The Time Machine/WMG
The Eloi metamorphose into Morlocks.
Could the reason that there are no elderly Eloi be that those Eloi who are not eaten become Morlocks, no longer able to gain sustenance except through eating their young who retain the ability to process plant matter? It'd prefigure the Babyeaters from Eliezer Yudkowsky's Three Worlds Collide.
- Someone on another forum pointed out a few problems with this interpretation. First, there'd have to be some change to the baby schema in the Morlock brain to recognize young Eloi the way we recognize lambs, not the way we recognize human children. Nor does the text clearly establish that Morlocks know enough science to reestablish an Eloi ranch lost to natural disaster or overharvesting. And if the Time Traveller defeats them so easily using a blunt object and the light of a forest fire, they might not have the physical fitness to find another ranch.