Will the Haughtiness of Humans Lead To Our Demise?

Better Essays
As long as humans have existed, weapons too have existed. Ranging from the simple bow-and-arrow from the Native Americans, to the advanced pistol of the Europeans, weapons have existed for as long as history can tell. Due to the reasons like this, we humans have placed ourselves on the top of the social hierarchy while simple, “weak” organisms have been placed on the bottom. This idea is loosely present in the novel The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, where the human race is invaded by aliens from the planet Mars, called Martians. Although we have placed ourselves on the top of the social hierarchy, Wells argues that even though we have such advanced weapons, an entity exists that could prove formidable against humans. Even through human means and weapons, ignorance exists which leads to the downfall of humans and the pyramid of the social hierarchy being flipped, with the weakest proliferating and strongest dissipating.

As interesting as a Martian may sound to the curious, how would one approach a being from a different planet? If ignorance dominated, perhaps the first move would be to eliminate them before they eliminate us. This method, if the narrator had seen the future, could have saved many people’s lives. However, the first attempt to show we mean no harm. “… I noted a little black knot of men, the foremost of whom was waving white flag.” (Wells, 26) Although the idea was that “…by approaching them with signals, [we would show] that we too were intelligent…” (Wells, 26) This proves to be unsuccessful, leading to the death of the small knot of men. After much destruction, humans try a fervent attempt to fight back. “It was only about five, however, that a field gun reached Chobham for use against the first body of Mart...

... middle of paper ...

... accepting the idea aliens will not cause humans to become any smarter, Wells personifies the Martians as reality.

Fiction is meant to be an imaginary work. It expands the writer’s mind, and lets the juices of imagination flow onto paper. This novel, while being science fiction, proves to be a satire of human nature. In the novel, we are too proud to believe in Martians, and too haughty to think of the Martians as formidable. The irony in the smallest matter of life having the capacity to eliminate an opponent that Homo sapiens were unable to is an example of what Wells argued for. When speaking of society, it can easily be compared to the rich and the poor, an unalienable correlation where the rich cannot survive without the poor and humans cannot survive without bacteria.

Works Cited

Wells, H. G. The War of the Worlds. New York: Signet Classics, 2007. Print.
Get Access