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The Island of Dr. Moreau

The Island of Dr. Moreau

by H. G. Wells

Science Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

I did not know yet how far they were from the human heritage I ascribed to them. (11.24)

Evolution was a pretty new idea when Wells wrote The Island of Dr. Moreau, so it was still on everybody's mind (and it still is on everybody's mind). Prendick's thought here would have made the Victorian reader imagine evolution run amuck and threatening traditional views of morality.

Quote #2

The creatures I had seen were not men, had never been men. They were animals—humanised animals—triumphs of vivisection. (14.6)

Vivisection is hugely important to the text—so important, we gave it its own section in "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory." Obviously the word triumph is used with some irony here. It's not meant to suggest an actual triumph at all but rather the complete disregard for the morality of the situation.

Quote #3

"The physiology, the chemical rhythm of the creature may also be made to undergo an enduring modification, of which vaccination and other methods of inoculation with living or dead matter are examples that will, no doubt, be familiar to you." (14.11)

Can't have a science fiction novel without a little scientific mumbo-jumbo, right? Actually, Moreau is comparing his vivisection experiments to the idea of a vaccination or inoculation, something that cures or prevents a disease. It makes the process sound more morally sound. Of course, there's a reason we have the expression "the cure is worse than the disease." It's for moments like this.

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