The Island of Doctor Moreau - Q7: Naming


“It's an island... Where I live. So far as I know, it hasn't got a name.”

The island is unnamed. Why do you suppose not? Why hasn't Moreau given the Beast People a name?
Many other names do exist in the book – Moreau, Montgomery, Prendick, M'ling – can we infer something from them? The ships are also named:  Lady Vain, Scorpion, Myrtle, Medusa, and the Ipecacuanha.  Is there a theme?


  • 0

    Moreau hasn't given the beast people names because they're just objects to him. I don't think the beast people name each other, apart from the title Sayer of the Law. Is that saying something about people and anthropomorphising? Are the boats somehow more human than the beast people?

  • 1
    edited June 7

    M'ling had a name. Also note the names of the ships. Vain - self-absorbed. Scorpion - a venomous crawling thing. Medusa - a woman with venomous snakes for hair that turned everything living to stone. Ipecacuana - a plant which causes immediate and violent vomiting if swallowed. I think Wells is using the names of the ships to comment on society.

  • 0

    M'ling had a name - perhaps an abbreviation of 'Manling'? Arguably one of the most human characters in the novel, apart from Prendick.

    I'm not sure if the ship names are a comment on society, so much as suggesting a theme for this particular story. The Lady Vain and the Medusa definitely invoke women, and the female beast-people on the island seemed to be the more horrific. I wonder if these things are trying to suggest a revulsion or expelling by Mother Nature, whom Wells seems to hold in high regard.

Sign In or Register to comment.