Book Review: The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

The passage in the first paragraph of the first chapter; “The Eve of the War” of the book The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells is a very relevant passage to the contemporary issue of terrorism in the modern society. The chapter begins with a very interesting, yet worrying statement, that there is absolutely no one who could have believed “that this world was being watched keenly and closely by an intelligence greater than men and yet as mortal as his own” (Wells, n.p.). This statement simply evokes the mind of the reader to think about the issue of terrorism, and how it has become a major problem all over the world. There is hardly a month that ever passes without reports of terrorist attacks in different parts of the world. Even the most developed and highly security-conscious nations are not immune to the threat of terrorism. The USA, the UK, France, among other developed nations, have been hit by one or several incidences of terrorism attacks. Similarly, even the least developed nations are suffering the same fate. It is only recently in Kenya where terrorists attacked and killed approximately 150 students in a university while injuring numerous others in the process.

The world sleeps and wakes up to hear the news of terrorism and the lives that have been claimed, or the billions of dollars worth of property that has been destroyed by their activities in different parts of the world. The most interesting aspect of it all is that, just like the statement in the first sentence of chapter one of the book The War of the Worlds, no one could have believed that there is a different intelligence, greater than all the security organs of the world, which has been keenly observing the world, and planning to inflict it with disastrous series of attacks that have become impossible to contain. Further, just like the statement in this sentence, the intelligence is greater than “men and yet as mortal as his own” (Wells, n.p.). Terrorism is a form of intelligence that has proven greater than that of the security apparatus established by man globally, yet the perpetrators of the acts of terrorism as just mortal.

The passage on the first paragraph of this chapter further goes on to become even more relevant to the explanation of the concept of terrorism, where still in the first sentence of the first chapter the book states that “as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied” (Wells, n.p.). This is exactly the manner in which terrorism intelligence has continued to bite the modern society, since the terrorist study and scrutinize people just as they go about their normal course of business, until at such a time when they find it most appropriate to launch their attack. The rest of the global population wakes up to cater to each day’s concern, unaware that it is being watched and scrutinized keenly. This has been summarized in a statement in the second sentence of chapter one of the book The War of the Worlds, which states that “with infinite complacency, men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs” (Wells, n.p.).
In fact, the terrorists will not make attempt to scare off the population that they are targeting, but will remain neutral and almost indifferent to the activities of the target population, until at such a point when they are certain that the target population is highly vulnerable, and the terrorists are not at a great risk of being discovered. It is only then that they launch their attack. Therefore, the first paragraph of this book is a relevant passage to the modern day concept of terrorism, which almost persuades the reader to think that the author of the book had prophesied the problem of terrorism currently experienced in the modern-day world.

The first paragraph of the first chapter of the book The War of the Worlds closes with the sentence consisting of the statement “with minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish… slowly and surely drew their plans against us“ (Wells, n.p.). This statement highlights the similarity of the manner in which the terrorists plan to attack their target population, with a mindset seeking to have their target humans perish as beasts. The minds of the rest of humans from the perception of the terrorists are just like that of beasts. The first paragraph then closes with the statement, “in the twentieth century came to the great disillusionment” (Wells, n.p.). This is the true status of the modern world, where terrorism threw the world into a state of disillusionment in the twentieth century when the threat of terrorism first became rife and continues to disillusion the world to the present day.

 

Works Cited
Wells, H G. The War of the Worlds. S.l.: Joshua James Press, 1898. Web. April 19, 2015. Available at: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/36/36-h/36-h.htm

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