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The War of the Worlds by Mike Cress


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The War of the Worlds by Mike Cress

  1. 1. THE WAR OF THE WORLDS H.G. WELLS “We have learned now that we cannot regard this planet as being fenced in and a secure abiding place for Man; we can never anticipate the unseen good or evil that may come upon us suddenly out of space.”
  2. 2. H.G. Wells “The Father of Science Fiction”  Herbert GeorgeWells (September 21st 1866-August 13th 1946); British author.  Best known was his work with science fiction, but also contributed contemporary novels, history, politics, and social commentary.  Wells worked as a teacher and studied the sciences before embarking on his writing.
  3. 3. The Victorian Age - Characteristics  The discoveries of science were a HUGE factor in the literature of theVictorian Age.  Stories reflect normal, daily life and practical problems; characters like you and I.  There is a moral dilemma;Victorians did not make art for art’s sake (beauty).They created art to send a moral message.  The concept of man in relation to the universe is major; evolution and Darwinism were heavy influences.  IDEALS! Great ideals like truth, justice, love, and brotherhood are emphasized byVictorian writers.
  4. 4. GENRE: Science Fiction  Definition: Fiction dealing with the impact of imagined innovations in science or technology, often in a futuristic setting.  Science Fiction is different from fantasy in that its imaginary elements are largely possible.  Characteristics:  Based on scientific principles and technology.  May make predictions about life in the future.  Often deals with aliens or with life on other worlds.  Comments on important issues in society.
  5. 5. Examples of Science Fiction…
  6. 6. SUBGENRE: Invasion Literature  Invasion literature refers to works produced between 1871 and the FirstWorld War.  These stories aroused imaginations and anxieties about hypothetical invasions by foreign powers.  Invasion literature became recognizable in Britain in 1871 with The Battle of Dorking, a fictional account of an invasion of England by Germany.  H.G.Wells draws from The Battle of Dorking, but the invaders are aliens rather than men. “Promised Horrors of the French Invasion” – a cartoon by Britain’s James Gillray
  7. 7. The War of the Worlds  First published in 1898  Setting: small towns in the English countryside. However, there is a mass exodus from London.  Narrator: first-person narrator; the story is told from the perspective of the protagonist, a philosopher whose writing is interrupted by the arrival of the Martians.  Conflict: MARTIANS ARE INVADING! 
  8. 8. Themes to Think About…  The possible submission of men  LITERALLY: Martian Invasion  SYMBOLICALLY: Men submitting to machines (think about it- industrialization!!!!!)  The inhumanity of Imperialism  Britain by this point had obtained many colonies and they did not treat the natives as equals.  The horrors of war  Science vs. Religion
  9. 9. Making Connections  Many of the minor themes in this book relate toWells’s own time.  Along with Empire and industry came hardships, particularly for the working-class.  Wells draws upon his background in science.  Darwin’s idea of “natural selection”, or, survival of the fittest.
  10. 10. Orson Welles’s Radio Show  Orson Welles directed/narrated an adapted radio drama of TheWar of theWorlds as a Halloween episode.  The episode was presented as a series of simulated “news bulletins” depicting a Martian Invasion  Listeners who did not hearWelles’s introduction tuned in and believed this was happening; hysterical panic broke out.