Mad scientists in H. G. Wells's early fiction

Title: Mad scientists in H. G. Wells's early fiction
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2023, vol. 49, iss. 1, pp. 163-178
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
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open access

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This article analyses six mad scientist characters from H. G. Wells's early fiction. The analysed mad scientists are as follows – the Bacteriologist from "The Stolen Bacillus", Hapley from "A Moth – Genus Novo", the Time Traveller from The Time Machine, Doctor Moreau from The Island of Doctor Moreau, Griffin from The Invisible Man, and Cavor from The First Men in the Moon. The article uses a broader definition of the mad scientist, one that includes not only evil scientific geniuses but also other, more benign characters, as long as they are eccentric enough to be considered mad. The said mad scientists are divided into three different categories, depending on whether they are evil, benign or neither of the two. The article shows that the analysed mad scientists reflect the early Wells's disbelief in the power of science to change the world for the better. It is also argued that Wells's varied body of mad scientists enriched and diversified the mad scientist trope in the history of the SF genre.
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