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Free Study Guide-The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES

Book Two: The Earth Under the Martians

Chapter Ten (The Epilogue)

Summary

The bacteria that killed off the Martians was a known earthly strain and this, along with the apparent lack of burial rites and their indiscriminate killing seem to indicate that the Martians were unfamiliar with death as we know it on Earth but nothing is certain. The makeup of the Black-Smoke remains a mystery as does the Heat-Ray, an examination of which was discouraged. There is still fear of further Martian attacks, though this is somewhat lessened by evidence to indicate that they may have landed on Venus.


Martians being on Earth did have some positive effects. It disrupted the human sense of security that can lead towards wasteful behavior. The traditional, limited views of the heavens were broadened so that now even the thought of men one day expanding to other planets has become more of a possibility. Also, the Martians, less intentionally, brought about many advances in science and did much to unite mankind.

The narrator frequently lapses into flashbacks of sorts, sparked by observing the activities to people that had once been so easily accepted as everyday. “And strangest of all is it to hold my wife’s hand again, and to think that I have counted her, and that she has counted me, among the dead.”

Notes

Citing “Carver’s suggestions,” and naming specific places throughout, adds credibility to the story. Wells’ books often balance between an imaginative plot and details and experiences of real life. This kind of structure has influenced much of science fiction that came after him.

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