Perched on a pedestal of bronze, the giant sphinx resides in the community of the Eloi. It appears to float above the humans of the upper-world, guarding them from the Morlocks of the night. Ever watchful, the sphinx's eyes appear to follow all who enter the garden and the surrounding territory. Judgement is seen upon its visage, and in the case of the Time Traveler, a smile illustrates its wonderment for the time-sprinting guest.
The wings, spread into a flight position, illustrate the lighthearted, naive qualities of the Eloi people. Its shimmering, marbled coat represents unabashed purity, an aura of radiance. The bronze platform, glistening with the refracting sunlight, represents light, hope, and knowledge giving way to bliss.
Protecting secrets, the bronze capsule beneath the sphinx houses the treasure of the past. Hiding the Time Machine in the sphinx symbolizes the riddles that complicate the deciphering of the present, future, and past. Meddling with the concept of time only causes obstacles to arise. The Time Traveler's quest, full of difficulties and threatening situations, is an enigma that needs to be solved. After understanding the customs of humans' descendants, he then unlocks the door to the past, to his present time.
The sphinx, overall, represents authority, optimism, and mystery. The winged creature is a symbol of forever—a testament that the past never dies, but is reborn. Lasting from the ancient civilizations into the civilizations of the distant future, the sphinx illustrates life's repeating pattern. Though the purpose may change, the symbol remains.