Summary of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells |
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Martians do not have any digestive organs and use a process of injection instead. This involves first expelling air, thereby causing the noises that people mistook for a sort of speech, though the narrator believes that the Martians communicated telepathically. Then, the blood is run from a living creature into the Martian. Men, similar to the six-foot bipeds with weak skeletons that they drained on Mars, are the preferred victims on Earth.
The narrator later learns three differences between Martians and men. They do not need rest, since they do not have a substantial muscle structure. They do not have sex and instead reproduce through budded growths, which is known since a Martian was born while on Earth. Finally, they either have gotten rid of, or never had, any microorganisms. On a more apparent level, the Martians do not wear clothes, but rather switch bodies to the one most appropriate for whatever task. Also, their technology does not involve the wheel or fixed pivot at all, but is far more complex.
After giving the curate a turn to look, the narrator returns to look and sees a new machine, involved in excavation. It gives off a green vapor that drifts by the makeshift window. The noise and vibrations it creates can be felt in the house.
The lack of a wheel in Martian machinery is explained by their use of other, more complicated means of movement. This makes sense since the wheel is an ancient human development and the Martians have lived longer as a race. There is also indication that the wheel has symbolic value. The narrator spends a good amount of time in describing the numerous types of conveyances that have filled the roads, everything from cabs to carriages, and all with wheels. There is also the mention in the previous chapter of the three bicycles that have been run over.
One possible interpretation of this stress of wheels is to point to society’s lack of progress. In contrast with the Martians, it becomes clear that most of men’s machines are based on a technology developed long ago.
It is also worth mentioning the switch in vegetation colors from Earth’s green to the Martian red, which helps to further the contrasts between the two worlds. The two colors are opposites on the color wheel. Additionally, red is normally the color of pain or injury whereas green is life.
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McCauley, Kelly. "TheBestNotes on The War of the Worlds".
. 09 May 2017