Wells And Darwin
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,