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The Island of Dr. Moreau

The Island of Dr. Moreau

by H. G. Wells

Society and Class Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

But certainly when I told the captain to shut up I had forgotten I was merely a bit of human flotsam, cut off from my resources, and with my fare unpaid, a mere casual dependant on the bounty, or speculative enterprise, of the ship. (3.34)

If we look at the ship as a society, then Prendick is easily in the lowest class. He's getting handouts, has no purpose for being there, and provides absolutely nothing to the cause. Captain Davis is, well, the captain. Lowest class individual smarting off to the highest class? Probably not the best idea.

Quote #2

"Law be damned! I'm king here." (5.22)

Captain Davis lets us in on one of the book's secrets. Mini-societies exist everywhere in larger society, and someone is going to be sure they are the one in charge. Oh, and Captain Davis is a jerk, but that isn't a secret.

Quote #3

The three big fellows spoke to one another in odd guttural tones, and the man who had waited for us on the beach, began chattering to them excitedly—a foreign language, as I fancied—[…]. (6.7)

To really belong to a society, you need to know its language. The Beast Folk are probably speaking (their unsophisticated version of) English here—they do everywhere else in the novel. But, Prendick isn't a part of their society yet, and this is represented by the fact that he assumes their language is totally foreign.

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