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2013 Group Reads - Archives > The Island of Doctor Moreau Ch. 12-15

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message 1: by Silver (new)

Silver *Sorry for the bit of the delay, I was out sick.

We encounter a strange colony of the beast man like creatures and see the strange recitation of their law to establish/remind them of their humanity and fight against their more beast-like instincts.

The truth of Dr. Moreau's experiments are revealed and explained. One of the things I liked about it is that being somewhat familiar with the story, in addition to the foreshadowing and clues offered in the book I had thought I knew where it was eventually going, much like the narrators own initial suspicions, but the truth turned out to be something a bit different.

What do you make of the doctors explanation for what he is doing? The narrator more or less seems to have accepted it, though he still did express some concern about the suffering brought upon the beasts and being struck on an island with the doctor he does not have too many options, as it probably would not be a good idea to make him too angry at this point. So perhaps best to just go along with it and hope you make it off the island alive.


message 2: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 220 comments The doctor is clearly crazy. He seems convinced that the pain he is causing his creatures just does not matter, and he seems to see no need to justify his actions. He believes he is making wonderful discoveries. I can't tell to what extent the narrator has "accepted" it, but I think he is merely resigned to the situation.


message 3: by Silver (new)

Silver Yes I think resigned might be a better word for it. In a lot of his stories H.G Wells focuses on the arrogance of the scientist and when they act in pure self-fulling desire with no regard for any sort of morality. While I don't think anything could justify the doctors actions I think one of the most disturbing things is there seems to be no purpose to what he is doing. His experiments will not have any benificial results to humanity, he is doing it just because he can.


message 4: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4461 comments Mod
All of the experiments reminded me of the eugenics experiments, and also of other experiments where the test subjects were not voluntary. Very creepy to me that somebody would feel so immune to suffering. I think the narrator may nit necessarily accept it. Maybe just relieved that he is not part of the experiment.


message 5: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 220 comments The narrator was horrified when he thought Moreau was turning men into beasts. But in this part he learns that, actually, Moreau is turning beasts into something a little like humans. Presumably Moreau believes he is somehow "elevating" these creatures. I don't think the narrator "accepts" what Moreau is doing, but I think he is somewhat less disturbed to find that Moreau is not starting with human subjects.


message 6: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments Deborah wrote: "All of the experiments reminded me of the eugenics experiments, and also of other experiments where the test subjects were not voluntary. Very creepy to me that somebody would feel so immune to suf..."

This book inspired many others and films too. Wells was a sci-fi pioneer.


message 7: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments I expected Prendick to feel more empathy for the creatures, more affinity. He does, to a degree, in that he exhorts them to rise up against the doctor when he believes them to be human experimental subjects. But, it seems to me his main response is one of repulsion. Even when he believes they began as humans. I wonder if, faced with creatures of such distortion, the natural and overriding response would be repulsion or pity?

This section brought to my mind the work of Jane Goodall and others like her, who have elevated our understanding of the interactions and communications among other species.

I'm fascinated by the leaders of the community. The ape-man and the ox-man(?). Before Dr. Moreau's explanation, I believed he had created their litany in order to keep peace among them, and keep them peaceable. Although, perhaps it was Montgomery. It seems an additional arrogance to turn them loose and give no consideration to what may become of them.

I can't help but wonder what the creatures will make of the scene they witnessed on the beach. Of Prendick striking the pink one after coming to live among them. Of the things they heard him say. We've already witnessed brutal, inhumane behavior among the humans, especially Dr. Moreau. I can't imagine things are going up from here.


message 8: by Silver (new)

Silver Renee wrote: "I expected Prendick to feel more empathy for the creatures, more affinity. He does, to a degree, in that he exhorts them to rise up against the doctor when he believes them to be human experimental..."

I think to a certain degree the feeling of repulsion is a natural human response to something that is so unnatural and grotesque. It does bring to mind Fraienstien's monster. I think the narrators feelings may be torn between pity for the creatures and his impulsive revulsion to them.


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