Monday, February 22, 2021

Micro Mention "The Island of Dr. Moreau"

HG Wells

In the area of classic science fiction that reads more like horror, “The Island of Dr. Moreau” by HG Wells is hard to beat. Some of the jungle scenes, at night, when the beast folk are chasing Prendick is the stuff of nightmares. The whole island and Dr. Moreau's methods all feel like a waking bad dream Prendick can't escape.

There is a theme running through Victorian-era literature when it comes to science and its distrust. This novel comes in toward the middle of the golden age of the mad scientist, in my estimation, firmly rooting it in that tradition. I expect that part of the reason this theme resonated so much with people was because of the world they were living in at the time. Think about the scientific advances from the 18th to the 19th and then the even more profound technological changes around the turn of the 20th century. Change creates anxiety, and anxiety is a hop, skip, and a jump away from full-blown terror.


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