The Darwinism theory talks about evolution or better still the transmutation of species. This entails the transformation of various species from their original form to a lot more different forms through what is commonly called genetic transformation.
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This simply means that the present existing organisms descended from somewhere and therefore there is a difference between the organisms that existed millions of years ago and those that are in existence as of now. For instance man is thought to trace his roots from the ape family of organisms and therefore it is thought by those who share in the Darwinism theory that evolution must have taken place.
Likewise in the text The Island of Dr Moreau, we encounter the doctor, who we learn is a runaway vivisectionist from London for many years now. He, the doctor has made beast men, who are half men and half beasts, (Wells 18)therefore he can be considered to have caused a sort of evolution from one form of organism to another and that is, he created half beasts and half human beings by mixing genes from both animals and human beings.
The Darwinism theory is evident throughout the book as we encounter a certain class of organisms referred to as beast men. These beast men are an absolute mockery of man. Prendick happens to see the difference that exists between the beast men and real men through their character because their character is very weird and different in comparison to humans they seem to be unruly and very noisy (Wells 24).
Their physical appearance is described by Prendick as “inhuman- looking humans (Wells 30)”. Their exists many of them, that is the Leopard Man, Ape Man, Bull Men and many more forms. This therefore means that the animals’ physical appearance could be half beast and half human.
Moreau’s experiments have borne fruits that can be seen as a form of evolution from one set of organisms to another. Darwinism propagates the idea of the formation or rather the development of life from nothing.
When organisms come up and grow from one stage to another then that can be regarded as the propagation of that theory, now that beast men are in existence and who knew that there could be a common means of communication that cuts across the group, because all these beast men can talk to each other by use of rudimentary language and understand each other by mere fact that they have got a humanistic characteristic that cuts across, therefore genetic mutations must have really occurred in doctor Moreau’s experiments.
We are told that they can also work as servants, chant their songs and do many more activities. It is well understood that animals can never be servants and do chores that are designed by men.
The doctor’s overpowering desire to bring about scientific progression is what causes him to carry out the experiments. This he thought was to bring about a sense of making man or even the beasts more efficient and better than their former selves. He believes that pain and pleasure are not relevant thereby having to do what he does in order to achieve his goals in as much as society does not approve of it (Wilson 54).
Moreau wants to bring change that is to be reckoned. The race of sub humans that he intends to create are expected to be superior to the existing man. With their action of rebellion towards Moreau and Montgomery, the beast men depict clear humanistic characteristic among them, rebellion towards tyranny.
But to what extent is the story about the possible existence of the beast people true? This can be left to the theoreticians of Darwinism to justify that. At some point we meet Montgomery saying that the beast people”…….actually bore off springs, but that these generally died. There was no evidence of the inheritance of the acquired human characteristics (Well 61)”.
But all the same evolution can be seen to be put to test by Wells in this intriguing and entertaining, though scary text. By bringing the beast men with distinctively common characteristics though each belonging to a different species, one can be sure that science plays a major role in literature because it brings out exciting ideas in prose ( Wilson 54).
Wells, Herbert. Science Fiction. United Kingdom. Stone & Kimball. 1896. pp. 60 – 209.
Wilson, David. Evolution for Everyone: How’s Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think about Our Lives. Delacorte Press. 2007. pp. 70 – 345.