Science and Religion in ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’
The Island of Dr. Moreau depicts the dueling concepts between science and religion. Throughout the Victorian Era within which H.G. Wells’ novel was written, turmoil between science and religion was at its peak. New scientific theories were proposed including Darwinism, which H.G. Wells strongly advocated as witnessed in his book. Many Christians opposed these findings as these new ideas often disproved what was written in the Bible. Therefore, a divide was created amongst Christians and scientists, the basis of the material introduced in The Island of Dr. Moreau. Due to opposing conflict between science and religion, Wells proposes the solution that rules separate humanity from animals.
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In addition to the parallels throughout the way the two are characterized, both writings also use capital letters when concerning Dr. Moreau or God. In The Island of Dr. Moreau, ‘Hands’ is capitalized. In the bible, ‘He’ is capitalized. Also, Dr. Moreau and God have similar jobs. They both create. While Dr. Moreau creates the Beast-Folk, God creates people as well as animals. However, I believe the Dr. Moreau and the Beast-Folk create an analogy to God and humans as those are the two works both creators spend most of their time on perfecting. However, unlike the God who Christian’s believe in, Moreau expresses no sympathy towards his creations. Critic Robert Philmus offers his opinion as he states, “As the deity presiding over evolution, Moreau dismisses the problem of why evil exists in the world… [remaining] deaf to the suffering of his creatures, Nor can the pain they must endure in the process of (artificial) evolution be explained theologically except by postulating an (at best) apathetic God,” (Philmus 512). Dr. Moreau is a harsh god to the animals. He is indifferent toward the pain they must endure. It seems as though Wells does this to convey the message that God lets his creations suffer many things such as disease and poverty. The Laws that Moreau enforced were also similar to God’s Commandments.
The Commandments of the Bible share many similarities to that of the Law in The Island of Dr. Moreau. They are