Study Guide

Literary Qualities of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

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At the time Wells wrote The War of the Worlds, science had become the subject of much public debate. During this period, the natural sciences were becoming part of the everyday curriculum of schools. Journalists responded to the general interest in science—and the particular interest in Mars and its possible inhabitants—with a multitude of speculations. Wells chose a topic for his novel that was calculated to catch the public's imagination. In addition, his care in presenting accurate details, both in setting and about the everyday lives of his characters, gives the narrative a powerful immediacy, as though the action could be taking place in any reader's own yard.

An interesting technique is Wells's use of symbolic names. The Narrator could be an Everyman figure—a character who is meant to symbolize all human beings.

More pointedly symbolic are the Curate and the Artilleryman...

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This section contains 264 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The War of the Worlds Study Guide
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