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The Island of Doctor Moreau

H.G. Wells

The Island of Doctor Moreau is a 1896 science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells, addressing ideas of society and community, human nature and identity, playing God and Darwinism. The mythic figure of the chimera, a human/animal hybrid, is brought into the scientific age.

Plot Introduction

The novel begins with the protagonist, an upper class gentleman named Prendick, finding himself shipwrecked in the ocean. A passing ship takes him aboard, and a doctor named Montgomery revives him. He explains to Prendick that they are bound for an unnamed island where he works, and that the animals aboard the ship are traveling with him. Prendick also meets a grotesque, bestial native named M'ling who appears to be Montgomery's manservant.

When they arrive on the island, however, both the captain of the ship and Doctor Moreau refuse to take Prendick. The crew pushes him back into the lifeboat from which they rescued him, but seeing that the ship truly intends to abandon him, the islanders take pity and end up coming back for him. Montgomery introduces him to Doctor Moreau, a cold and precise man who conducts research on the island. After unloading the animals from the boat, they decide to house Prendick in an outer room of the enclosure in which they live. Prendick is exceedingly curious about what exactly Moreau researches on the island, especially after he locks the inner part of the enclosure without explaining why. Prendick suddenly remembers that he has heard of Moreau, and that he had been an eminent physiologist in London before a journalist exposed his gruesome experiments in vivisection.
(From Wikipedia, description text under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

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