The Island of Doctor Moreau is an 1896 science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells. The text of the novel is the narration of Edward Prendick, a shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat who is left on the island home of Doctor Moreau, a mad scientist who creates human-like hybrid beings from animals via vivisection. The novel deals with a number of philosophical themes, including pain and cruelty, moral responsibility, human identity, and human interference with nature. Wells described it as "an exercise in youthful blasphemy."
The Island of Doctor Moreau is a classic of early science fiction and remains one of Wells' best-known books. The novel is the earliest depiction of the science fiction motif "uplift" in which a more advanced race intervenes in the evolution of an animal species to bring the latter to a higher level of intelligence. It has been adapted to film and other media on many occasions.
|The Island of Doctor Moreau|
First edition cover of The Island of Doctor Moreau
|Author||H. G. Wells|
|Published||1896 (Heinemann, Stone & Kimball)|
|Preceded by||The Wonderful Visit|
|Followed by||The Wheels of Chance|
The Island of Doctor Moreau is the account of Edward Prendick, an Englishman with a scientific education who survives a shipwreck in the southern Pacific Ocean. A passing ship takes him aboard, and a man named Montgomery revives him. Prendick also meets a grotesque bestial native named M'ling, who appears to be Montgomery's manservant. The ship is transporting a number of animals which belong to Montgomery. As they approach the island, Montgomery's destination, the captain demands Prendick leave the ship with Montgomery. Montgomery explains that he will not be able to host Prendick on the island. Despite this, the captain leaves Prendick in a dinghy and sails away. Seeing that the captain has abandoned Prendick, Montgomery takes pity and rescues him. As ships rarely pass the island, Prendick will be housed in an outer room of an enclosed compound.
The island belongs to Dr. Moreau. Prendick remembers that he has heard of Moreau, formerly an eminent physiologist in London whose gruesome experiments in vivisection had been publicly exposed, and who fled England as a result of his exposure.
The next day, Moreau begins working on a puma. Prendick gathers that Moreau is performing a painful experiment on the animal, and its anguished cries drive Prendick out into the jungle. While he wanders, he comes upon a group of people who seem human but have an unmistakable resemblance to swine. As he walks back to the enclosure, he suddenly realises he is being followed by a figure in the jungle. He panics and flees, and the figure gives chase. As his pursuer bears down on him, Prendick manages to stun him with a stone and observes the pursuer is a monstrous hybrid of animal and man. When Prendrick returns to the enclosure and questions Montgomery, Montgomery refuses to be open with him. After failing to get an explanation, Prendick finally gives in and takes a sleeping draught.
Prendick awakes the next morning with the previous night's activities fresh in his mind. Seeing that the door to Moreau's operating room has been left unlocked, he walks in to find a humanoid form lying in bandages on the table before he is ejected by a shocked and angry Moreau. He believes that Moreau has been vivisecting humans and that he is the next test subject. He flees into the jungle where he meets an Ape-Man who takes him to a colony of similarly half-human/half-animal creatures. Their leader is a large grey unspecified creature named the Sayer of the Law who has him recite a strange litany called the Law that involves prohibitions against bestial behavior and praise for Moreau.
Suddenly, Dr. Moreau bursts into the colony looking for Prendick, but Prendick escapes to the jungle. He makes for the ocean, where he plans to drown himself rather than allow Moreau to experiment on him. Moreau explains that the creatures called the Beast Folk were not formerly men, but rather animals. Prendick returns to the enclosure, where Moreau explains that he has been on the island for eleven years and has been striving to make a complete transformation of an animal to a human. He explains that while he is getting closer to perfection, his subjects have a habit of reverting to their animal form and behaviour. Moreau regards the pain he inflicts as insignificant and an unavoidable side effect in the name of his scientific experiments.
One day, Prendick and Montgomery encounter a half-eaten rabbit. Since eating flesh and tasting blood are strong prohibitions, Dr. Moreau calls an assembly of the Beast Folk and identifies the Leopard-Man (the same one that chased Prendick the first time he wandered into the jungle) as the transgressor. Knowing that he will be sent back to Dr. Moreau's compound for more painful sessions of vivisection, the Leopard-Man flees. Eventually, the group corners him in some undergrowth, but Prendick takes pity and shoots him to spare him from further suffering. Prendick also believes that although the Leopard-Man was seen breaking several laws, such as drinking water bent down like an animal, chasing men (Prendick), and running on all fours, the Leopard-Man was not solely responsible for the deaths of the rabbits. It was also the Hyena-Swine, the next most dangerous Beast Man on the island. Dr. Moreau is furious that Prendick killed the Leopard-Man but can do nothing about the situation.
As time passes, Prendick becomes inured to the grotesqueness of the Beast Folk. However one day, the half-finished puma woman rips free of her restraints and escapes from the lab. Dr. Moreau pursues her, but the two end up fighting each other which ends in a mutual kill. Montgomery breaks down and decides to share his alcohol with the Beast Folk. Prendick resolves to leave the island, but later hears a commotion outside in which Montgomery, his servant M'ling, and the Sayer of the Law die after a scuffle with the Beast Folk. At the same time, the compound burns down because Prendick has knocked over a lamp. With no chance of saving any of the provisions stored in the enclosure, Prendick realizes that during the night Montgomery has also destroyed the only boats on the island.
Prendick lives with the Beast Folk on the island for months after the deaths of Moreau and Montgomery. As the time goes by, the Beast Folk increasingly revert to their original animal instincts, beginning to hunt the island's rabbits, returning to walking on all fours, and leaving their shared living areas for the wild. They cease to follow Prendick's instructions. Eventually the Hyena-Swine kills Prendick's faithful companion, the Dog-Man created from a St. Bernard, and helped by the Sloth Creature he shoots the Hyena-Swine in self-defence.
Prendick's efforts to build a raft have been unsuccessful, but luckily for him, a lifeboat that carries two corpses drifts onto the beach (perhaps the captain of the ship that picked Prendick up and a sailor). Prendick uses the boat to leave the island and is picked up three days later. When he tells his story he is thought to be mad, so he feigns amnesia.
Upon his return to England, Prendick is no longer comfortable in the presence of humans, all of whom seem to him to be about to revert to an animal state. He leaves London and lives in near-solitude in the countryside, devoting himself to chemistry as well as astronomy in the studies of which he finds some peace.
The Beast Folk are animals which Moreau has experimented upon, giving them human traits via vivisection for which the surgery is extremely painful. They include:
At the time of the novel's publication in 1896, there was growing discussion in Europe regarding degeneration and animal vivisection. Several interest groups were formed to oppose vivisection, the two largest being the National Anti-Vivisection Society in 1875 and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection in 1898. The Island of Dr. Moreau reflects these themes, along with ideas of Darwinian evolution which were gaining popularity and controversy in the late 1800s.
The novel has been adapted into films and other works, on multiple occasions:
The story, as well as the Litany of the Law, has inspired multiple derivative works and popular culture references.
In the short essay "The Limits of Individual Plasticity" (1895), H.G. Wells expounded upon his firm belief that the events depicted in The Island of Doctor Moreau are entirely possible should such vivisective experiments ever be tested outside the confines of science fiction. However, modern medicine has shown that non-human animals lack the necessary brain structure to emulate human faculties like speech. In addition, immune responses to foreign tissues means that transplantation within one species is very complicated, let alone between species.
Dr. Franklin's Island is a young adult science fiction book by Ann Halam published in 2002. It is narrated in the first person. Loosely based on H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau, it tells the story of three teenagers who end up on an island owned by Dr. Franklin, a brilliant but insane scientist, who wants to use them as specimens for his transgenic experiments.Dr. Moreau's House of Pain
Dr. Moreau's House of Pain is a 2004 film directed by Charles Band.H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, and even including two books on recreational war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the "Shakespeare of science fiction". His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist. Novels such as Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. A diabetic, Wells co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK) in 1934.House of Pain (disambiguation)
House of Pain is an American hip-hop group.
House of Pain may also refer to:
"House of Pain", the laboratory in H.G. Wells' 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau; source for the band's name and other usesIn music:
House of Pain (album), an album by House of Pain
"House of Pain", a song by The Game from LAX
"House of Pain", a song by Deep Purple from Bananas
"House of Pain", a song by Faster Pussycat from Wake Me When It's Over
"House of Pain", a song by Paul Wall and Chamillionaire from Controversy Sells
"House of Pain", a song by Van Halen from 1984
"House of Pain", a song by Venom from Metal BlackThe nickname of several sports venues:
Carisbrook, an outdoor stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand
Reliant Astrodome, a domed stadium in Houston, Texas, U.S.
Sardis Road, a rugby union stadium in Pontypridd, Wales
Subiaco Oval, an outdoor stadium Perth, Western AustraliaIpecacuanha
For the plant species commonly known as Ipecacuanha, see Carapichea ipecacuanhaIpecacuanha was a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family but is no longer recognized. It has been sunk into synonymy with Psychotria.
The name also refers to:
Ipecacuanha, a drug, the dried root of Cephaelis ipecacuanha, a plant from Brazil. The ipecacuanha from that country is called annulated, to distinguish it from the striated kind from Peru. The active ingredients reside chiefly in the cortex. It contains a feeble alkaloid called ceretin. Its preparations are pills, powders, lozenges, and wine. In large doses it is an emetic; in smaller ones it is an expectorant and a restorative. It is considered a specific in dysentery. Made into an ointment, it is a counter-irritant.
Ipecacuanha is used to refer to plants which produce this drug, which include the plant mentioned and others.
Ipecacuanha, the name of the ship that is captained by a Davis in H.G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896).Island of Lost Souls (1932 film)
Island of Lost Souls is an American pre-Code science fiction horror film starring Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Béla Lugosi, and Kathleen Burke as the Panther Woman, theatrically released in 1932. The film was directed by Erle C. Kenton and produced by Paramount Pictures from a script co-written by science fiction legend Philip Wylie, the movie was the first non-silent film adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, published in 1896. Both book and film are about an obsessed scientist who is secretly conducting surgical experiments on animals on a remote island. The film has become a cult movie.Mad scientist
Mad scientist (also mad doctor or mad professor) is a caricature of a scientist who is described as "mad" or "insane" owing to a combination of unusual or unsettling personality traits and the unabashedly ambitious, taboo or hubristic nature of their experiments. As a motif in fiction, the mad scientist may be villainous (evil genius) or antagonistic, benign or neutral; may be insane, eccentric, or clumsy; and often works with fictional technology or fails to recognize or value common human objections to attempting to play God. Some may have benevolent or good-spirited intentions, even if their actions are dangerous or questionable, which can make them accidental villains.Terror Is a Man
Terror Is a Man (also known as Blood Creature, Creature from Blood Island, The Gory Creatures, Island of Terror and Gore Creature) is a 1959 black-and-white Filipino/American horror film directed by Gerardo de Leon.It was the first in a series produced by Eddie Romero and Kane W. Lynn known as the "Blood Island" series, which also included Brides of Blood, The Mad Doctor of Blood Island and Beast of Blood. All four films took place on an island called Blood Island, named for its vivid red-hued sunsets.The film focuses on a shipwreck survivor washed ashore on a small island where a scientist is experimenting on a panther in an effort to make it human.The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells. Originally serialized in Pearson's Weekly in 1897, it was published as a novel the same year. The Invisible Man of the title is Griffin, a scientist who has devoted himself to research into optics and invents a way to change a body's refractive index to that of air so that it neither absorbs nor reflects light and thus becomes invisible. He successfully carries out this procedure on himself, but fails in his attempt to reverse it. An enthusiast of random and irresponsible violence, Griffin has become an iconic character in horror fiction.While its predecessors, The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau, were written using first-person narrators, Wells adopts a third-person objective point of view in The Invisible Man.The Island of Doctor Agor
The Island of Doctor Agor is a 1971 American short animated film written and directed by then-thirteen-year-old Tim Burton, who also starred in the title role of Doctor Agor. The short is one of Burton's first animated films, and was adapted by Burton from the H. G. Wells story The Island of Doctor Moreau.
The film starred Burton's friends and classmates and was shot with a Super 8 camera, utilizing locations such as the LA Zoo's animal cages and beaches in Malibu.The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories
The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories is a short story collection by American science fiction author Gene Wolfe.The title story of the collection is "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories", which recounts the fantasies of a dreamy young boy who is reading a lurid pulp science fiction novel modeled after The Island of Doctor Moreau. The collection also includes "The Death of Dr. Island" and "The Doctor of Death Island". Also included are "The Eyeflash Miracles" and "Seven American Nights", two stories which were nominated for Nebulas. Among the remaining stories were "Tracking Song", "Alien Stones", "The Hero as Werwolf" [sic], "Feather Tigers", and "The Toy Theater".The Island of Doctor Moreau (disambiguation)
The Island of Doctor Moreau is an 1896 science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells.
The Island of Doctor Moreau may also refer to:
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977 film), a film adaptation of the novel with Burt Lancaster and Michael York
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996 film), a later film adaptation with Marlon Brando and Val KilmerThe Island of Dr. Moreau (1977 film)
The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 1977 American science fiction film and is the second English-language adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel of the same name, a story of a scientist who attempts to convert animals into human beings. The film stars Burt Lancaster, Michael York, Nigel Davenport, Barbara Carrera and Richard Basehart, and is directed by Don Taylor.
This movie is the second in A.I.P.'s H.G. Wells film cycle, which includes The Food of the Gods (1976) and Empire of the Ants (1977).The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996 film)
The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 1996 American science fiction horror film, the third major film adaptation of the 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells. The film was directed by John Frankenheimer (who was brought in half a week after shooting started) and stars Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, David Thewlis and Fairuza Balk. The screenplay is credited to the original director Richard Stanley and Ron Hutchinson.The production was notoriously difficult, and the film was a box office bomb that received mostly negative reviews.The Island of the Lost
The Island of the Lost (German: Die Insel der Verschollenen) is a 1921 German silent science fiction film directed by Urban Gad and starring Alf Blütecher, Hanni Weisse and Erich Kaiser-Titz. It is a loose unauthorized adaptation of the 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells. Author Wells was allegedly unaware that this unauthorized version of his novel existed. It was a common practice in the silent era for Eurpoean filmmakers to produce unauthorized versions of famous works of literature, as evidenced by F.W. Murnau's Der Januskopf (1920) and Nosferatu (1922).Thought at one time to have been lost, a print has turned up at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, Germany. The film was only screened in the US for the first time at a "Monster Bash" convention in 2014. Comments from the attendees included the fact that the film was somewhat illogical, and had more emphasis on comedy and romance than horror, but that it offered "memorable glimpses of human-animal hybrids"Director Gad began his film directing career in his native Denmark where he met and married actress Asta Nielsen, but later they both moved to Germany where he had a successful filmmaking career that lasted until 1927. The film's sets were designed by the art director Robert A. Dietrich. The Wells novel was adapted earlier in 1913 as a silent film called The Island of Terror.The Transformation
"The Transformation" is the thirteenth episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. Its storyline centers on the circumstances surrounding a deceased scientist (Neal Huff), who was doped with a "designer virus" and transformed into a dangerous monster, causing his plane to crash. Fringe agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and FBI consultants Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Walter Bishop (John Noble) connect the event to an impending arms deal. Olivia must explore her mind for remaining memories of her former partner and lover, John Scott (Mark Valley), in order to prevent the sale of the virus.
The episode was co-written by Zack Whedon and supervising producer J. R. Orci, while producer Brad Anderson served as the director. The creation of the monster took the crew approximately eleven days – they took molds of guest actor Huff's head and back and created eight sets of dentures in order to create the special effect of transformation. To create the plane crash set, the crew spent over a week strategically placing around 15,000 pounds worth of plane parts.
It was first screened at PaleyFest in November 2008. On February 3, 2009, the episode was broadcast in the United States on Fox to an estimated 12.78 million viewers. The episode earned a 5/6.5 ratings share among adults aged 18 to 49, finishing in eighth place for the week. It received generally positive reviews. Commentators have noted allusions to the pilot and a fourth season episode, in addition to the television series Lost and H.G. Wells' novel The Island of Doctor Moreau.Uplift (science fiction)
In science fiction, uplift is a developmental process to transform a certain species of animals into more intelligent beings by other, already-intelligent beings. This is usually accomplished by cultural, technological, or evolutional interventions like genetic engineering but any fictional or real process can be used. The earliest appearance of the concept is in H. G. Wells' 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau, and more recently appears in David Brin's Uplift series and other science fiction works.