The Island Of Dr. Moreau: Literary Analysis

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The term fin de siècle marks “the period between around 1880 and 1914” (Pykett 1). This term not only marks the time but also evokes the “hectic spirit of a turbulent period.” (Van Leeuwen, 2015). The writer of Degeneration (1895), Max Nordau, described the period as “the impotent despair of a sick man, who feels himself dying by inches in the midst of an eternally living nature blooming insolently for ever.” This was because, during the fin de siècle, many new scientific procedures were either developed further or discovered. It was the era where medical techniques that were introduced were thought of as revolutionary and criticized at the same time for their unorthodox methods. However, what fascinated the nineteenth-century theorists the …show more content…

On the topic of monsters, Punter says: “Located at the margins of culture, they police the boundaries of the human, pointing to those lines that must not be crossed” (263). The Island of Dr. Moreau is a work of fiction that abundantly embodies the vile images of monstrosities. The distinction between monstrous appearance and monstrous nature is a recurring theme in the novel with the main focus on the former- “Dr. Moreau’s hybrid humanoid species, with disproportioned limbs, furry ears and luminous eyes is one of the most graphic and grotesque representations of degeneration in modern Gothic horror fiction.” (Van Leeuwen, 2015). In this novel, degeneration is heavily explored through the creation of hybrid species of man and animal, alongside the inhuman that is Dr. Moreau. His “man-making” (74) of animals and the return of the Beats to their original form symbolizes the fluctuating and unavoidable process of evolution and devolution. This concept of “evolution and devolution become ambiguous and blurred, which is illustrated by Prendick’s misconception of Moreau’s experiments.” (Van Leeuwen, 2015). Originally, Prendrick thought that Dr. Moreau had conducted experiments on humans to create the Beast People, he is convinced that Dr. Moreau is “animalizing these men” (57), showcasing the process of degeneration. The process however achieves the opposite as Prendick discovers that Dr. Moreau …show more content…

Even though the Beast People appear as human most of the time, there are still some features that reveal the animals original form. The Beast people conform to the classification of “fusion” as told by Caroll, in which the contradictory elements of man and animal makes them monsters (43). The fact that the Beast People are unable to speak properly and have luminous eyes, puts emphasis on their inhuman nature. “Prendick identifies one as “the Thing” (39) and specifically calls them monsters, “monsters manufactured” (69) (Van Leeuwen,

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