Summary of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells |
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The narrator and curate hide in a ditch until late that night when they cautiously resume traveling. They see the burned bodies of many men, lying near the ruins of guns. Upon reaching Sheen, they break into a house and get water and a hatchet. A little farther on, they go into another house where they find a store of food, including bread, meat, vegetables, and soup, so they eat up. The narrator is in favor of staying here for a bit to build up strength, while the curate is nervous and wants to leave.
Suddenly there is a bright green light and a tremendous crash. In the house, the narrator is thrown into the oven handle and knocked out while objects and parts of the ceiling fall about the floor. The curate, his own face bloody from a cut on his forehead, is putting water on the narrator’s face when he comes to. They hear noises outside and, thinking it is the Martians, remain motionless for hours. When day finally comes, the light reaches them through a triangular gap in the ruins, not through the window. They see a Martian standing guard nearby so they quickly move into the shadows.
The narrator then figures out what happened. The fifth cylinder has landed quite close by them, collapsing part of the house and throwing up a mound of dirt against the window. The two are trapped right by the Martians in what is left of the house. They sit silently, while the noises outside continue, until, awake and hungry, the narrator goes to get food and the curate follows.
The novel is separated into two books, this chapter being the first of the Book Two. Although only half the cylinders have landed, it seems appropriate to include this in “The Earth Under the Martians.” After telling of the massive flight from London, and now that the narrator and curate are literally almost under one of the cylinders, it is evident that the Martians are exercising a great deal of control over an increasing area of the world.
The three bicycles that stand out to the narrator are just one of the many indications of the change in life that has occurred. Bicycling is a popular leisure activity, especially in Wells time, and the narrator was even learning how to ride one in the beginning of the story. Now the cycles lay in the road, left behind and crushed in the rush to escape the Martians.
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McCauley, Kelly. "TheBestNotes on The War of the Worlds".
. 09 May 2017