a dim impression of scaffolding

Saltie

Senior Member
Russian, Russia, Sochi
Hi!
It's from 'The Time Machine' by H.G.Wells, the time traveller describes what happened as he increased the speed of the time machine:
'I supposed the laboratory had been destroyed and I had come into the open air. I had a dim impression of scaffolding, but I was already going too fast to be conscious of any moving things.'

What does the phrase in bold mean?
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    Scaffolding is the system of poles used around a house when you are building or repairing it.

    A dim impression means 'a poorly-seen vision or idea' (of the scaffolding).

    It suggests that as he is travelling back in time, the building he is in is being 'un-built'.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The metal structure on the outside of this building enables workers to perform construction tasks safely. Once the work is complete the scaffolding will be dismantled and re-assembled at another construction site.

     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    A low scaffolding is sometimes put in place to protect pedestrians from falling debris. This is an example of that type:

     
    Three Prophetic Novels of H. G. Wells

    In the passage, he seems to be travelling forward in time, so the scaffolding would not be that at his lab, earlier, when it was being built. It seems to be for future buildings. Consistent with this is the vision of trees that 'grew, spread, shivered and passed away' and 'I saw huge buildings rise up and pass like dreams.' This does not sound like what you see watching a movie in reverse. He soon mentions the year 'Eight Hundred and Two Thousand odd'.
     
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