- Cantor, Paul A., and Peter Hufnagel. “The Empire Of The Future: Imperialism And
Modernism In H. G. Wells.” Studies In The Novel 38.1 (2006): 36-56. MLA
International Bibliography. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.
Cantor and Hufnagel discuss The Time Machine as a novel rooted firmly in a tradition of imperialism. The Traveler, a white European male, journeys to a strange land only to encounter the trope of “the good tribe” and “the bad tribe,” ore the Eloi and Morlocks respectively. Their roles are greatly influenced by the differences in appearance between the angelic Eloi and the repulsive Morlocks, but also because of the Traveler’s etic perspective regarding practices such as cannibalism, which he finds morally repugnant. The author’s also claim that the relationship between Weena and the Traveler mirror the common motif of the attraction between the European explorer and Native woman found in many imperialist romances. This discourse explains the way that the humanoids of The Time Machine are transformed into racial “others.”
- Christensen, Timothy. “The ‘Bestial Mark’ Of Race In The Island Of Dr. Moreau.” ‘ Criticism: A Quarterly For Literature And The Arts 46.4 (2004): 575-595. MLA
International Bibliography. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
Christensen examines the role of race in The Island of Dr. Moreau by reading the novel within the framework of the Victorian understanding of race and evolution. The visceral reaction that Pendrick has to the transformed beasts, although he is unable to pinpoint what about their appearances precisely make him so uncomfortable, situates their monstrosity racially since the protagonist not only associates their features with certain stereotypes of racial characteristics, but even goes so far as to initially believe they are not transformed animals and ask Dr. Moreau what race they belong to. Christensen posits that the descriptor “negroid” is used to describe a human lower on the evolutionary scale than a Caucasian, and thus is indicative of the work Moreau has yet to complete to create the highest achievement in human to animal transformation.
- Doane, Janice, and Devon Hodges. “Demonic Disturbances Of Sexual Identity: The
Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr/S Hyde.” Novel: A Forum On Fiction 23.1
(1989): 63-74. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
Hodges and Doane argue that Hyde’s monstrosity is actually the result of his blend of femininity and masculinity, rather than Jekyll’s expression of repressed homosexual desires. Since the novel was written during the rise of the New Woman, Hodges and Doane explore the dangerous, violent, and hysterical depiction of femininity, all traits that Hyde exhibits. Hyde’s physically appearance is also suggestive of femininity, as he is small and has a “light step.” The author’s of the article also point out that Hyde is often aligned with women who demonstrate some type of deviance, such as the women described as harpies who attack him and old woman with the evil face.
- Mazlish, Bruce. “A Triptych: Freud’s The Interpretation Of Dreams, Rider Haggard’s
She, And Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race.” Comparative Studies In Society
And History: An International Quarterly 35.4 (1993): 726-745. MLA
International Bibliography. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.
Mazlish juxtaposes The Coming Race with She and “The Interpretation of Dreams” to arrive at the conclusion that the Bulwer-Lytton’s novel portrayal of the Vril-ya as a racial other reveals the influence of the Victorian fear of reverse colonization. While the Vril-ya are not repulsive in their appearance, Mazlish notes that their imposing stature and ability to strike fear into the heart of the protagonist contribute to their depiction as a race that is ultimately a threat to humanity. Since the Vril-ya believe that they are predestined to come to the surface and wipe out inferior races, the terror they impart, along with their physical stature, may define them as monstrous.
- Parrinder, Patrick. “H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine And Franz Kafka’s ‘Die
Verwandlung’: Variations On The Bug-Eyed Monster.” Hungarian Journal Of
English And American Studies 18.1-2 (2012): 121-132. MLA International
Bibliography. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.
Parrinder compares representations of human transformation in The Time Machine as well as Kafka’s The Metamorphosis to support the claim that the novels, rather than approaching evolution as an exciting and promising concept, instead offer the idea of a world with limits with few progressive evolutionary possibilities. Parrinder suggests that regression of human race in The Time Machine is a counterbalance to the high expectations for scientific discovery, and that we are to understand the world of the Morlocks and Eloi as an ending, rather than beginning, or even middle, based on their monstrosity. The author also claims that the Time Traveler’s attitude towards the Eloi becomes more and more disillusioned with their humanity, suggesting that current humans occupy a stratus superior to the new humanoids in every way.
- Pordzik, Ralph. “The Posthuman Future Of Man: Anthropocentrism And The Other Of
Technology In Anglo-American Science Fiction.” Utopian Studies: Journal Of
The Society For Utopian Studies 23.1 (2012): 142-161. MLA International
Bibliography. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.
Pordzik critically revisits The Time Machine’s Traveler’s interactions with the Morlocks and Elois and attempts to determine their degree of humanity. Pordzik argues that apart from the Traveler’s own assumptions, there is no solid evidence that the two species are descendants of humans, making the Traveler’s alignment with the Eloi an act of vanity, as he wishes to associate his humanity with the Eloi’s innocence and beauty. Meanwhile, the Morlock’s deserve contempt and revulsion because they are physically unattractive. Pordzik cites the Traveler’s reactions as evidence of society’s fetishism of beautiful bodies, which he discusses as having racial overtones.
- Sanna, Antonio. “Silent Homosexuality In Oscar Wilde’s Teleny And The Picture Of
Dorian Gray And Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde.” Law And
Literature 24.1 (2012): 21-39. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 18 Nov.
Sanna asserts that The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde explores the tension created by the repression of male homosexuality in the Victorian era. Jekyll’s claim that the acts he commits as Hyde are “unspeakable” not only implies the taboo of homosexuality, but also the monstrosity that characterizes his other self. Similarly, all of the characters’ inability to describe Hyde’s appearance in detail adds to his aura of mystery, implying that he is concealing something that is causing their revulsion, something not outwardly visible, like his “perverse” sexuality. Ultimately, Hyde’s horrific appearance is a symptom of his marginalized position in Victorian society.
- Zack, Naomi. “The Island Of Dr. Moreau: Interpretation Of Images Of Race And
Species.” SciFi in the Mind’s Eye: Reading Science through Science Fiction. 25-
37. Chicago, IL: Open Court, 2007. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 17
Zack argues that The Island of Dr. Moreau and its film adaptations enforce a racial binary from which the white male emerges as an example of intelligence, control, and morality, while the human-animal hybrids represent the supposed racial inferiority of weak-willed, violent, and corruptible people of color. Zack claims that one of the underlying messages of the novel is that the animalistic beings may aspire to humanity, but can never achieve it, a struggle analogous for the “desire” of non-white people to emulate white Europeans. Although Edward is at times sympathetic to the plight of the monsters on the island, he eventually is forced to assert his racial superiority over them in order to control their gradual descent into more and more animalistic behavior, which excuses the poor treatment of the hybrids.