Predictions Of A Novelist

Submitted By jh1414
Words: 2690
Pages: 11

Predictions of a Novelist H.G. Wells is a modern day novelist who wrote a total of 161 books, including science fiction books, The Time Machine and The Invisible Man. His writings on many different subjects made him the most famous literary figure of his age. Greatly influenced by T.H. Huxley, he predicted the use of chemicals in war, the atom bomb, and technological advances such as the computer chip in many of his works. He was also fascinated by the human mind, evolution, and mythological creatures. His early works show a constant struggle between science and socialism: ideas of fate alternate with needs for reformation. His characters often gain scientific knowledge but lose control of their intentions, while some of his other characters are very conceited. His “scientific romances” then helped launch the science fiction genre in Britain and also shaped the country’s political and social vision. In his middle novels, he shows understanding and ridicule for his small characters, outcomes of a constricted, cruel environment, but saves them in promising endings, much like his own life. Then in his later novels, between World War I and World War II, he created entertaining stories of lives confused by conflict and contradiction. Born in 1866 to domestic servants, Herbert George Wells was not one of the very few that were granted the luxurious lifestyle. His family was constantly on the border of poverty despite the fact they spent most of their time working. Although he had very little education, Wells spent his free time reading anything he could find. By the time he was fourteen, he was hired as an apprentice to a cloth maker in Windsor. He was soon fired only to be chosen as a chemist’s assistant. Finally, in 1883, he was selected to be an usher at Midhurst Grammar School. When he was eighteen years old, he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London where he studied biology for a year with teacher T.H. Huxley, who later became one of Wells’ biggest influences.
In 1888 Wells graduated from college, became a science teacher, and started writing. He earned a decent living with his science journalism but then had some financial worries because of his divorce from his first wife and cousin, Isabel Mary Wells. He began to break into fiction with a story called “The Chronic Argonauts” which after many revisions and additions became his most famous work, The Time Machine. And after its success, he began to write a series of science fiction novels that established him as a creative and original author. His novel The War in the Air foreshadowed the military advancements in aircraft that were soon to come. He also predicted space exploration in his story The First Men in the Moon. Later in 1903, Wells joined the Fabian Society, a socialist group made entirely of upper class literary figures like Bernard Shaw. He continued to write every day until his death in 1946.
Wells was greatly influenced by science and the findings of T.H. Huxley. Thomas Henry Huxley gained his reputation through his expressive defense of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. Wells’ fascination with evolution is made clear in two of his most famous novels, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds.
In one of his first novels, Man of the Year Million, Wells depicts future humans that have evolved to be much like the marauding The War of the Worlds Martians he later wrote about. In The War of the Worlds, Wells imagined that, as the mind grew it could develop machinery to replace arms and legs. (Moss 404-5) Wells knew about the moral and philosophical implications that were linked to Darwinian evolution. Man’s intelligence no longer differentiates him from beast, but seems to be merely another one of the many Darwinian tools crafted from biological necessity. “The humans in The War of the Worlds behave as expected of creatures in a Darwinian fight for survival, trampling each other in flight and squabbling over remaining supplies” (Moss