The Island of Doctor Moreau - Q10: The Last Word

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“There is... a sense of infinite peace and protection in the glittering hosts of heaven. There it must be, I think, in the vast and eternal laws of matter, and not in the daily cares and sins and troubles of men, that whatever is more than animal within us must find it's solace and it's hope. I hope, or I could not live. And so, in hope and solitude, my story ends.”

What's the significance or Prendick's last monologue, do you think?

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    I think it's his expression of hope that Cartesian dualism is true, and there is something inherently different about humans that separates human minds from animals. But most of the book seems to reject that idea, with the beast-folk able to think, speak, reason, and all the other things that we call "intelligent" or "human".

    It address the question at the core of the book: what does it mean to be human? Are humans a distinct kind of being from others, or is there a continuum of personhood between species? Do animals think and feel, should they have rights, should they be used, enslaved, killed by humans?

    You could say it's a shortcoming of the book that these issues aren't addressed more directly, but that could be because of a need to keep the action moving.

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    @NeilNjae said:
    It address the question at the core of the book: what does it mean to be human? Are humans a distinct kind of being from others, or is there a continuum of personhood between species? Do animals think and feel, should they have rights, should they be used, enslaved, killed by humans?

    Yes, for sure. I think those are all questions Wells is asking. Apparently there was a lot of scientific debate at the time about vivisection.

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