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Science Fiction: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells - Research Paper Example

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This paper compares stories of science fiction, The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells, with a recent science fiction film, called I Robot, which is somewhat loosely based on an earlier written text. It draws out the main differences which emerge between the medium of writing and the medium of film…
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Science Fiction: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
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Download file to see previous pages The main features of each work are described, and the two are compared, with special reference to the similarities and differences between them. The task of H.G. Wells writing in the late 1990s was made difficult by the fact that he had no real models to use as a template for his story. The closest genre to science fiction at the time was the Gothic horror novel, such as Mary Shelley’s tale of the monster Frankenstein or the macabre stories of American writer Edgar Allan Poe. In this period science was a relatively new discipline, and people regarded it with a mixture of awe and suspicion. It was also a time of rather strict moral codes in society, with prohibitions on drinking and immorality from the Church and a rather formal and restrictive separation of different classes. In those days war was a gentlemanly affair, fought with imprecise technology and conceived of as a useful career for middle class men. Some would say that the depiction of a battle using weapons capable of mass destruction are a prophetic warning about the gradual arming of European countries in preparation for their bloody repression of colonial uprisings, and their eventual mass slaughter in the First World War. Certainly the narrator of The War of the Worlds is a highly intelligent man, qualified in the physical sciences as well as a man could be at that time, and able to tutor the reader in unfamiliar concepts when required. An example of this teacher-like approach can be seen at the beginning of the novel, where the narrator explains “The planet Mars, I scarcely need remind the reader, revolves about the sun at a mean distance of 140,000,000 miles, and the light and heat it receives from the sun is barely half of that...
The task of H.G. Wells writing in the late 1990s was made difficult by the fact that he had no real models to use as a template for his story. The closest genre to science fiction at the time was the Gothic horror novel, such as Mary Shelley’s tale of the monster Frankenstein or the macabre stories of American writer Edgar Allan Poe. It was also a time of rather strict moral codes in society, with prohibitions on drinking and immorality from the Church and a rather formal and restrictive separation of different classes. In those days war was a gentlemanly affair, fought with imprecise technology and conceived of as a useful career for middle-class men. Some would say that the depiction of a battle using weapons capable of mass destruction are a prophetic warning about the gradual arming of European countries in preparation for their bloody repression of colonial uprisings, and their eventual mass slaughter in the First World War. Certainly, the narrator of The War of the Worlds is a highly intelligent man, qualified in the physical sciences, as well as a man, could be at that time, and able to tutor the reader in unfamiliar concepts when required. An example of this teacher-like approach can be seen at the beginning of the novel, where the narrator explains “The planet Mars, I scarcely need to remind the reader, revolves about the sun at a mean distance of 140,000,000 miles, and the light and heat it receives from the sun is barely half of that received by this world.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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