Talk:The Sleeper Awakes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Novels (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Novels, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit one of the articles mentioned below, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and contribute to the general Project discussion to talk over new ideas and suggestions.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article has been marked as needing an infobox.

The Sleeper Awakes vs When The Sleeper Wakes[edit]

I think it would be valuable for the article to have information on the specific differences between the two versions of this story. (talk) 23:10, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

To Graham' disappointment, there are no books in the quarters where he is under arrest. Only cyinders which he guesses might have taken the place of books. On one is written 'Heart of Darkness'. He is none the wiser as to how this future society functions as he does not know how to operate the cylinders. I have omitted the reference to books and 'other media' helping him to understand this society Workgate (talk) 01:41, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Germ of "When The Sleeper Wakes"[edit]

The germ of the story is not stated: a simple premise which was stated in the beginning pages of "The Time Machine" during the discussion before the demonstration of the Time Machine model: "Then there is the future," said the Very Young Man. "Just think! One might invest all one's money, leave it to accumulate at interest, and hurry on ahead!" "To discover a society," said I, "erected on a strictly communistic basis." (One wonders if we are in a parlor with Wells friends c.1890, drinking sherry and the author mentally setting down the whole conversation for future use.)

Graham 1st sees the future world[edit]

I submit a specific mention be made of the moment Graham 1st sees his inherited world. As you say, his caretakers are preventing his explorations, but you fail to mention the crucial moment, which must be included in the article. Graham slips away and comes to a grand overview of 22nd Century London. He is transfixed, amazed by the advancement of Mankind. However, he is also worried at the course of Humanity. The result is one of Wells' very best introspectives, worthy of any being of conscience today: "We were making the future", he said, "and hardly any of us troubled to think what future we were making. And here it is!" From this moment, with the proof of his own eyes, Graham's true education of HIS world begins to form. From here his captors begin to understand they can no longer keep him a closeted child and the apparatus of subterfuge and misdirection must begin. I consider this one of the finest unsung moments of Sci-Fi Future Fiction. Jopower (talk) 12:18, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Precognition of revolutions[edit]

The early printings of When the Sleeper Wakes predate and possibly encouraged some peoples' uprisings in the early 20th Century. Wells often had an accurate finger on the pulse of social change and the view and motivations of the man in the street, even if his forecasts of technical advancement were occasionally off the mark. He has a way of putting the reader on the narrator's shoulder and making it real... as real as the Russian peasants facing the Tzar's guard on the streets of St. Petersburg in 1905 or striking against the inhuman conditions in early factories. I submit that mention of the great marches of the people against tyranny in this book be described in this light and Wells prescience in describing it accurately. Jopower (talk) 12:18, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

A section for the novel future world details displayed in "When The Sleeper Wakes"[edit]

I propose the inclusion of a section near the end of the article detailing the visionary future world found in "When The Sleeper Wakes" and it's influence on the Sci-Fi Future Fiction genre. "When The Sleeper Wakes" was one of the 1st attempts by "a fiction of science" to carefully and realistically detail the advancement of our world society. It took some liberties with that by presenting a single premise to be considered in shaping history: "Just think! One might invest all one's money, leave it to accumulate at interest, and hurry on ahead!" (which was stated in the beginning pages of "The Time Machine"). The book was not read by as large a public audience as Wells more famous works, but it was read by the right audience: other writers and thinkers of the future. I present the main portion of this section with the following headings and a basis for the text to be included.

Moving Sidewalks

Many of the classic visions of the future includes moving sidewalks. Here we have the 1st (or one of) mention in fiction of huge moving sidewalks; massive escalators of (free?) public transportation for the people across a huge city quickly and efficiently. Capable of graduated speeds from 5 to 60 mph, which the people selected by simply stepping on to a slower or faster moving band of steel (we are to assume training to use this would be fairly simple compared to learning to drive a car... it is likely common users of the faster portions would become somewhat athletic). The people were even clothed to accommodate the speeds, a detail point often forgotten by later writers.

Future Jargon and Advertising

Graham is given a tour of London and encounters huge broadsides designed to be read at high speed along the route of the vast city-wide moving sidewalks, extolling the people to increase their drive and upward mobility. "Look Slippy", et al., seem a bit comical now, but it is very possible given the evolution of media science that in OUR 2100 it would not be out of place (or indeed even recently in some Communist/Totalitarian nations). Witness why you should "Look Slippy": the huge cruise liners and Pleasure Cities you earned vacations to, some of which Graham visits. Wells understood advertising and societal steering beyond many contemporaries and it should be noted in this article that this is one of his earliest attempts at a tour d'force. "Vidi well, oh my brothers!"

Wind generators and clean technology

Graham's future London is ringed by a vast array of wind power turbines. In Wells' era, London was a smoky, stinky, unsanitary mess conveyed by a half-million horses, lit by gaslight, heated by coal stoves and powered by coal power plants for which the famous rain and mist was the main cleanser. Future London is a near clean utopia for power, housing and transportation (...until you descend to the lower levels!). Include mention of these advances in the article.

Visual and Auditory Mass Media

In When The Sleeper Wakes, the vast and nearly omnipresent communications now encircle the globe. Wells metaphor of a big room where dozens of loud speakers are sounding simultaneously to a crowd, each listener straining and pushing to hear to their favored broadcast is exactly analogous to every form of modern mass media. A form of visual 2-way Television is available, though mainly for the well-to-do. For 1899, very visionary.

Aeropiles and Aerodromes (I hope I've recalled these names correctly... the book isn't at hand, please correct me)

Plenty of other books had spoken of aircraft by 1899, but few if any in such a lucid and whole concept. As the use of aircraft (Aeropiles) is essential to the story, a mention of this should be expanded. Wells has built a vast transcontinental airline system, traveled by huge craft capable of transporting numbers approaching that of our current airliners, many times a day. They land at immense airfields (Aerodromes) with extensive underground support for craft and accommodation for passengers. The fact that some technical details are off (747 sized craft powered by huge one cylinder engines -and we have to admit a modern jet engine would resemble a form of single tube engine to a Victorian man- taking off from special launching cradles!!) is a minor, though occasionally priceless, point. The fact is c.2100 transport is fast, convenient, comfortable and somewhat affordable. Graham experiences travel most of us can recognize in most personal aspects. Again, for 1899, utterly visionary. Jopower (talk) 12:18, 16 June 2012 (UTC)


It was not compound interest on bank accounts but gains made by the trustees investing his money. (talk) 16:40, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Plot summary is incorrect[edit]

The plot summary begins: "Graham, an Englishman living in London in 1897 takes drugs to cure insomnia and falls into a coma." This is the opposite of the events described in the book. Graham has taken a combination of drugs (" alkaloids that stifle natural fatigue and kill rest—black coffee, cocaine") in order to stay awake for an extended period and as a result has developed a seemingly permanent inability to sleep. After being unable to sleep for many days, he appears to be at the point of death and falls into the coma. He specifically rejects the idea of taking drugs to cure the insomnia on the basis that drugs caused it. He says at one point "Great God, I've had enough of drugs!" and also "I dare not take … sufficiently powerful drugs". Steevithak (talk) 03:39, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

That's the way I read the novel. Does no-one else agree?--Mabzilla (talk) 22:57, 10 July 2016 (UTC)