Montgomery breaks down and decides to share his alcohol with the Beast Folk. Prendick resolves to leave the island, but later hears a commotion outside in which Montgomery, his servant M'ling, and the Sayer of the Law die after a scuffle with the Beast Folk. At the same time, the compound burns down because Prendick has knocked over a lamp.
With no chance of saving any of the provisions stored in the enclosure, Prendick realizes that during the night Montgomery has also destroyed the only boats on the island. Prendick lives with the Beast Folk on the island for months after the deaths of Moreau and Montgomery.
As the time goes by, the Beast Folk increasingly revert to their original animal instincts, beginning to hunt the island's rabbits, returning to walking on all fours, and leaving their shared living areas for the wild. They cease to follow Prendick's instructions. Prendick's efforts to build a raft have been unsuccessful. Luckily for him, a lifeboat that carries two corpses drifts onto the beach perhaps the captain of the ship that picked Prendick up and a sailor. When he tells his story he is thought to be mad, so he feigns amnesia.
Upon his return to England, Prendick is no longer comfortable in the presence of humans, all of whom seem to him to be about to revert to an animal state. He leaves London and lives in near-solitude in the countryside, devoting himself to chemistry as well as astronomy in the studies of which he finds some peace. The Beast Folk are animals which Moreau has experimented upon, giving them human traits via vivisection for which the surgery is extremely painful.
They include:. At the time of the novel's publication in , there was growing discussion in Europe regarding degeneration and animal vivisection. Several interest groups were formed to oppose vivisection, the two largest being the National Anti-Vivisection Society in and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection in Moreau reflects these themes, along with ideas of Darwinian evolution which were gaining popularity and controversy in the late s.
The story, as well as the Litany of the Law, has inspired multiple derivative works and popular culture references. Wells expounded upon his firm belief that the events depicted in The Island of Doctor Moreau are entirely possible should such vivisective experiments ever be tested outside the confines of science fiction. However, modern medicine has shown that non-human animals lack the necessary brain structure to emulate human faculties like speech.
In addition, immune responses to foreign tissues make transplantation within one species very complicated, let alone between species. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He argues that pain is evolutionarily unnecessary, even going so far as to dabble in religious arguments when he declares that "pleasure and pain have noting to do with heaven and hell.
He then tells Prendick a little of the history of the island, noting with some wonder that it has been eleven years since he first arrived with Montgomery and six natives, one of whom was killed by a serpentine monster that Moreau created as "purely an experiment.
But he could not ignore the fact that the Gorilla Man was not human, and he has wanted to create a perfect transformation before going back. He goes on broodingly about how there seems to be some bestial element that his scalpel cannot touch.
No matter how well he can mimic physical and even mental form, there is always a gradual reversion in his creatures. He comments on their primitive society, however, saying that although all he can see in them is his own failure, he finds "a kind of travesty of humanity" in their affairs, describing an "upward striving in them, part vanity, part waste sexual emotion, part waste curiosity.
Unable to sacrifice himself in the noble dignity of preserving his integrity against vivisection, Prendick at first behaves like the frantic, hunted animal he is at the beginning of Chapter XIII and in the couple chapters before it. But then he decides to make a principled stand, intending to exact as much of a toll on Moreau and his followers as he can in exchange for his life. Furthermore, in this chapter he really does seem willing to drown himself.
At this point, he is showing a strength of character that he seemed to lack earlier. His appeal to the Beast Men is especially important, because it represents an attempt to break Moreau's hold over them.
Their reverence seems based on the belief that Moreau and Montgomery are otherworldly and cannot be hurt. This belief only reinforces the sense of pretense and play-acting that seems to be the basis of life on the island. While the Beast Men must pretend that they respect the Law, Moreau must maintain the untarnished image of a deity. Neither side can afford to slip up if the society is to be maintained.
For instance, Moreau refuses to put his hands up when he gives Prendick the guns, calling it "undignified" and motioning to the Beast Men behind him. He is not just a sci-fi writer; he is an imaginative prophet. I am very pleased with this OUP edition with the introduction by D. The suggestion of degeneration in the late Victorian times is implicitly linked with the sexual orientation of Oscar Wilde is very revealing about contemporary reception of the work.
Of course with the benefit of hindsight, modern readers can say such alarm was rather mis-attributed. But given the fact that Darwin's idea and its implications greatly disturbs the Victorians, it is hardly the case that Victorians might think otherwise.
The introduction is also very informative as well. If the editor did not mention the set-up of Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty against Animals, I would not have been aware that the impending th anniversary of RSPCA and how humanity has made the leap forward. Shipwreck survivor Edward Prendick is picked up by a dodgy cargo vessel and befriended by the secretive Montgomery.
Compared to his other books, I found the writing tedious and the story hard going. All in all, there was very little to keep me interested. Report abuse. It was written at the time that Darwinian evolutionary theory was becoming more accepted and reflects many issues and concerns arising from this and man's ability to alter nature.
Dr Moreau's attempts to produce animals with human characteristics, including ability to speak and reason, using surgery seem dated and absurd now, but I think the story should be read as a morality tale, and if we imagine that genetic engineering to produce chimeric organisms using modern technology is substituted, then the story's main themes remain relevant. Dr Moreau, isolated on his island with his assistant Montgomery, seems like a classic megalomaniac James Bond villain in the Dr No mould, and naturally his attempts end in disaster.
There are so many themes in this short novel that would no doubt have been groundbreaking and shocking at the time that have been subsequently developed and re-worked in latter books and films, that despite now being dated in prose and detail we should remember that the pioneering Wells got there before others. There is also a good introduction and a short one page biography of Wells.
A nice edition in the SF Masterworks series which is important in giving a good historical perspective to the genre. Wells binge. I am quite quickly binging my way through everything Gollancz has to offer in the way of Wells and am enjoying all of it so far. The S. Masterworks collection never ceases to satisfy in their choice of publications, introductions and cover art. Personally I would have to say that I enjoyed The Island of Doctor Moreau more than the rest aside perhaps The Time Machine , and have come to really enjoy Wells' style of writing and choices of protagonist; almost always from the perspective of a more learned man than myself.
To anybody new to Wells, Sci-Fi or the S. Thank you for your intelligent summary and review. Like Liked by 1 person. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email.
Delen: Twitter Facebook Tumblr Pinterest. Like this: Like Loading Published by. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. He calmly discusses the situation with Douglas. Douglas, Montgomery and Moreau gather and he introduces his hybrid "children". He explains his creations: he introduced human DNA into animals in search of a higher being, incapable of harm.
The existing Beast Folk are imperfect, but Moreau claims to be very close to a solution. Moreau's son Azazello comes in with the rabbit, to the disgust of Moreau who abhors killing. When he learns of the eaten rabbit, he promises that there will be a trial the next day.
Douglas tries to escape by boat, but it is overrun with rat -like creatures. At the trial, Azazello unexpectedly shoots Lo-Mai. His body is burned, and a mutant called Hyena-Swine comes, notices the pain implant among his remains, then removes his own. Montgomery reveals to Douglas that in addition to the pain, the animals are controlled through regular drugging to prevent them from "retrogressing".
Hyena-Swine shows off the removed implant, and so Montgomery sets the other beasts after him. Meanwhile, Douglas tries to contact the outside world, but Montgomery sabotages the radio and Aissa reveals to Moreau that she is regressing as it shows her with cat -like eyes.
Hyena-Swine and his trackers now on his side and also free of implants break into the House and confront their Father. Angry over their hybrid nature and no longer under his control, they reject humanity and the Law where they kill Moreau. His children grieve except for Azazello who steals Montgomery's gun and goes to join the savages.
Aissa informs Douglas that he can stop her regression with a serum from the lab. However, it turns out Montgomery has gone insane and destroyed it. Douglas also finds samples and a file with his name on them, and finds out that Moreau was planning to use his DNA to stop Aissa's regression permanently, completing his experiments.
Meanwhile, Azazello leads the savages to the armory. The savages have now taken over the island. Azazello shoots a drunken Montgomery dead at the village and Hyena-Swine's faction rampages around the island. Azazello hangs Aissa before being executed by Hyena-Swine, having outlived his usefulness; but Douglas manages to survive by telling Hyena-Swine to impose his leadership and be "God Number One" among the others of his faction, especially those who helped him kill Moreau.
During the battle, Douglas escapes and Hyena-Swine is killed in the burning building. The Sayer of the Law and Assassimon see off Douglas as he leaves. The Sayer of the Law tells Douglas that the hybrids are wanting to return to their natural state of being and believes it is better so as to end their creator's work.
In closing narration, Douglas reflects on the savagery of humans and claims that he leaves the island "in fear". Moreau , the chaotic events of the making of the film quickly led to its becoming one of the most difficult and troubled productions in Hollywood history. Moreau had been a long-standing dream of original director Richard Stanley , who had first read the book as a child. He spent four years developing the project before getting the green-light from New Line Cinema. Furious, Stanley demanded a meeting with Brando, who unexpectedly proved very sympathetic to Stanley's vision, not least because of Stanley's intimate understanding of the novel and its history - including its connections with Joseph Conrad 's Heart of Darkness the main inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now - and because of Stanley's own family relation to legendary African explorer Henry Morton Stanley , one of the chief inspirations for Conrad's lead character, Kurtz.Moreau's island embodies a dual nature. One the one hand, it's beautiful and lush, vibrant with life. On the other hand, the geological features making it lush, such as the whole volcano thing, also create a volatile and dangerous place to live. This dual nature extends beyond the land itself to the people and Beast Folk living on the island.