In the science fiction novel “War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells, we experience a variety of plot reversals. From unexpected oppositions developing throughout the narrative as the story progresses, many present examples become highlighted.
As we highlight War of the Worlds: An Analysis, there will come greater awareness of themes and actions that emanate.
Plot Reversals and Developments in the Narrative
To begin, in War of the Worlds, the story commences in the quiet borough of Woking, Surrey, England. The year is 1890 and life appears simple.
Things begin to take a dark turn as the astronomer’s townspeople’s attention becomes caught by strong explosive activity present abroad. To illustrate, Mars was displaying lots of activity that fascinated the townspeople.
Furthermore, as time goes by, a meteor from the planets begins heading towards Woking, Surrey. With this at hand, the “Meteor” turns out to be a cylinder-like ship carrying extraterrestrial beings.
Not only does this come as a shocking surprise with their macabre features, but things change for the worse. For example, the town’s astronomers arrive with a white flag to show neutrality to these beings, only to become murdered.
These actions spark outrage, panic, and a war begins. The people of Woking, Surrey are devasted and immediately evacuating their town for shelter while the military controls the situation.
In summary, this shows how the protagonist’s plot became overturned with the malice of the Martian invaders.
Further Developments in the Narrative of War of The Worlds
As the story progresses after the disquieting event that took place, the main protagonist soon finds himself motivated for self-preservation. To illustrate, with the further extermination of the military officers occurring, the town of Woking, Surrey becomes a battlefield.
Moreover, the protagonist decides to take his wife to the neighboring town of Leatherhead where he has extended family. There is temporary opposition in this plot as the main character first prepares a two-wheeled horse cart to pack belongings.
At this moment, he discovers the true evil and potential of the Martians. The foreign beings wipe out much of the army and scenery in town with tripods specifically designed for combat.
As the narrator retreats home, he discovers a survivor from the artillery. Only to soon discover that he is segregated from his wife due to Martians planting another cylinder ship close by.
Left with no choice, he and the artilleryman escape to the nearest ferry in Weybridge.
Topics and Theme in War of the Worlds
Moreover, as the story progresses with the main character and surviving artilleryman, more attacks occur in the river Thames. Eventually, the protagonist prevails and finds his way into London safely.
Not too long after, the Martians begin their attack on the capital as well causing an uproar of further panic. The protagonist’s younger brother who is a medical student in the city devises a plan for the protagonist and him.
To further elude, they decide to take refuge in Essex along with other Londoners. Once they arrive at Tillingham, they decide to take a ferry to France for shelter.
Along the path, two Martian tripods attempt to sabotage the ferry but fall with resistance. As the refugees make it to safety, the protagonist discovers the true and grisly nature of the Martians.
To illustrate, the Martians take living host blood to nourish themselves. Left alone for some time, the protagonist becomes suffice to slight madness and re-living trauma.
Essential Topics and Themes in The Sci-Fi Pioneer
Next, as the protagonist finds himself in abandoned west London, he soon discovers a great number of Martians dead. It appears that they have passed from the earth’s natural elements that they had no immunity to.
For a brief time, he is nursed back to health by a sympathetic family, and returns to Woking, Surrey. To his surprise, he discovers his home office is still intact and that his wife and cousin are alive!
In War of the Worlds, HG Wells develops a theme on the experience of the narrator’s perspective. For example, in the closing scene, he describes “An abiding sense of doubt and insecurity” has left his mind.
I think the protagonist’s experiences in this great emotional turmoil provided extraordinary growth for his character. Before the events of the story occur, it appears as if he was just almost in a robotic trance.
Meaning that he was functioning like everyone to get by and survive life. With the events of the Martian invasion, he proves to grow with self-assurance.
Analysis on Recurring Narrative and Devices
Another example that highlights repeating narrative is when the surviving artilleryman does nothing to expand underground civilization. The narrator/protagonist first encounters him with great determination to survive, thrive, and overcome the invaders, but it does not happen.
In their second encounter in London, the protagonist realizes that the artillery is “Too lazy” to take further action. Overall, it began as an intriguing motive and aspiration but became quickly dimmed like a candle as no further action followed.
The last example of a theme being highlighted in the story is when the refugees of London cross the North Sea. This focuses on the dominating element of self-preservation.
Indeed, the characters in the story became greatly challenged with the feat of surviving. With towns becoming destroyed by black smoke, having their blood drained, and becoming extinct, there came panic.
Self-preservation is the London refugees represents the essence of this theme in many ways. From finding shelter, evading danger, and fighting back, this emulates everything mentioned above in the events that occurred.
Cultural Setting in War of the Worlds
Additionally, the cultural setting in War of the Worlds gains proper recognition and celebration. While audiences continue through the pages of the novel, the era of the late nineteenth century becomes apparent.
Indeed, this represents a proper portrayal of the author’s background as the book became published in 1898. Moreover. with the Victorian era highlighting British dominance around the globe through colonies and naval power, themes like invasion arise.
For this same reason, the matter of Martian’s advancing in power and influence gives a nod to the Victorian era. Apart from this, another cultural setting that influenced this Sci-fi masterpiece was Fin de siècle (End of the Age).
This event became real-life cultural angst as the belief of an apocalypse takes place at the end of 1899. Without a doubt, superstitions and common fears in the Victorian era provided a singular form of representation in the novel.
In all, H.G. Wells’s story depicts an accurate and exclusive case of the late nineteenth century.
Symbolism in Sci-fi Genre
Furthermore, In H.G. Wells’s compelling story, the Sci-Fi genre becomes central to the entire plot and image. For instance, the interaction between extraterrestrials and human life takes place but soon turns into a hostile environment.
As this genre focuses on futuristic elements and fictional occurrences, War of the Worlds perfectly emulates all these things. One can see this illustration with the Martians using tripods and death-ray weapons which find unfamiliar in the nineteenth century.
Indeed, there are new concepts of advanced technology used for the plot, but the overall mood of disturbance predominates. Nevertheless, this unique tale symbolizes one’s internal fear of the unknown as the main characters find themselves pushed to advancement.
Interestingly, this novel becomes a pre-modern example of the genre as later titles arrive and create names of their own. Altogether, H.G. Wells’s tale provides a captivating and extremely engaging model for the Sci-Fi genre.
H.G. Wells Ambitions
Apart from the symbolism of War of the Worlds, comes author H.G. Wells’s ambitions during the creation of his novel. One crucial detail of this literary piece is that there are no other titles like it.
To illustrate, H.G. Wells’s book becomes one of the first to feature a plot with an alien race. In addition, the introduction of extraterrestrial beings posing a threat to human intelligence provides more of the fear factor.
Undoubtedly, this provides an intriguing yet uneasy experience for readers at that time which gave it prominence. One other interesting factor in the creation of this story is how the author never properly addresses the characters.
Moreover, the only name readers become introduced to is the astronomer, Ogilvy. While characterization did not play a large role in the formation of this sci-fi classic, it was certainly a charismatic enigma.
On balance, H.G. Wells succeeds in creating the perfect novel through originality and obscure elements.
Additional Drive to H.G. Wells Novel
In addition to featuring unparalleled plots and other literary surprises, author H.G. Wells derives further inspiration from his homeland. By the year 1895, Wells had earned an esteemed status as a writer and decides to move to Woking, Surrey.
In this town, he conjures his remarkable story to the novel as his imagination races in his natural environment. For example, while on a nature walk with his brother, Wells begins to question what would happen if Martians attacked.
From there, the rest becomes history as he begins to mentally create apocalyptic scenarios in familiar locations of his. Interestingly, during the writing process, Wells became intrigued by receiving shocking reactions from close ones as he revealed information.
Another crucial detail of his work was the implementation of real-life acquaintances such as the protagonist’s brother, curate, and artilleryman. In brief, Wells’ War of the Worlds story draws inspiration and influence from his environment.
Utopian Implications Towards the Conclusion
Equally important, in the conclusion of the story, the concept of Utopia becomes signified in a variety of ways. One example can be found when the protagonist returns to Woking, Surrey on a reconstructed railroad.
This becomes a perfect illustration because it shows how despite great catastrophes occurring, there is always rebirth. The people of London, Essex, Woking, and overall areas affected display motivation for continuation.
With the desire to further thrive, this concept represents a true Utopia. Any civilization in history has gone through its fair share of ups and downs.
What matters here is how each Utopia acts when it comes to unfortunate matters. One conclusion I reached with the story and author’s style of telling the story is that it features real life.
Meaning that it becomes relatable for audiences to easily connect with as many real-life emotions, ambitions, insecurities, are displayed.
Significance of War of the Worlds Message
In conclusion, from unexpected opposition, plot reversals, and Utopia serving as a symbolic model, we become enlightened. Moreover, our philosopher narrator/protagonist hopes to see the climax to a spark of life.
Hope is one of the major elements in the anticipation of the narrator, but more than anything it is an extension. This does occur as we witness parts of the town becoming revived and built from the ashes.
In addition, he also welcomes the lovely surprise of meeting his beloved wife and cousin once again. Also, his home office became unscathed which symbolizes that sense of extension.
Things may never be the same regarding the traumas everyone now carries, but they survived! Moreover, the characters are going to make the best of things as they learn to appreciate what they have.
In essence, the narrators’ anticipated story became a reality but just not in the way he expected it.
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Wells, H.G. War of the Worlds, William Heinemann, London,1898.
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