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They called Moreau their God
am 5. Februar 2000
Until I read this book, I didn't know that a serious novel about human like animals existed. Certainly H.G. Wells is not most well known as one of the fathers of sci-fi for this novel. It was one of his first, published in 1896, and the book lovers of the time must have really found this work disturbing and shocking. Maybe that's why The Island of Dr. Moreau has been playing catch up to The Time Machine and War of the Worlds ever since. I admit that I myself found the basic idea in this book very cruel, but I realized that the book covered other issues as well. Besides being the novel about an insane scientist who tries the hand at playing God, this book evokes thoughts of social responsibilty and freedom of all living things. Also, it shows that sometimes who we think of as being authority really have no right to be, and deals with anarchy and revolution. But it is the basic plot that has the most effect. Why does Moreau torture animals so that can make them in the image of man? Dr. Moreau beats Victor Frankenstein on who is a more of a nutcase. Frankenstein intended for something good to come out of his work. Moreau did his experiments just for curiosity. He didn't expect for his creations to have any real purpose. He didn't care for them. And yet he brainwashes his creations to fear and respect him, to treat him like a god, and follow his laws. And another thought occurs. What really seperates man from beast? What causes humans to sometime commit violent and brutal acts? What does that account for? When I read this novel, the reality of what genetic cloning may become years from now passed through my mind. If genetics had been an established science in the 1890's, Wells could of utilized it in this book, but he would probably have created a controversy beyond any proportion. But certainly the ignorance of genes back then was not his fault, and he came up with probably the best substition: vivisection. Being the substitute of what was unknown and likely more plausible, vivisection was more than enough to shock Well's audience of reading about the blasphemous idea of creating "Beast-People". I am certain that people in 1896 weren't ready for it. Neither are we. That's what I think is the main reason that The Island of Dr. Moreau isn't as popular as H.G. Wells other novels. I found, however, that this was a worthwhile read because its suspense and creepiness intrigued me, and it made me think of some social issues. If you're a person who can bear reading a grotesque story of cruelty and suffering, I highly recommend this book.