mean, airlines have enough trouble with baggage. I can only imagine what might happen with time travel. Enjoyed it. Voted up!

    • PatriciaTL profile imageAUTHOR

      Patricia T Lowe 

      8 years ago from Lehigh Valley

      Thanks, RJ. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub. I actually enjoyed writing it!

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      8 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      The time trip was a wild ride. Very imaginative to think of this. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. Up one and Useful. Hey! I'm now your fan! RJ


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)