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The Island of Dr. Moreau

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The Island of Dr Moreau, by H.G. Wells, is not an ordinary science fiction novel. It doesn't deal with aliens or anything from outer space, but with biological science that exists on earth. The novel was about a character, Edmund Prendick that gets involved with an island of experimentation. At first glance, this tropical paradise seems idyllic. But deep in the jungles lies a terrifying secret. Moreau and Montgomery have been performing scientific research on human beings and the experiment goes terribly wrong. They have ignored the most fundamental law of the jungle: survival of the fittest. The doctor is seeking to make animals half human by means of vivisectional surgery; the transplantation of organs, and the pain involved is very vividly described. Doctor Moreau succeeds in making some of his man-animals talk and even read, but they tend to revert to the beast. So Moreau continues to try to get the entire animal out, and make a creature of his own. His creatures, which continue to come to their demise, then kill Moreau and finally all die off. When the H.M.S. Scorpion visits the island, there is nothing alive there except for a few "white moths, some hogs and rabbits and some rather peculiar rats."

The theme of this novel is that science experiments can go too far, because the creatures made from the experimentation go against their creators. These creatures, known as Beast Men, were combinations of animals, like a wolf combined with a human being, and these scientists spent their entire life devoted to these "experiments." However, at one point in the novel, a conflict arises from the creatures and chaos begins. When the conflict finally comes to a halt, there is only one true human standing.

H.G. Wells was born on September 21, 1866 in Bromley, Kent a suburb of London. His father, Joseph Wells, and his mother, Sarah, were married in 1853 and they

had four children. An elder sister, Fanny, died at the age of 9 two years before H.G. was born. After he was born, his family was worried that he may also die like his sister Fanny, being that he was sort of a "weakling" and struggled to be healthy most of his life. Wells was apprenticed like his brothers to a draper, spending the years between 1880 and 1883 in Windsor and Southsea as a drapeist. In 1883 Wells became a teacher/pupil at Midhurst Grammar School. He obtained a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London and studied biology there under T.H. Huxley. However, his interest faltered and in 1887 he left without a degree. He taught in private schools for four years, obtaining his B.S. degree until 1980. The next year he settled in London, married his cousin Isabel and continued his career as a teacher in a correspondence college. Wells left Isabel for one of his brightest students, Amy Catherine, whom he married in 1895 (Brian 1).

In 1893 Wells became a full-time writer. As a novelist, Wells made his debut with "The Time Machine", a parody of English class division. The narrator is Hillyer, who discusses with his friends about the theories of time travel. Much of the realistic atmosphere of the story was achieved by carefully studying technical details. The basic principles of the machine contained materials regarding time as the fourth dimension - years later Albert Einstein published his theory of the four dimensional continuum of space-time ("H.G. Wells" 2).

Dissatisfied with his literary work, Wells moved into the novel genre with "Love and Mr. Lewisham", and strengthened his reputation as a serious writer. Wells also

published critical pamphlets attacking the Victorian social order, among them "Anticipations", "Mankind in the Making", and "A Modern Utopia".

Passionate concern for society led Wells to join the socialist Fabian Society in 1903 in London. It advocated a fairer society by planning for a gradual system of reforms. However, he soon quarreled with the society's leaders, among them George Bernard Shaw. This experience was basis for his novel "The New Machiavelli", which portrayed the noted Fabians. At the outbreak of war in 1914, Wells was involved in a love affair with a young journalist, Rebecca West, 26 years his junior. West and Wells called themselves "panther" and "jaguar". Their son Anthony West later wrote about their difficult relationship in "Aspects of Life".

In his novels Wells used his two wives, Amber Reeves, Rebecca West, Odette Keun and all the passing mistresses as models for his characters. "I was never a great amorist," Wells wrote in "Experiment in Autobiography", "though I have loved several people very deeply." Rebecca West became a famous author and married a wealthy banker, Henry Andrews, who had business interests in Germany. Mistress Elizabeth von Arnim dismissed Wells, and Moura Budberg, Maxim Gorky's former mistress, refused to marry him or even be faithful.




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