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War of The Worlds

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6th December 06 How Does H.G Wells Show the Breakdown of Social Order in the War of the Worlds and How a Modern Reader Would React To This. In The War of the Worlds, Martians land and planet earth and reek havoc across the country. We follow the path of one person, only known as the narrator, as he tries to escape the Martians and save his own life. The story runs across many themes and techniques the main themes include Science vs. Religion, Imperialism and Industrialization, the key ideas are mainly the theory of science as a whole and how it's linked to the landing of the Martians. The War of the Worlds was written by H.G Wells in the late 1800's. The style of the story is based on science; this is because Wells came from an extremely scientific background, as he came from a science school and met Thomas Huxley. This also influenced his other novels 'The Time Machine' and 'The Invisible Man.' 'How does Social Order breakdown' this is the question that I will answer. ...read more.


As the Martians begin there attack on humanity the perspective of the people changes dramatically, they go from not tacking any notice to scared out of their wits, this is shown by the sudden desire to flee the city and possibly the country. This is described by many metaphors and similes such as ...' the roaring wave of fear riding swiftly into a torrent lashing up into a foaming tumult'... this is the many people running to the stations and literally being pushed back because of the over crowding. Another good piece of imagery to describe the fear would be ...'people were fighting in the street over a cart'... this just shows you the determination people have to get out of the city as quick as they can, instead of running they are stalling themselves by fighting other people for the carts. A modern reader would relate to these actions if they were in the same position, but I believe they would not fight to get a cart they would just run as fast as they could. ...read more.


This shows that social order has left many of the stronger members of society to go crazy with the lack of support and leadership. The modern reader would read these two comparisons and see that social order has completely depleted and left many people without any guidance and completely vulnerable to the situation at hand. At the beginning of the novel social order is completely intact until the situation gets a whole lot worse, then it's every man for themselves. This is a clear example of what times were like in those days in the face of a crisis. When a modern reader reads the novel and sees the breakdown in social order they sympathize because of the lack of understanding in science. They would also say where everyone could have improved, but that is only natural. Overall I think that the story was very good for the time it was written in, the decrease in social order is showed well and the language that is used is very good. But I believe that the story could have improved as it was a bit basic, and maybe would have been a lot better if the story had covered a lot more angles. By James Clarke 10X ...read more.

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