The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

February 23, 2010
By Steven Tan SILVER, Aurora, Illinois
Steven Tan SILVER, Aurora, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells is a novel that brings the fear of extraterrestrials to real life. Martian canisters have been landing on Earth for ten full days containing Martians who eventually build war machines. These Martians have huge heads and metallic bodies. Their goal of taking over the Earth leads to the destruction of London. Who or what can prevent this national mayhem?

This novel is recommended to people of all ages because it accurately shows the results of extraterrestrials that have greater knowledge and technology than humans. Even though this is fictional, this isn’t far from being realistic. Without further ado, H.G. Wells has written a novel that contains a unique plot development, universal appeal, a dystopian way of life, and surprise.

To start off, plot development is evident because one by one, the Martian canisters are landing on the Earth. As this is going on, the humans are still living normal lives without realizing what sort of danger is lurking close by. Not until the Martians have finished constructing their war machines have the military and army stepped up to prevent destruction. Little did the humans know that the Martians had technology far surpassed our fighting weapons. The narrator stated, “It was sweeping round swiftly and steadily, this flaming death, this invisible, inevitable sword of heat” (Wells, 30). This described the “heat-ray” that shot invisible beams of “heat” that instantly killed its victim.

Secondly, the universal appeal is the fear of other extraterrestrial intellectuals outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Nobody during the twentieth century could imagine life-forms surpassing our knowledge and technology. The idea of “Martians” brought fear and dread to humans worldwide. For this reason, this universal appeal made this novel a classic that is famous for its appeal for fear. Even when escape was possible, the narrator explained, “Down the road towards Marybury Bridge there were voices and the sound of feet, but I had not the courage to shout or to go to them” (Wells, 64). Fear keeps some people out of danger, but can lowers the courage of others.

The dystopian way of life was portrayed because Earth was invaded by Martians who were trying to take over the entire planet. On their home planet, the Martians were facing the period where their own planet was about to change considerably. During this transformation, anyone living on Mars would also be annihilated. As a result, the Martians wanted to develop a life on a different planet. Causing fear and hopelessness in many lives, the period where the Earth was run by the Martians could be considered a dystopian lifestyle.

In final analysis, the surprise occurred at the end of the long plot. Expecting a usual ending would not be found at the end of this novel because there isn’t a “final clash” between humans and Martians. Instead, the Martians just die off due to the bacteria and germs in the atmosphere, where humans have already become immune towards those diseases. Even though the “war” ended in under a month, the amount of damage and fear was colossal. In my opinion, the resolution seemed too “easy” that it makes the story seem insignificant.

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