The Island of Doctor Moreau: Science Fiction Novel

H. G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau depicts the experience of Prendick, who upon being rescued, is sent onto another island where he is faced with a new breed of citizens. The story is centered on animal vivisection performed by Dr. Moreau and how Prendick faces these “morbid growths.” (Wells 22) Because of the grotesque theme of animal vivisection and experimentation, The Island of Doctor Moreau fits the science fiction genre.

Upon his arrival on the island, Montgomery warns Prendick of the strange happenings on the island. Dr. Moreau goes on to say that “our little establishment here contains a secret or so, is a kind of Blue-Beard’s chamber.” (Wells 19) At first, Dr. Moreau and Montgomery leave Prendick in the dark about their experimentations with animals on the island. Obviously curious, Prendick goes exploring on the island where he see creatures described as “human beings with the strangest air about them of some familiar animal.” (Wells 28) Dr. Moreau eventually explains his creations to Prendick, who compares the human-animal creatures with having the “mark of the beast” (Wells 28)

Dr. Moreu’s imaginative innovations of these animals convey ideals similarly contained in science fiction novels. When viewing the novel as belonging to the sci fi genre, the rather absurd concept of animal vivisection is somewhat given justice. At a time when animal vivisection was a concern in Britain, H. G. Wells attempts to explain the reasoning and thoughts behind such abnormal behaviors by showing how the creation of this breed was a passion of Dr. Moreau’s. By reading this novel in relation to the scientific fiction genre, the theme of animal vivisection and experimentation is shown as a largely imaginative ideal that is being explored and not necessarily frowned upon, but rather accepted due to the creative process.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Island of Doctor Moreau: Science Fiction Novel

  1. aeernst

    While I do agree that The Island of Dr. Moreau fits well in the science fiction genre, and I believe that animal vivisection helps put it in that genre, I disagree that H.G. Wells attempted to reason that vivisection should be accepted in his work. I feel like he actually warned against the use of this technology, for his didn’t paint the Beast People in the best possible light. He constantly described the Beast People as frightening and ugly, and they caused the death of Moreau and Montgomery. So even though Moreau does use this technology in an amazing manner, for creating humans, I feel like the way the story resolved warns against the technology instead of idealizing it.

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