War of the Worlds Was Term Paper

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It makes sense, then, that H.G. Wells once "said he would 'rather be called a journalist than an artist'" (Wells qtd. In McConnell 176). If the dangers of the twentieth century would come from the way unrestricted scientific advancement coupled with self-interest results in new, terrifying methods of industrialized slaughter, then the particular mode or perspective of the artist, as an opposed to the journalist, would be insufficient or irrelevant. In other words, if both the journalist and the artist seek truth, but the artist also seeks beauty, then the journalist is actually the one better suited for a world in which beauty has been overwhelmed by death and destruction on a scale and with a swiftness heretofore unimagined.

The narrator of The War of the Worlds reflects this shift, because he tells his story with as little artifice and characterization as possible, instead opting to describe the "death […] as incomprehensible as any death could be" (Wells 149). In adopting this tone, Wells essentially becomes a journalist of the future, describing to his audience, in as straightforward terms as possible, what he saw as the inevitable future of humanity should it continue on its current path. Wells essentially uses the tone and rhetoric of a journalist in order to counter the frequently deceptive and sanitizing effect of scientific or superfluous language, which works towards the novel's larger goal of demonstrating the dangers facing humanity as it rushes headlong into the twentieth century.

The most interesting part of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds is the way he is able to take an ostensibly fantastic story and use it to illustrate the very real anxieties and dangers facing society. The novel can be seen as a commentary on the threat posed by the industrialized world's application of science and technology to the practice of war, as evidenced by the aliens' particular weapons and the tone Wells adopts for his narrator. Ultimately Wells' fears were proven partially right, as World War I saw the widespread use of precisely the kind of chemical weapons deployed by the aliens. Furthermore, his predictions regarding the meeting point of science and unrestrained self-interest resonate to this day, when countries like the United States have actually developed heat rays and the most advanced technological breakthroughs frequently come in the field of national defense. Thankfully, in the same way that Wells' predictions resonate to this day, his particular approach remains just as relevant, because The War of the Worlds helps to demonstrate the need to maintain a critical, journalistic perspective in the face of rapid scientific, technological, and military advancement.

Works Cited

McConnell, Frank. "H. G. Wells: Utopia and Doomsday."Wilson Quarterly (1976-). 4.3 (1980):

176-186.

Partington, John. "The Pen as Sword: George Orwell, H.G. Wells and Journalistic Parricide."

Journal of Contemporary History. 39.1 (2004): 45-56.

Wells, H.G. The…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

McConnell, Frank. "H. G. Wells: Utopia and Doomsday."Wilson Quarterly (1976-). 4.3 (1980):

176-186.

Partington, John. "The Pen as Sword: George Orwell, H.G. Wells and Journalistic Parricide."

Journal of Contemporary History. 39.1 (2004): 45-56.

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