Summary of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells|
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Still holding the paper, the brother watches the arrival of the refugees, whose worn appearance contrasts sharply with the Londoners in their Sunday best. He talks with a few of them and one man tells him that Woking has been destroyed. The brother is further concerned when he hears quite clearly the sounds of intense firing while walking through the quiet streets.
He finally manages to get to sleep, only to be awakened in the early hours of Monday morning. The brother, like so many others, opens a window to find out what is going on. A policeman is hurrying up and down the streets, knocking on doors and shouting warnings of the Martians’ approach. While he stands there, lights begin going on and vehicles start fleeing through the streets. Another lodger comes into the room and joins him in watching the scene below. The brother hastily gets dressed and then goes down to the street.
There he is able to get a newspaper, sold for profit, which contains a dispatch from the Commander-in-Chief. It says that the Martians and their “Black Smoke” (a new weapon discussed in the next chapter) were unstoppable and that escape is the only option. It works in getting the population of London excited. With dawn breaking, more and more people are preparing for flight. The brother is among them. After passing by his landlady and her husband at the door, he hurries to his room, pockets all his money, and goes back into the street.
One of the literary elements in this chapter is based on contrasts. In one paragraph, a tranquil sky is described, which is followed by a simple statement that there could be a dead man floating in the river. This structure is effective in conveying the atmosphere of London, where the arrival of the Martians is gradually taking over the normal patterns of life.
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McCauley, Kelly. "TheBestNotes on The War of the Worlds".
. 09 May 2017