Summary of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells|
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When the Heat-Ray emerged, many had a view of the deaths of those in the Deputation like that of the narrator’s. The only thing that saved the crowd itself from a similar fate is a small mound of heather (a plant with little purplish pink flowers), that took the impact of the Heat-Ray.
But as the world around them caught fire, the people panicked. In the chaos that followed as they hastened to get away, two women and a little boy were trampled to death.
Although no further events occur in this chapter, an impact is made in the retelling of events from the broader perspective of the Chobham Road instead of just that of the narrator. Starting out from one man’s specific story and then taking on a more expansive view makes it both personal and universal. It is an example of how the terror will spread to an even greater number of people as news of the events is learned.
The comparison of the crowd to a flock of sheep continues the analogy from the first chapter, when it was said that man is to the aliens as animals are to man. Aside from the details of the three policemen and the request for soldiers, the deaths of the three people who died in the midst of this animal-like panic are the only new information presented. It is significant that it was women and a child, those that are typically expected to be saved, who were the ones to be crushed under the crowd and left to die.
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McCauley, Kelly. "TheBestNotes on The War of the Worlds".
. 09 May 2017