Herbert

George Wells

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, a suburb of London, to a
lower-middle-class family. He attended London University and the Royal College
of Science where he studied zoology. One of his professors instilled in him a
belief in social as well as biological evolution which Wells later cited as the
important and influential aspect of his education. This is how it all began.

Maybe without this professor Wells wouldn’t be the famous author he is today.

Most of Wells novels are science fiction and have a great deal of some kind of
human society theme, or Darwinism in mind. It is a theme that is seen in his
most famous science fiction writings. H.G. Wells seems to convey a sense of

Darwinism and change in the future of society in his major works. Wells has been
called the father and Shakespeare of science fiction. He is best known today for
his great work in science fiction novels and short stories. He depicted stories
of chemical warfare, world wars, alien visitors and even atomic weapons in a
time that most authors, or even people for that matter, were not thinking of the
like. His stories opened a door for future science fiction writers who followed
the trend that Wells wrote about. His most popular science fiction works include

The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, and The Island of

Doctor Moreau. His first novel, The Time Machine, was an immediate success. By
the time the First World War had begun his style of writing and novels had made
him one of the most controversial and best-selling authors in his time. In the
story The Time Machine, Wells expresses his creativity with images of beauty,
ugliness and great details. In this novel Wells explores what it would be like
to travel in this magnificent and beautiful machine. "The criterion of the
prophecy in this case is influenced by the theory of "natural selection."
(Beresford, 424) He uses Darwin’s theory in the novel and relates it to the
men living in the novel. The men are no longer struggling to survive, they have
all adapted and there is no termination of the weak. It had practically ceased.

His fascination with society in biological terms is also mentioned, "Shows

Wells horizon of sociobiological regression leading to cosmic extinction,
simplified from Darwinism." (Beresford, 424) He took the idea from Darwin but
instead of making it "survival of the fittest", the weak have already died
off and only the fittest are left, which leads to the extinction. His
fascination with Darwinism was one that had not been thought by many in that
time, because there were questions of ethics and religion. "From The Time

Machine on, it was generally recognized that no writer had so completely or so
perceptively taken Darwin to heart." (McConnell, 442) He wasn’t the first
man to realize and acknowledge the importance of Darwin’s theory for the
future of civilization, but he is said to be the first to assimilate that theory
into his stories. Concerning society with the future, The Time Machine is said
to be seen as "a prophecy of the effects of rampant industrialization on that
class conflict that was already, in the nineteenth, century a social powder
keg." (McConnell, 438) Wells always touched upon the subject of society, the
destruction of it, and how it would become in the future due to this destruction
and chaos. His view on society was that the classes would clash and ultimately"they might become two races, mutually uncomprehending and murderously
divided," (Suvin, 435) His predictions of future societies were all much
alike, war-torn class problems, much like what is seen now a days. The narrator
of The Time Machine says of the Time Traveler that he "saw in the growing pile
of civilization only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and
destroy its makers in the end." (McConnell, 439) This is another reference to
society’s survival of the fittest, as he depicts civilization tearing at each
other, and in the end, doing away with their creator. Not all of his predictions
and social clashes were horrid and horrendous with violence. In some of his
foretelling of what society would do, he recommended things that could be done
to avoid such things and maybe in the end reach some kind of peace or
togetherness. "That the human race, thanks to its inherited prejudices and
superstitions and its innate pigheadedness, is an endangered species; and that
mankind must learn-soon-to establish a state of worldwide cooperation by burying
its old hatreds and its ancient selfishness,