War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells is a fiction story written about war and mankind’s coming of age. It is also a philosophical novel with many deep meanings underlying the shallow looking one-hundred-eighty-eight page book.
The subject of this novel is Science Fiction and there are not many that can even compete with Wells in terms of how superior his word descriptions are. He simply does wonders with the imagination of the reader.
Obviously the whole book is about the struggle mankind faces, but it is not always with aliens, they are actually more of a good way to represent what Wells really believed. He believed man is dominant, yet should remember how big the universe is and that the possibility of life far more intelligent than ours is very great.
The narrator, who is also the main character tells War of the Worlds in first person. He describes everything from the man’s denial, to the invasion, the battles, and the aftermath. In the beginning he discusses the possibility of other life forms existing. When the aliens invade they do not communicate, just organize and destroy all resistance and population centers. The author journeys along all of England fleeing the invaders and always being updated from various people about the news. The climax comes when he walks into a town to find all the aliens dead from bacteria, and the denouement is when he finds his wife.
The movie “Independence Day” is the best way to describe this story to someone who has never read the book before. The two are strikingly similar. In both the aliens invade without warning and destroy everything with their superior technology. People know about the aliens before they arrive ahead of time in each story, but do nothing because of denial and public hysteria. The study and autopsy of aliens are described in the two. There are differences though. There are no heroes in the book, but in the movie there are. Our technology is useless in the book and in the movie it wins it for us. In a sense the endings are the same because a computer virus is what causes the aliens’ shields to go down in the movie and biological viruses kill the aliens in the book. Still when I think about it, “Independence Day” is the best way to modernize the story.
Pre World War One England is the setting for the story. It fits nicely, for if the humans were more advanced; the alien technology would not have smashed them, and actually might have been smashed by technology from that of even World War Two days. In this case the setting is perfect on account of the humans having a small sense of hope in their machinery, but not enough technology to really compete.
Characters are not a big part of this book. The main one, who never reveals his name, is the only one who in fact does not always go with the craziness of the public. He does have his moments of running away screaming and hiding, but he learns more...