Space, Aliens, and the Unknown?

The Island of Dr. Moreau is a very interesting work since it can be classified into many different genres, but I believe it fits best in the genre of science fiction. According to Wikipedia, science fiction is a genre “dealing with the impact of imagined innovations in science or technology, often in a futuristic setting.” Since the main theme of the story is vivisection and the transformation of animals into humans through scientific means, I feel like it almost fits almost perfectly into this genre.

When I think of science fiction, my mind immediately goes to the Star Wars saga. While that may be a little more typical science fiction, according to the definition given above, The Island of Dr. Moreau fits as well. Vivisection was a very contentious topic in Britain around the time of the publishing of this work (“Our History”, par. 4), and the central idea to this novel is what the implications of this technology would be.

When Prendick first saw the Beast People, he thought of how “never before had (he) seen such bestial-looking creatures” and with the realization that they were almost human in form but had “an irresistible suggestion of a hog” (Wells 29) sent him into shock and questioning what they were and the situation he was in. The idea of animals turned into humans is very strange, and gives me the same feeling as something alien, which leads me to put this work in with other science fiction works as well.


“Our History.” British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. BAUV, n.d. Web. 7 Feb 2011. <;.




1 Comment

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One response to “Space, Aliens, and the Unknown?

  1. looloo14

    I thought it was interesting, in your last paragraph, when you characterized science fiction as having a kind of shocking effect on people. I never considered this; however, the more I think about it, the more I believe it. When I think of other stories that are considered science fiction, I realize how most of them have an element in them that is completely unrealistic. Therefore, it is hard for the reader to put themselves in a similar situation, and they are caught with the element of surprise. I am currently reading Kindred, by Octavia Butler, which is a novel that concerns time travel. The protagonist, an African-American woman, is transported back in time to the early 19th century, when slavery ruled the south. There is a point where she is conversing with a white child, who proceeds to refer to her as the “n” word. I was shocked to hear such a young child call a woman this in regular conversation because my mind was not adjusted to the concept of time travel back to slavery, when it was acceptable to call people such words.

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