'Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same soul?' This is what H. G. Wells creates in his first chapter of The Battle of the Worlds, soon after reminding the audience on what our very own species destroyed before, like the extermination of the Tasmanians 'in spite their individuals likeness'.
In the next I will explain in which way the context of British isles Imperialism is important and central to your knowledge of Victorian text messages nowadays and exactly how this might have changed through the nineteenth century. This will be discussed in relation to H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds.
H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds was first printed in 1898. The finish of the nineteenth century was a time, where Germany and America started to contend with Britain for primacy in global economy.
In the English society opinions fluctuate what the fantastic British Empire can be involved. A lot of people think the enlargement was an appealing thing. Over the years the enthusiasm develops and better living expectations are expected from the items of Empire products. 'Children increase up in a environment of judgment that was unambiguously imperial. ' Britain was thought to have the future and the work to rule the world. Your brain of imperialism, therefore the society is told, was 'reactive and protective, not formally expansive'. Patriotic background and geography catalogs, music, imperial exhibitions and literature hide the reality. So is Boehmer arguing,
'by offering us information in to the imperial creativity, the texts of the empire give some purchase on the occlusion of individuals loss that functions in colonial representation. The effect of empire on colonized individuals, and colonized responses to invasion, usually appear as mere traces in the writing of that time period. Readings of imperial text messages suggest, therefore, how it was easy for a global system which presided in the lives of a huge number to legitimate itself while masking suffering. '
In earlier novels of the nineteenth century, e. g. Jane Eyre and Great Targets, imperialist themes can be found, indeed. However, they do not have a great effect on the general motive and are easy to miss. In Jane Eyre there is Bertha, a female from Jamaica who Mr. Rochester was hitched to and is also concealed in the attic of Thornfield because she had become mad. Rochester was to marry her because she originated from a wealthy family. The money, so it is usually to be assumed, was made by slave trade. Each one of these points are just traces throughout the whole novel, nor have a great effect on the protagonist's decisions. Imperialism is overlooked and is not commented whatsoever.
Approximately fifty years later, H. G. Wells, on the other hand, wrote his novel to reveal the reality, '[My] stories indicate upon contemporary politics and social discussions'. The novel's goal is therefore, as Wells himself states explicitly, never to notify us to the imminence of Martian invasion. Wells uses methodical phenomena as a basis for looking currently from different viewpoints. This is, what Alkon argues when he writes that Wells uses 'the probability of an come across with a far more technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilization to make a fundamental switch in political point of view whereby visitors are shown what it is similar to to be on the receiving end of an imperial business. '
The whole novel is seen as a parable. The modern-day reader is confronted with the true face of Imperialism. The Martians who are clearly the novel's antagonists invade Globe because Mars is becoming inhabitable to them. They dominate Earth and lay claim it for themselves. Furthermore they live from the earthly population's blood vessels.
They invade with no warning and take what they want, completely whatever the outcomes for Earth's society. Doing this, they take action very violently and merciless. Humans are defenseless and completely under the Martians's mercy, 'the monster [. . . ] possessed begun to walk [. . . ] over the common among the few fugitives [. . . ]. A kind of arm carried a metallic circumstance [. . . ] and out of the funnel of this there smoked the Heat-Ray. In a few minutes there is [. . . ] not a living thing still left. '
This is strictly how the English proceeded in their colonies. They took over the population's land and their raw materials. On their behalf it was not even essential to colonize. It was a subject of prestige and a matter of keeping up with Germany and America. The Martians, in contrast, had to leave their home planet to be able to survive. Similar to the Martians destroy everything and become machines the British isles invaded the lands they sought and degraded the land's populations to be just the 'colonial other' and 'subaltern' compared to themselves. Furthermore, the English felt just like more advanced than the, of their vantage point, uncultivated, primitive and less developed as the Martians thought about the earthly population.
Nevertheless, the narrator himself advances during the story. He has a specific mind and can see from different viewpoints. When he says, 'The bottom idea of this is without doubt horribly repulsive to us, but at exactly the same time I think that we should bear in mind how repulsive our carnivorous practices would appear to a smart rabbit. ', the viewers are reminded that it is important to check out their own activities from another viewpoint to understand how their patterns might impact others.
The Martians are higher developed than the earthly human population. They are simply more intelligent and have stronger weapons against which mankind has no chance to survive. The whole mankind is under their control no individual weapons can stop them.
Wells also included the topic of evolutionary ascendancy in his novel. In comparison to the Martians mankind is fragile and defenseless. Whenever people get attacked by the Martians, they feel small, just like an 'ant', 'as a rabbit might feel returning to his burrow, and instantly confronted by twelve navvies digging the foundations of the house', 'an creature among family pets, under the Martian heel'. Now humanity seems degraded and, above all, disempowered.
For the very first time people realize, they aren't the most clever animals in Universe, 'No one would have believed, [. . . ] that world had been observed keenly and meticulously by intelligences higher than man's'.
Charles Darwin released On the foundation of Species where he states evolution as simple fact in 1859. According to him, only the fittest survive in the have difficulty forever, 'Natural Selection serves by the preservation and deposition of inherited changes, each profitable to the maintained being'.
Wells desires to alert his readership about seeking to be the fittest. Aiming to be always the best means concurrence. Britain tried to maintain with other inexpensive powers and finally behaved as inhuman and mechanised as the Martians do. Relating to McConnell, Wells's objective was to show how 'the evolutionary future [invades] and [sucks] the lifeblood from the human being present'. The Martians were 'ourselves, mutated beyond sympathy, though not beyond acknowledgement'. They signify the danger of what ourselves might become. Huxley is of the same opinion writing in his article Development and Ethics,
'In place of ruthless self-assertion it calls for self-restraint, in place of thrusting away, or treading down all rivals, it requires that the average person shall not merely value, but shall help his fellows; its influence is directed, not really much to the survival of the fittest, as to the fitting of as many as possible to make it through. '
He warns of 'fanatical individualism' and state governments that mankind should interact as one types, instead. That does not contradict Darwin's theory as he highlights that the word 'survival of the fittest' '[includes] dependence on one being on another'. McConnell recognizes these hints for humanity's future and writes that 'only by facing the hopelessness of human being condition man can get started to create something where, absurdly and heroically, to desire. ' He interprets the increased loss of individuals supremacy as a wake-up call which allows to wish that humans works together eventually.
Until the end, humankind is not able to beat the Martians. Globe is not under their control anymore. The Martians are defeated by microorganisms and bacterias they are, in contrast to humans, unresistant to. The littlest and until then for mankind unimportant and unvalued species of animals come to what mankind had not been able to.
To sum everything up, H. G. Wells's The Conflict of the Worlds is a parable where its author naturally tries to uncover the truth about the Great English Empire, whereas many early on Victorian texts rather hid or protected topics of Imperialism.
Considering which the Warfare of the Worlds deals with a colonial reversal in which, rather than oversea countries, the British Empire itself is invaded, it's important for the audience to learn about the framework of Imperialism to be able to completely know very well what H. G. Wells intended to say. Needless to say, the destabilization of assumed hierarchies of biology as well as of civilization is another topic that Wells cleverly includes. However, this topic is strongly connected to the one of colonial reversal.
Although the book can be interpreted from different point of views like every other novel, Wells explicitly indicated his intention which was to reveal the truth about Imperialism.