In 1896 H. G. Wells had the first edition of “ The Island of Dr. Moreau” published. The book took place primarily on an island in the Pacific Ocean. On this island Dr. Moreau and his assistant ( Montgomery) performed dangerous, secret experiments on humans and animals. When Wells wrote this he knew nothing about DNA, cloning, or chromosomes but he did use his scientific imagination. Wells realized that society was beginning to rely on science too much in the late nineteenth century. He wrote this book to issue a stern warning for future societies against their own scientific advancements.
He knew that just like his society others will want to quench their appetite for this tasty treat called vivisection or cloning. He knew that eventually the progress of society would lead to the all or nothing control of the evolutionary processes. This brings me to one of Wells’ most important ideas that he wanted to tell his readers. That was the idea of vivisection or cloning of humans and animals. In todays world we are trying to control evolution by furthering our studies into cloning. He was right about his expectations of future societies and his ideas about how scientific advancements would affect our world.
It was different because when this book was published it got horrific reviews for being too outlandish with its views on society. I think that if the book was published today it would be raved as a good warning for all the cloning scientists. Today we can actually say that we can clone things and it is more of a reality than it was in 1896. This change has been so dramatic that Barnes and Noble would have had to take the book off the science-fiction shelves and onto the non-fiction shelves. It has created a whole new atmosphere in which to read this book one in such Wells predicted by writing this book.
Wells would be disappointed at our disregard of his warning. Another important theme that Wells tried to convey to us was that doing experiments on humans and animals were unethical. He at first tells us of the locked room where these animals and humans were being operated. He shows that they wanted to keep it a secret until they could trust their scientific advancements in the hands of the public. It is just like today because when you find a new formula or anything you have to keep it a secret before others find out.
When others find out they will and can take their ideas and experiments and I think that is why Dr. Moreau secluded himself from the public. Dr. Moreau also knew that people would not approve of his scientific studies especially in the late nineteenth century. Wells was trying to show us that Moreau was just a scientist not a mean psychotic out of control person. He wanted what every scientist wanted and that was success but he took it a little past what his culture viewed as normal. If Moreau had executed his experiments in the light of his peers in the science world he would have been persecuted.
Wells tried to let this doctor run free with his experiments but found out that sometimes the furtherment of science will come back to haunt you. This book served as a good warning for evolutionary science and that it has to be watched very closely. In this case of “ The Island of Dr. Moreau “ we saw that science got out of hand and that it was not watched closely at all. It serves as a good example to the world today because of our constant intrigue into science. Wells was a good writer and this book shows that his imagination is never controlled by the limits that society puts on its culture.