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The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds


by H.G. Wells

The War of the Worlds Community Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Volume.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

We became silent, and stood watching for a time side by side, deriving, I fancy, a certain comfort in one another's company. (1.5.5)

This scene is pretty small and might seem unimportant compared to what transpires after (Heat-Ray!), but there's something quietly communal about it. All the humans have freaked out a little over how strange the Martians are, and what do you do when something new and weird comes in to your life? Well, when it's the narrator, he finds something old and familiar – one of his neighbors – and they just stand around quietly. Even that little moment is about a sense of community.

Quote #2

They must have bolted as blindly as a flock of sheep. Where the road grows narrow and black between the high banks the crowd jammed, and a desperate struggle occurred. All that crowd did not escape; three persons at least, two women and a little boy, were crushed and trampled there, and left to die amid the terror and the darkness. (1.6.10)

Here we have a glimpse of what's going to come in the future. All the community's ideals will go out the window (and you have to imagine it's kind of a high window, because these ideals will not survive the landing). Rather than protect the women and children, which is what the community would probably want to do, the crowd will kill them. You could argue that this book contrasts the community (as a group of people with some higher ideals and a sense of their own individuality) with the crowd (as a group of people without individuality and without higher ideals).

Quote #3

He came up to the fence and extended a handful of strawberries, for his gardening was as generous as it was enthusiastic. (1.9.6)

We get only a few glimpses of the community before the Martians start to mess things up, and they're such small and uneventful moments that we might easily miss them. This one always warms our hearts (or makes us hungry for strawberries). Two neighbors talk about the neighborhood and one gives the other something grown in a garden. It's a very normal scene, which is why we're so interested in it. It shows us what the community was like before the Martians showed up.

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