An intelligent animal: Humanity and degeneration in the works of H.G. Wells

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2020-05

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Abstract

With the release of Charles Darwin’s theories, the Victorian populace became filled with tensions concerning evolution and the possibility of returning to an earlier stage of natural development. Herbert George (H.G.) Wells reflects these fears within his novels, particularly The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The Island of Doctor Moreau. Wells shows the relationship between animals and humankind and how the treatment of the “lesser evolved” animals should be more concerned with the ethical handling of the animals. Wells presents the idea that humanity is composed of two halves: an artificial, civilized side that is dropped when survival is threatened and a natural, primitive side that is normally suppressed, yet is necessary to endure life-threatening events.

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Keywords

Evolution, Wells, H.G.

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