The Island of Dr. Moreau

Name one or two of these issues and discuss how the island setting is vital to the kind of critique/study/examination featured in the novel.

The island setting allows H G Wells to tackle a range of issues that he otherwise might not have been able to explore in a novel set on the mainland.

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

Well's protagonist is an educated and rich gentleman, who finds himself quite useless among the crude practicality and simplicity of the island community. The bulk of this society consists of Moreau's created race of subhumans (representing the exploited underclass), with Moreau as dictator and Montgomery as second-in-command. The events of the story provide an unflattering account of authoritarian rule. Remembering Wells's class sympathies and his later communism, one could take the novel as an indictment of social stratification in general. The Beast Men even take a Marxist revenge toward the end of the story--a universal uprising against their rulers that results in the death or expulsion of all authority figures. At this point, though, their choice of reversion to bestiality allows them to escape the constraints of Moreau's imposed humanity.


Gradesaver/ Novel Themes