1. White, Eric. “The Erotics of Becoming: Zenogenesis and The Thing.”Science Fiction Studies, Volume 20, 1993. SF-TH Inc. 394-408.
What drew me to this article were White’s ideas on entropy, and the boundaries between nature and culture, and order and chaos. In relation to Dr. Moreau, he wants to treat his patients as “experiments” and feel “remorseless as nature” in creating chaos in evolution. He needs to look past human emotions and surpass the intellect of man. This will relate to Moreau’s psychological mentality I will further explore in my essay.
2. Stiles, Anne. “Literature in the Mind: H.G Wells and the Evolution of the Mad Scientist.” Journal of History and Ideas Vol. 70, No. 2. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009. 317-339.
Stiles discusses the idea of genius-ness being a mental, and hereditary disease. It also related Well’s “mad scientists” characters with his extraterrestrial beings. Through the perfect evolution of the mind, humans would loose need for body and bodily functions, leaving the brain as the only essential part to existence. This explains the aliens bulging cranium. This also explains some of Dr. Moreau’s behavior and outlook on his science and experiments. Is he a mad scientist, or a further evolved being?
3. Bowen, Roger. “Science, Myth, Fiction in H.G. Wells’s ‘Island of Dr. Moreau’” Studies in the Novel Vol 8, No. 3. University of North Texas, 1976. 318-335.
This is the article I chose for my presentation. It discusses the difference in The Island of Dr. Moreau to Wells’s earlier novels through his themes of degeneration and chaos and chance, rather than focusing on a utopian society. Also, I liked the discussion on the Island being a perfect study of the evolution of species. I can relate this to Dr. Moreau’s own ideals as he works on his projects of evolution.
4. Glendening, John. “Green Confusion: Evolution and Entanglement in H. G. Wells’s ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’ Victorian Literature and Culture Vol. 30, No. 2. Cambridge University Press, 2002. 571-597.
I chose this article because the topic of “chance and uncertainty undermine order and knowledge” (Glendening 571). Glendening talks about how chance and unpredictability are inherent ideas of Darwinism, and are embodied throughout Moreau. Well’s was showing the inevitable nature of change through evolution, both in the beast people and in Moreau himself. This article also says that Dr. Moreau could be seen as the embodiment for the exploration of what degree of freedom and control humans will exercise when we learn about that our lives are so entangled with chance and uncertainty.
Relates Moreau to Darwin.
5. Otis, Laura. “Monkey in the Mirror: The Science of Professor Higgins and Doctor Moreau” Twentieth Century Literature Vol. 55, No. 4. Hofstra University, 2009.485-509.
What interested me about this article was Otis’s focus on Moreau’s science, and practices. Otis writes that the “bath of burning pain” shows how Moreau is trying to metaphorically, and physically, clense the beast people of their animalistic behaviors. Also, she talks about the complete lack of sympathy Moreau shows his patients, but somehow he is “never compared to animals the way Shaw’s and Wells’s lower class citizens are” (Otis 490)
6. McCarthy, Patrick A. “Heart of Darkness” and the Early Novels of H. G. Wells: Evolution, Anarchy, Entropy”. Journal of Modern Literatrure Vol. 13, No. 1. Indiana University Press, 1986. 37-60.
McCarthy addresses the “morality of human decency” through Darwinian ideas. He is basically talking about how nature will take its natural course no matter what, and we should help this process, rather than use science and knowledge to fight against that. This relates to a lot of the articles I have researched, and can relate to Wells’s use of the island to represent the Galapagos, and also Dr. Moreau’s views on humanity and science. However, this also does contrast with how Dr. Moreau is using his science and knowledge to create unnatural beings.
7. Vint, Sherryl. “Animals and Animality From the Island of Dr. Moreau to Uplift the Universe”. The Yearbook of English Studies Vol. 37, No. 2. Modern Humanities Research Association, 2007. 85-102.
Like many of my articles, Vint touches on how Moreau can be seen as a figure that illuminates the problems with Western Science and the yearning to tame and control nature. She also argues that Moreau is depicted as “perfect New Scientist, who asserts his own humanity by forcing nature to submit” (Vint 87). She talks about how these qualities, and search for answers leads to sadism and ultimately a delusional man who thinks he is a deity. She also talks about pain, and how pain distinguishes Moreau from Prendick. This brings up the question of who is more human? Moreau or Prendick?
8. Toumey, Christopher P. “The Moral Character of Mad Scientists: A cultural Critique of Science”. Science, Technology, & Human Values Vol. 17, No. 4. Sage Publications, Inc, 1992. 413-437.
Toumey argues that the mad scientist trope is a way of warning readers of the potential evils of science. I am not sure if I completely agree with this statement. This could be true, but in the case of Dr. Moreau, I do not believe that is what Wells was going for. It would seem that somehow this novel would be pro- science, seeing how Wells was so involved with Darwin and the origin of species and evolution. I did however, find Toumey’s critique on religion and science pretty interesting. She states that there is no room for religion, specifically morals, in science. Emotion would prove to get in the way of progress. We can clearly see this take fruition through Dr. Moreau’s ways in the novel.