Comparing War of the Worlds and Prester John
The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author Herbert George Wells and published in 1897 and Prester John is an adventure novel written by John Buchan in 1910. H. G. Wells was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and many others. John Buchan is a Scottish novelist who began his political and diplomatic careers in southern Africa which made him start writing career. He often wrote various adventure fictions. John Buchan often wrote about southern Africa as a back ground. They both are very well-known writers. H. G. Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1921, 1932, 1935, and 1946. Wells so influenced real exploration of Mars that an impact crater on the planet was named after him. Unlike H. G. Wells, John Buchan is not as influenced literacy with impact, but he was a novelist, historian, and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada. Buchan simultaneously began his writing career and hist political and diplomatic careers. He was a splendid man of unlimited resource and great intellectual capacity. These two prominent authors of The War of the Worlds and Prester John have distinguishable styles.
Firstly, their genre, setting, style and theme are very different. As previously stated, these two books genres are very different. One is science fiction genre and other is adventure genre. In the War of the World, mostly, it talks about Martians destroying the earth and the main characters surviving from the abyss. In the Prester John, main character is exploring southern Africa and about adventure that is happening while he is staying in Africa. Setting is also different. In the War of the World, it is around in 1900 and held on London. In the Prester John, it is held in around in mid twentieth century and held on Southern Africa. Because of these genre and setting are different, it makes the style of books different. In the War of the World, science fiction genre makes the style of the book more appalling. The main character of this book is surrounded by unbeatable Martians and crazy people that make the life of the main character miserable. Everything seems hopeless in this book. However, in the Prester John, it is not as severely bad as the War of the World. The main character in the Prester John also in a very poor condition, but there were always ways to get out. It shows hopes unlike the War of the World. Themes of these two books are differ from each other. In the War of the World, the main theme is to show the what is going to happen if other creatures from outside of the earth invade. It shows disasters that happened by monstrous creatures. However, it tells readers that there is going to be some sort of hope to go against these creatures. In the Prester John, the main theme is to talk about what is going on in southern Africa that the author actually experienced. These four components; genre, setting, style and theme are crucial that made authors famous.
Secondly, their representation of social class is different. A social class is a set of subjectively defined concepts in the social sciences and political theory centered on models of social stratification in which people are grouped into a set of hierarchical social categories. In the War of the World, social class is not actually stated, but readers can anticipate that social class exist. Martians which has the most power is controlling the world. People have to live what Martians intended to. Human beings who have the power which is the Army are on the top of the social class besides Martians. Below that males and people who have weapons are existed and the rest of the human beings are on the bottom of social class. However, in the Prester John, social class does exist. Main character or white men are in the top of the social class. They have the actual control over the resources or humans. Others are in the bottom of the social class but among them, they have their own social class. A leader and fighters. For example, Laputa, the leader of the tribes, has the most power among their people and his followers do whatever Laputa tells them to do. Because both are in special condition, the War of the World and the Prester John have the social classes. If the War of the World has the different genre, and the Prester John is held on somewhere else, there might not be any social class.
Thirdly, their relationship to Darwinism is different. Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin. It means all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Unlike the Prester John, the War of the World is clearly stated the Darwinism. When the main character of the War of the World met the artillery man, the artillery man wants to accept only people who are in good condition. He is going to build a utopia for perfect human beings. This dream did not work out in the book but it surely mentioned about Darwinism that author actually believed in. The main character knew about the artillery man’s dream is lunatic which made the main character leave him behind. Unlike the War of the World, the Prester John does not state Darwinism at all. The Prester John is closer to Imperialism which is a state government, practice, or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areas. It is based on imperialism because of the historical era of that time. White men are ruling over the southern Africa and Africans are fighting against white men’s reign. Not only white men but also Africans also have imperialism. Leaders tell their people what to do. For example, Laputa is the leader of the tribes and tell people to fight against white men. They protest and do riots against the power. Because of these two, the War of the World and the Prester John are very different.
Finally, their treatment of the theme of science and belief, and civilization and barbarism are different. In the War of the World, it is more toward to science and belief. The genre itself is science fiction and talks about mostly something that does not exist in the real life. Everything is based on author’s imagination that might happen in future or that never happen. The belief that the War of the World has is the Darwinism. As it previously mentioned, H. G. Well believed in Darwinism. Well’s earliest specialized training was in biology which made him more believed in Darwinian context. Because of his belief, the War of the World and many other science fiction novels brought full impact of Darwin’s revolutionary botanical ideas to a wider public. This explained why H. G. Wells put the artillery man to notify what Darwinism is. The artillery man is a character that has same belief that the author has. Unlike the War of the World, civilization and barbarism exist in the Prester John. Civilization which express white men who staying in southern Africa and barbarism which express Africans who are fighting against the civilization are crucial in this book. Africans are going against the white men and fight for their freedom and their lands. It happens in real life too. Author wrote this book based on his experience in Africa. People cannot decide which is good. Civilization can be good or bad and barbarism also can be good or bad. The War of the World and the Prester John have the treatment of the theme that it actually believed in or what it has seen throughout their life.
In conclusion, the War of the World and the Prester John are very different but somewhat similar. The War of the World mostly talks about something that never happened in real life and the Prester John talks about something that actually happened and people are suffering from. Genre, setting, style and themes made these two books very different, but readers who read these books know that these are magnitudinous books. What H. G. Wells and John Buchan want to talk about is different subjects but both clearly stated what they want to say in their books which makes these two books very similar. Readers find out more about these books which socially impacted and impacting nowadays too. Because of these two authors, these two books crucially are concerned in English popular culture.
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