Book review; `The War of the Worlds` by H.G. Wells

Bookreview ‘TheWar of the Worlds’by H.G. Wells

Ascience fiction by H.G. Wells, ‘TheWar of the World’was first published as a book in 1898, which has its story around theinvasion of the earth by the Martians. The novel is regarded as oneof the first to narrate the conflict between extraterrestrial raceand human beings, as well as one of the most commented on, in theworld of fiction writing. The book is divided into two sections one,the coming of the Martians, and two, the earth under the rule of theMartians (Wells n.d).

Thebook’s plot has been based on the invasion literature of the time,and it has been influential in the making of feature fiction films,as well as writing of comic books. On the other hand, the book isnarrated from a philosophically inclined narrator’s point of view.Throughout the book, the author has extemporary deployed differentliteral devices in order to bring out clearly his intended message.Some of the devices used include, irony, symbolism, foreshadowingamong others.

Thetitle itself indicates that the book is about a war that involves twoworlds. On the same note, the first chapter indicates that there isan approaching war. This is shown by the fact that Mars is shown asthe star of war. The launchings are then compared to the firing of agun, which is enough to bring out the invasion of Mars. This is thechapter that Wells is able to demonstrate his scientific background.This is where he is able to mention such things such as nebularhypothesis and spectroscope. This is accompanied by a comparison ofthe way the aliens observe humans in the same way that humans areable to observe or look at creatures under a microscope. Despite thisanalysis, Wells takes it a step further in that he wrote in ascientific tone to one that shows a social critique. Throughout thebook by Wells, there are different symbols that have been used todenote war, at the title of the book denote (the war between twoworlds, the earth and the mars) (Wells n.d).

Withreference to the aliens, human beings are low on the social ladder inthe sense that they are just like monkeys. This relates to the ideasof Max in the sense that just as human beings have not hesitated toensure that they are above the animals, the same case applies to thealiens who have not wasted any time to show that they have a mentaladvantage over human beings. This is where Wells has pointed out thatthe treatment of the inferior races such as the one involving thewiping out of the Tasmanians by the European migration cannot be saidto be above reproach. Humans are known to have a consciousness andtendency of focusing on some things that are little but miss on thelarger picture that is going on. The compassion is shown by the factthat the Martians are said to have had a superior brain and a goodspace travel capability were on the verge of entering into a war withhuman beings who are busy controlling their bicycles.


Asidentified earlier, one of the literal devices used by the author isforeshadowing. In this chapter, however, he has used some aspects offoreshadowing to bring out the intended plot and message to thereader. Foreshadowing of what the Martians might bring to the earthonce they invade. It is clear that the Martians will bring a lot ofdestruction to earth just as like it can be seen in the falling ofthe cylinder. One of the things is that the environment was calm onthat particular morning as there were no birds or breeze (Wells n.d).This is compared to the coming of a storm where everything is usuallycalm. The landing of the cylinder had made a big hole on the groundand had also destroyed one of the trees that had been standing onthat ground.

Theaspect of foreshadowing that the earth’s environment will beseverely damaged if the war starts. On the same note, the chapteralso tells a lot about the human behavior. They are ignorant ofanything that is happening as it can be seen by the fact that thenarrator could not see the falling of the cylinder to the earth. Thiswas despite the fact that it had been visible to him (Wells n.d).This is foreshadowing that human beings will be attacked by theMartians without their knowledge and might notice it when it will betoo late and the war may already have started. This is shown by thefact that very few people took notice of the falling thing, but manywent to see where it had fallen.


Wells,H G. TheWar of the Worlds.S.l.: Joshua James Press, 2005. Print