In H.G. Wells’s “The Stolen Body”, he explores the desire of man to push the conventionally-accepted moral limits of human life, and play with fields like time travel, teleportation, and specifically in this story astral projection. Wells explores the consequences that can stem from such endeavors, along with the benefits. Because he ends the story on a positive note, despite the mayhem that stemmed from the astral projection in the body of the story, his words do little to deter the reader from exploring such fields, if this is in fact his goal. Wells indicates that Mr. Bessel was “particularly interested in the questions of thought transference and of apparitions of the living,” yet makes no implications or judgments on this fact.
The desire for man to push the limits is evident all throughout literature, music, and science among other things, with a variety of connotations. For instance, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the plot centers around a man attempting to reanimate a dead body, something that the average person would likely describe as “pushing the limits”, with ultimately disastrous results. Outside of fiction, scientists embark on new studies that society finds the morality or necessity of questionable. In the 1960’s, when the “Space Race” was really beginning, many Americans questioned whether space exploration was necessary, or even acceptable to send a living person into outer space. Today, we have no problem with sending people into outer space, and are even taking steps to send people on galactic vacations. Even today, controversies over
scientific research areas like stem cell research, nuclear power, and genetically-modifying foods, continue to be an issue, as people wonder whether we are going too...
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...wn opportunities and perils - a frontier of
unfulfilled hopes and threats”. Sometimes this is legitimate as going too far can bring about pain and sadness or “physical distress” as Wells puts it. But if you plant a tree in a comfort zone, it will bear no fruit. Pushing the limits is what brings forth change, discovery, and innovation.
In “The Stolen Body” by H.G. Wells, he explores the desire for man to transcend the boundaries of what society has defined as morally acceptable. However, he gives little to no indication as to whether this is right or wrong, choosing to leave it up to reader interpretation. Nevertheless, because there are benefits and downsides to every risk, as a society we can really only determine if an endeavor was worthwhile retrospectively.
Wells, H.G.. "The Stolen Body." Trans. ArrayThe Strand Magazine, 1898. Print.
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