How does Well's present religion in the 'War of the Worlds' novel and what is the significance of this?

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The War of the Worlds was written in 1898 by HG Wells. It was written in the Victorian era. At this time, many people were questioning religion and exploring atheist ideas. Wells himself was an atheist and a socialist, so he had strong ideologies and many opinions on religious beliefs; especially with Christianity and Judaism. In the novel the main character is the Narrator who isn't completely atheist in his beliefs. If he were, the storyline might not have appealed to the reader as it would have been too controversial at the time it was written.

The novel is classified as a Science-Fiction story with a strong reference to religion and philosophies. Although religion provides people with the knowledge and comfort that someone, i.e. God, is always watching them, in The War of the Worlds religion drove people insane. A church, a place of safety and worship, was one of the first buildings to be destroyed by the Martian attack. As a result chaos ensued this indicated a loss of faith.

Darwinism is used to portray the scientific point of view in the novel. Darwin was a scientist in the 19th Century and put forward the theory of Natural Selection of The Species in his 1859 book 'Origin of the Species'. His theory was based upon the 'Survival of the Fittest' which suggested of all the plants and animals, those with the best 'design' would out-compete or survive those of weaker designs. Darwin was making a point that those animals and plants that are stronger would be able to survive changing environmental conditions. He also suggested the stronger species, as predators could prey upon weaker species. However in the Bible, we are told that with faith, the weaker are able to defeat any stronger enemy. This is true in The War of the Worlds where the smallest and possibly weakest life form, bacteria, killed off the more powerful and larger Martians. This shows Wells isn't completely against religion and can accept some religious views.
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In the Bible the Sermon on the Mount states "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5) Meekness could mean mild, weak or gentle which could aptly describe the bacteria. Bacteria don't come across as strong organisms but they manage to defeat the Martians. In this way Wells follows the philosophies laid down in the Bible.

The artilleryman is a character that Wells uses to show Darwin's theory. This is mainly because the artilleryman (who is slightly insane and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder) plans to create a super-human race to defeat ...

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