The Island of Dr. Moreau

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In chapter 16 of The Island of Dr. Moreau, we see that some of the creations have been breaking the law. They were taught and engineered to abide by the law and never stray, yet we see that some of them are reverting to their beastly nature. For example, Prendick and Montgomery stumble across a tree that has been clawed and a rabbit that has been completely mutilated. This example of anarchy is Wells’s way of drawing a parallel to Victorian society.

During the Victorian age, the streets of London were clothed with fear. The people were cautious and hesitant to walk the streets at night. This was the time when the infamous Jack the Ripper was preying on helpless victims. Much like the small bunny in The Island of Dr. Moreau, a vulnerable woman could have been easily torn apart just seconds from her home. The people of this time lived double lives. They pretended to be of high-society and refrained from all degenerate things when people were watching, but when the lights went out they would secretly indulge in there “guilty pleasures” – whether they be homosexuality or ripping their neighbors and animals bodies apart for science. Like the creations in the book, the people of this time pretended to do what was expected of them and lead the lives everyone thought they did; however, once they tasted blood, they couldn’t stop.

This is also applicable to modern day society. Of course we don’t brutally murder people as a weekend hobby, but there is a sense of secrecy to what we do in our spare time. For example, it is estimated that the pornography industry grosses around $14 billion every year with 20% of men admitting to viewing pornography while at work. Modern day people are not far from the people of the Victorian era. We like to hide what we do in our spare time and show the outward appearance of being upstanding citizens. Dr. Moreau will soon learn that you can make a beast walk upright, but he will never grasp your conception of upright...
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