The Human Condition in War of the Worlds, a Novel by H. G. Wells
War of the Worlds is filled with all of the technology and futuristic events that science fiction usually has. However, there is something else in this work. Looking deeper than the genre of science fiction, reveals social commentary on the human condition. There are times H.G. Wells uses the Martians to contrast the human race. The unnamed narrator in the novel recounts the story after he lived through the experience. This allowed the narrator a period of reflection before telling his fight for survival. The audience is given a wide view of his perspective during and after the invasion. Wells utilizes the narrator’s voice to express his messages about the state of human life. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells provides readers with both a fascinating tale of science fiction and insightful social commentary.
This novel depicts an invasion from Mars and the habits seen from Martians in this event. Although they are from a distant planet, the Martians have many habits and even morals similar to those of humans. The humans are terrified when they are attacked with technology far more advanced than their own. They think of the Martians as a race socially far from their own.
What all humans in the book fail to see is that in a way, the Martians are mimicking their actions. H.G. Wells arouses the minds of those who think that the invasion is unethical. He questions our own actions in a time of war. It is pointed out that the human race has also destroyed a calm, running society for our own benefits. The inhabitants of Earth have for many years, been at war with each other. They have taken drastic measures when invading and have had no mercy similar to that of the Martians.
War of the Worlds reflects the increasing feeling of anxiety and insecurities that the human race has been experiencing since the dawn of time. H.G. Wells’ narrator renders his account as a strong supporter of the theory of evolution, and saw every species as being engaged in a constant and often brutal struggle for survival. In the book, the Martian/mankind conflict is portrayed as a similar struggle, but on a larger scale. The book explores the morality and ideology of society of very self-centered humans. The novel challenges mankind’s perspective by trying to justify the Martian invasion with similar justifications that mankind itself uses for their own invasions.
This novel also explores the feeling of mankind when they witness the Martians killing them for their blood. H.G Wells questions why it is that we find it right to kill another species that’s not our own but disagree with the Martians for killing humans. The hypocrisy of an entire race come out to play an important role in this novel. Wars of the Worlds uses science fiction to let a whole different theme come out: the conflicts and inabilities of mankind. The Martians are a form of huge uncaring power, marching in, overruling the local government and crushing everything in its sight. The Martians are a symbol that mankind fails to realize a widening gap between the worlds haves and have- not’s issues that are relevant today as they were a century ago.
February 2, 2023
February 2, 2023