Study Guide

The War of the Worlds Book 1, Chapter 8

By H.G. Wells

Book 1, Chapter 8

Friday Night

  • Except for the Martians using a Heat-Ray to kill a lot of people in Chapter 5, things are pretty ordinary that Friday night around the rest of England. The news that a cylinder from Mars has landed on Earth doesn't get much attention and certainly isn't treated seriously.
  • For instance, Henderson wired his newspaper to tell this story, but they thought it was a hoax and didn't want to run the article until they could confirm it with him. But they couldn't confirm it with him because the Martians burned him.
  • Even people who know about the cylinder aren't taking it too seriously. Some people try to sneak up and get a look at the Martians but they (cue threatening music) are never seen again.
  • There's also some construction going on in the pit, but that's probably nothing to worry about.
  • Though no one else seems to care, the military does take this threat somewhat seriously and comes out in full force. We're sure the army will be able to take care of things in no time at all, and the rest of the book will be made up of interesting recipes that the narrator collected from his neighbors in Woking.
  • A second cylinder falls nearby, but again, no one is too worried.