H. G. Wells’ novella, The Time Machine, traces the evolutionary results of a severely unequal society. The Traveller journeys not just to the year 2000 or 5000, but all the way to the year 802,701, where he witnesses the long-term evolutionary consequences of Victorian inequality.
The human race has evolved into two distinct species. The first one we encounter is the Eloi, a population of large-eyed and fair-haired children who are loving and gentle, but otherwise pretty much useless. They flit from distraction to distraction and feed upon juicy fruits that fall from the trees. “I never met people more indolent or more easily fatigued,” observes the Traveller. “A queer thing I soon discovered about my little hosts, and that was their lack of interest. They would come to me with eager cries of astonishment, like children, but, like children they would soon stop examining me, and wander away after some other toy.”