The Island of Dr. Moreau Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Island of Dr. Moreau

The Island of Dr. Moreau begins with three men afloat aboard a dingy after the sinking of the Lady Vain. Two struggle and fall overboard in the throes of madness leaving only the narrator, Edward Prendick. Nearly dead when found, he is picked up by the captain and crew of the vessel Ipecacuanha. Prendick, a doctor, is then nursed to health by Mr. Montgomery, who is a passenger aboard the ship, accompanied by a strange looking black-faced man and a menagerie of animals. When Montgomery is ready to disembark at a mysterious and nameless island, the captain and crew want Prendick off the ship as well.
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He is not wanted on shore nor on board the boat. Prendick is cast adrift in the dingy he was found in before being pitied by Montgomery and his crew, who then tow him to the island. He is fascinated by the ugliness of the men assisting with the supplies and animals. They are wrapped in cloth over every inch of their bodies save for their faces. Their torsos are disproportionately long, legs bones queerly twisted, and faces are comprised of ghastly and misshaped features. At last they reach land and Prendick is told he is at a biological station but is not introduced to the large white haired “biologist” who speaks to him. Montgomery warns him to watch where he goes and is shown around the walled compound. He hears the name Moreau and struggles to recall how he knows it.

Soon he remembers Moreau as a notorious vivisectionist run out of London many years prior and is curious about the goings on at the compound. He leaves his room due to the unending wails of the tortured puma in the next room and explores the surrounding forest. He is tracked by something or someone as he wanders, then sees a mutilated rabbit and a small group of further inhuman-looking humans. He meets the unique animal-turned human population: the Leopard Man, the Hyena-Swine, the Swine Folk, the Ape Man, Bull Men, Horse-Rhinoceros, Wolf-Bear, Ocelot Man, Dog Man and the Monkey Man. He learns of the Law and the House of Pain that are used to keep the beast people fearful and subjugated. The remainder of his time on the island is spent fleeing from Dr. Moreau and the beast people that he is creating and setting loose upon the island.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Edward Prendick survives a shipwreck and is picked up by a vessel that is on its way to a mysterious island, where he meets a strange scientist named Dr. Moreau. He is provided food and shelter, but when he hears a man screaming in the night, as if the man is being tortured, Prendick flees, fearing for his own safety. In the forest, he encounters bizarre creatures that are half-man and half-beast. Prendick discovers the truth about these mysterious creatures and Dr. Moreau's part in their tormented lives, managing to escape the island and bring his story back to civilization. H. G. Wells is one of the founders of science fiction, and he is an highly literate writer and a suspenseful storyteller, in this novel and his other classics, such as "The Time Machine," "The Invisible Man," "The War of the Worlds," and many others. His books are short by today's standards, which makes him accessible to younger readers as well as to adults of all ages. His fiction is exciting and well worth reading.
The review of this Book prepared by Gary Pullman

Chapter Analysis of The Island of Dr. Moreau

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 30%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 25%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 25%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear)    -   scarey (primal ax-wielding fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Lifeform altered?    -   Yes Kind of alteration:    -   Scientifically turned into another lifeform Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Horror story?    -   Yes Horror plotlets    -   the monster chased me!

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's


Terrain    -   Jungle    -   Water    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   19th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   explicit references to deaths    -   very explicit references to deaths and torture scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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