THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (1896) by H. G. Wells
In THE TIME MACHINE, H.G. Wells speculated about human evolution reaching into the distant future.
in THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, he took Darwin's discovery directly into
the present (the story takes place in the 1880s) - and the result is a
tale somewhere in the borderland between science fiction and horror.
theory of evolution made a profound impact on Western society, and was
met with a furious opposition from the religious establishment. The
opposition lost, and the ancient notion that humans were fundamentally
apart from other animals - that only humans had a "soul" - shattered
In THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, the protagonist literally
and existentially struggles with the consequences of this (to him) new
reality, where the "boundary" between human and animal is blurred.
are some truly profound scenes in this novel that are simultaneously
science fiction, horror, satire and allegory. In that respect it may be
the best novel Wells ever wrote. Read it and you'll see what I mean.
Recommended as an unforgettable classic of science fiction, horror and psychological literature.
have a cynical anticipation that some people are going to wilfully
misinterpret this novel as a work about simplistic "racism." (That is,
to assume that the "beast people" of the story are nothing more than
symbols for non-Western or non-"white" peoples.)
But that would be to profoundly miss the point. Evolution is for everybody. Or, to quote the novel: "None escape!"
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