Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Island of Dr. Moreau
I read this one about a day or two before finding the R.I.P. II Challenge. (I was aware it was coming. I just wasn't counting on it starting early. Which worked in my favor, since I had a handful of books checked out already that worked for it.) The Island of Dr. Moreau is a novel by H.G. Wells. This is my second Wells' novel, I loved The Time Machine last spring/early summer, and I couldn't wait to read more. I didn't quite know what to expect from this one, but it didn't disappoint. I can't say I loved it *as much* as The Time Machine. But it was a good book. What struck me when I was reading it is how similar the themes are between books. Frankenstein was all about an obsessed man creating life out of pieced together dead bodies. Putting that spark of life back into dead flesh. It was all about playing God. The Island of Dr. Moreau was similar. It was about a man (or a pair of men) playing God. This time they weren't animating dead flesh. They were mutilating, torturing animals. The idea was the same--to create something in their own image. The scary part about Dr. Moreau is he thought that by making animals 'more human' he was making them better. He thought that he could do a better job than God. He wanted to be their god. And indeed he was. He was feared and esteemed by his creation. Frankenstein was all about human nature. The Island of Dr. Moreau was about human nature as well. It just added in animal nature as well. But both books show that man is capable of having monstrous ideas and carrying out horrific things. Both books show that too much ambition can be a very, very bad thing. Both books show that all actions have consequences as well!
What I didn't know until Wikipedia was that there were actually scientists at the time Wells was writing that were vivisecting animals. Two years after the novel was published, the British formed The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.
To read it online.