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The Island of Dr. Moreau

The Island of Dr. Moreau


by H. G. Wells

The Island of Dr. Moreau Science Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

There was no evidence of the inheritance of the acquired human characteristics [in the babies]. (15.6)

Moreau thinks he's evolution incarnate. However, if his creatures don't pass on the human characteristics to their babies, then he's not really evolving them at all. You'd think he'd realize that fact, but nope. He's just too pig-headed. (Okay, we'll admit it. Pun intended.)

Quote #8

[Montgomery] had fancied they might serve for meat, but a rabbit-like habit of devouring their young had defeated this intention. (16.1)

One of the great things about science fiction is that it can sometimes consider ideas before anyone else can even imagine their possibility. Here, we see Moreau's vivisection acting like an early equivalent of gene splicing. It's kind of freaky actually, like reading a crystal ball.

Quote #9

Had Moreau had any intelligible object I could have sympathised at least a little with him. I am not so squeamish about pain as that. I could have forgiven him a little even had his motive been hate. But he was so irresponsible, so utterly careless. (16.92)

According to Prendick, science needs a goal. To simply go poking about at the great mysteries of the universe is irresponsible, immoral. Science is the pursuit of reason, so it needs a reason to be. To balance that idea, some of the greatest discoveries in human history have been made by accident. We didn't want to make things too easy on you.

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