Man’s Flaw in War of the Worlds and Present Day Earth sample essay
An interesting quote taken from Kepler starts out the book War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells: But who shall dwell in these worlds if they be inhabited?… Are we or they the Lords of the World?… And how are all things made for man? (Kepler, the Anatomy of Melancholy). This quote serves as a foreshadowing to what Wells considers to be man’s fundamental flaw, a flaw that still exists today on modern man, more than a century after War of the Worlds’s first publication and centuries more after Kepler’s time.
According to Wells’s introduction, man’s first fundamental flaw is complacency “With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this glove about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter” (Chapter 1, p. 3). In War of the Worlds, man thought that they are the only inhabitants of the universe and remain complacent over the dangers that might be coming from places other than what they can comprehend. Little did they know that they are being watched by creatures from space just like how a scientist examines a microscopic organism under a microscope.
Unfortunately today, man still suffers from this complacency. We have abused nature for the longest time thinking that its resources and its tolerance to our actions are boundless. Now, we are facing the ill effects of our wrong doings, our resources are dwindling, and our climate is rapidly changing. Vanity is the next flaw that Wells talk about in his introduction of the book. “Yet so vain is man, and so blinded by his vanity, that no writer, up to the very end of the nineteenth century expressed any idea that life might have developed there far” (Chapter 1, p.
4). Man became too preoccupied with his achievements that he hadn’t put it into thought that Mars is older than Earth and therefore could be more advanced than humans if indeed there is life on the red planet. Vanity is one of the oldest flaws of man, the Greeks shows this flaw perfectly through the myth of Narcissus, a mythological character whose name means self-admirer. Vanity is still among man’s flaw today, some people are so vain that they are willing to spend ridiculous amounts of money on cosmetics.
They could have just used the money on other necessary things or better yet, to help the needy. Last is man’s flaw for being judgmental. “And before we judge them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought” (Chapter 1, p. 6). Wells questions that the Martians’s intent to take over the earth isn’t any different than what the humans has done over animals and even our own species. The same could still be applied today.
Man by virtue, does not have the right to complain if indeed Martians invade the earth and do all those things that we do to our animals. In the book, Martians are just doing what they can do to survive, but man (in the real world) harms creatures even if it is not necessary for survival. All these flaws can be summed up to pride. In ancient Greek literature pride or hubris as they call it, is the fundamental flaw of man that causes his demise. Kepler and Wells advocate the same thing in their works
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