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H.G. Wells Literary Criticism Essay

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, a suburb of London, to a lower-middle-class family. He
attended London University and the Royal College of Science where he studied zoology. One of his
professors instilled in him a belief in social as well as biological evolution which Wells later cited as the
important and influential aspect of his education. This is how it all began. Maybe without this professor
Wells wouldnt be the famous author he is today.

Most of Wells novels are science fiction and have a great
deal of some kind of human society theme, or Darwinism in mind. It is a theme that is seen in his most
famous science fiction writings. H.G. Wells seems to convey a sense of Darwinism and change in the
future of society in his major works.
Wells has been called the father and Shakespeare of science fiction.

He is best known today for
his great work in science fiction novels and short stories. He depicted stories of chemical warfare, world
wars, alien visitors and even atomic weapons in a time that most authors, or even people for that matter,
were not thinking of the like. His stories opened a door for future science fiction writers who followed the
trend that Wells wrote about. His most popular science fiction works include The Time Machine, The
Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, and The Island of Doctor Moreau. His first novel, The Time
Machine, was an immediate success. By the time the First World War had begun his style of writing and
novels had made him one of the most controversial and best-selling authors in his time.

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In the story The Time Machine, Wells expresses his creativity with images of beauty, ugliness
and great details. In this novel Wells explores what it would be like to travel in this magnificent and
beautiful machine. The criterion of the prophecy in this case is influenced by the theory of natural
selection. (Beresford, 424) He uses Darwins theory in the novel and relates it to the men living in the
novel. The men are no longer struggling to survive, they have all adapted and there is no termination of
the weak. It had practically ceased.

His fascination with society in biological terms is also mentioned,
Shows Wells horizon of sociobiological regression leading to cosmic extinction, simplified from
Darwinism. (Beresford, 424) He took the idea from Darwin but instead of making it survival of the
fittest, the weak have already died off and only the fittest are left, which leads to the extinction. His
fascination with Darwinism was one that had not been thought by many in that time, because there were
questions of ethics and religion. From The Time Machine on, it was generally recognized that no writer
had so completely or so perceptively taken Darwin to heart. (McConnell, 442) He wasnt the first man to
realize and acknowledge the importance of Darwins theory for the future of civilization, but he is said to
be the first to assimilate that theory into his stories.
Concerning society with the future, The Time Machine is said to be seen as a prophecy of the
effects of rampant industrialization on that class conflict that was already, in the nineteenth, century a
social powder keg.

(McConnell, 438) Wells always touched upon the subject of society, the destruction of
it, and how it would become in the future due to this destruction and chaos. His view on society was that
the classes would clash and ultimately they might become two races, mutually uncomprehending and
murderously divided, (Suvin, 435) His predictions of future societies were all much alike, war-torn class
problems, much like what is seen now a days. The narrator of The Time Machine says of the Time
Traveler that he saw in the growing pile of civilization only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall
back upon and destroy its makers in the end. (McConnell, 439) This is another reference to societys
survival of the fittest, as he depicts civilization tearing at each other, and in the end, doing away with their
creator.
Not all of his predictions and social clashes were horrid and horrendous with violence. In some of
his foretelling of what society would do, he recommended things that could be done to avoid such things
and maybe in the end reach some kind of peace or togetherness.

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H.G. Wells Literary Criticism Essay
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Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, a suburb of London, to a lower-middle-class family. He attended London University and the Royal College of Science where he studied zoology. One of his professors instilled in him a belief in social as well as biological evolution which Wells later cited as the important and influential aspect of his education. This is how it all began. Maybe without this professor Wells wouldnt be the famous author he is today. Mo
2019-02-12 07:54:04
H.G. Wells Literary Criticism Essay
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