Comparing Nature of Man in Island of Dr. Moreau and Lord of the Flies

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Nature of Man Exposed in Island of Dr. Moreau and Lord of the Flies Throughout the natural history of mankind, the human race has always held a notion of its predominance over all other creations of nature. Man has long believed that he is somehow morally superior to all other creatures, motivated by a higher source than basic instincts. Yet, the history of man is marked by an interminable string of events that would seem to contradict that theory: war, genocide, segregation, suppression, tyranny, the list goes on and on. Only a cursory look at man’s history is required to come to the conclusion that man is at least as cruel and savage as the beasts they strive to surpass. H.G. Wells in The Island of Dr. Moreau and William Golding in Lord of the Flies each attack man’s artificial superiority extensively. Both men believed that the beast itself resided in man’s soul, surfacing occasionally to produce the evil that man is capable of. Yet, the men approached this concept in two distinct manners, leading to differences in a number of key aspects of the ir respective theories, differences that could weigh heavily on the future of the human race. When H.G. Wells’ was asked what his motivation was for writing Moreau, he responded, "This story was but the response of an imaginative mind to the reminder that humanity is but animal rough-hewn to a reasonable shape and in perpetual conflict between instinct and injunction...It was written just to give the utmost possible vividness to that conception of man as hewn and confused and tormented beasts" (Batchelor 17). Inspired by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, Wells’ island tale of Dr. Moreau and his wild beasts carries a far deeper purpose than the simple survival story... ... middle of paper ... ...." Critical Essays on William Golding. G.K. Hall & Co.: Boston, 1988. 22-29. Batchelor, John. "The Romances of the 1890’s." H.G. Wells. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1985. 17-21. Boyd, S.J. "The Nature of the Beast: Lord of the Flies (1954)." The Novels of William Golding. Harvester Wheatsheaf: New York, 1990. 1-23. Costa, Richard Hauer. "The Scientific Romances." H.G. Wells. Twayne Publishers: Boston, 1987. 35-39. Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Berkley Publishing Group: New York, 1954. Hynes, Samuel. "[William Golding’s Lord of the Flies]." Critical Essays on William Golding. G.K. Hall & Co.: Boston, 1988. 13-21. McConnell, Frank. "Evolutionary Fables." The Science Fiction of H.G. Wells. Oxford University Press: New York, 1981. 88-105. Wells, Herbert George. The Island of Dr. Moreau. Bantam Books: New York, 1994.

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