Planet of the Apes Themes & Motifs

Pierre Boulle
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Humanity

Humanity is an important theme in the novel “Planet of the Apes” by Pierre Boulle. Humanity, thematically, involves that which makes individuals human or humanlike. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, morality, reason, emotion, compassion, understanding, intelligence, culture, and the attributes of civilization such as written and spoken language. When the novel begins, Ulysse, Antelle, and Levain are sure of their humanity. They hail from the West, from the European nation of France. They are all representatives of respected fields, from science and learning (Antelle, the professor) to medicine and physical knowledge (Levain the physician) to the arts (Ulysse, the writer and journalist).

Their exploration of the planet Soror yields the stunning revelation that the human beings that populate the planet are decidedly inhuman. They wear no clothing, they have no powers of reason, they do not speak, they do not live in any...

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This section contains 2,423 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Planet of the Apes Study Guide
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