Obviously, time travel is just a fictional phenomenon and no there is no portal to 1958 in the storeroom of a diner, as the book 11/22/63 would suggest. However, the concept that a decision made in the past can heavily influence the future is viable. In the novel 11/22/63 the protagonist Jake Epping is introduced to a way he can travel back in time but there is a catch, he can only travel back to the same year, 1958. Jake and the man who showed him the portal theorise that by going back in time and preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 would result in numerous positive repercussions, such as the prevention of the Vietnam war and the assassination of Martin Luther King. Jake Epping goes on a number of spectacular adventures through the past where he saves the lives of multiple people including John F. Kennedy. Jake finally completes his mission but upon arrival in the present he realizes he has greatly mistaken his influence on the past. Jake’s naive actions have created a type of butterfly effect where he has caused much more harm than good. The world has descended into anarchy and Jake is conflicted on whether to go back and save his love from death which could shatter the time space continuum or save the current timeline by resetting his last visit. Jake makes the right decision and saves the present by resetting the timeline and therefore his love will never meet him. I believe that this novel brings up a very important issue about how one's actions in the present have serious repercussions in the future. This message is applicable to our society now more than ever. We are constantly being warned about the disastrous future effects of our pollution on the planet and our reliance on non-renewable resources such as oil and gas. While 11/22/63 doesn’t specify these concerns these are the type of problems that are brought to consciousness after seeing what the future can hold. Our culture must begin to change or else the fate of our civilization will dissipate along with all the resources we so desperately rely on to fuel our fast paced world.
How the future could be if we don't change our ways!