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War Of The Worlds Analysis

1798 words - 8 pages

All creation evolves with the idea of survival of the fittest; there is always competition for control in an environment. This idea supports the theory that power is fleeting and that there is nothing in creation that reigns permanently all-powerful. In War of the Worlds H.G. Wells uses title, setting, and irony to convey the theme that when a force stands as the most potent entity in a system, there is always another power to put the other in check.
Herbert George Wells was an English writer born on September 21, 1866, in Bromley, Kent, England, and died August 13, 1946, in London, England. He was the youngest of four children of Joseph Wells, a shopkeeper and cricketer, and Sarah Neal, ...view middle of the document...

The Martians are, in fact, invading earth for the purpose of finding a new place to live. Mars is becoming uninhabitable. Wells writes, “Mars is older than our earth, with scarcely a quarter of the superficial area and remoter [sic] from the sun, it necessarily follows that it is not only more distant from life’s beginning, but nearer its end” (Wells 10). The failing climate of Mars with shrinking oceans, and increasingly long winter seasons has been catastrophic for the Martians, so they set their gaze on a new “morning star of hope, our warmer planet, green with vegetation and grey with water” (Wells 10). Wells continues, writing, “To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that, generation after generation, creeps upon them” (Wells 11). The Martians view humanity as humanity views lesser animals, and therefore, it is justifiable to them to encroach on our territory for the wellbeing of their species. This idea shows that the Martians may intend to spread destruction of our race into other continents for the prolonging of their own kind, perhaps to the point of raising us as livestock, as the artilleryman speculates to the narrator.
At least to England, this is, in fact, an all-out war. The British military is constantly striving to fortify the countryside as an attempt to stop the pressing Martian tripods. Wells writes, “Every minute a fresh gun came into position until, before twilight, every corpse, every row of suburban villas on the hilly slopes about Kingston and Richmond, masked an expectant black muzzle” (Wells 77). This is not effective in the least; the guns are easily destroyed by the Martian Heat-Ray and Black Smoke. The weapons of the Martians are much more deadly, and much more effective at killing their targets than the humans’ weapons are.
On the other hand, this may not really be thought of as a war to the Martians. The artilleryman articulates this well when he says, “This isn’t a war. . . It never was a war, any more than there’s a war between man and ants” (Wells 172). He continues, “It’s just men and ants. There’s the ants builds [sic] their cities, live their lives, have wars, revolutions, until the men want them out of the way, and then they go out of the way. That’s what we are now—just ants” (Wells 172). The way the Martians indiscriminately exterminate all humans they contact is more similar to exercising pest control before moving into a new home than waging a war.
The novel’s setting reflects violence and fear. Fear and violence go hand in hand with war. No war has existed without both of these; The War of the Worlds is no exception. The manner in which the Martians go about ridding the earth of humans is quite violent. The two main Martian weapons, the Heat-Ray and the Black Smoke, as well as the harvesting of humans for consumption, are brutal, and described by Wells in graphic detail. The narrator describes the Heat-Ray as “flashes of actual flame, a bright...

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