I Don’t Think I Like HG Wells
Reading the first three chapters of the second volume, nothing struck me quite as much as his description of the curate. Now, the curate is an irritating thing that I am envisioning dying here very soon. He has to die. The reason is because Wells would have had him die. Wells was a believer in eugenics. He had such a strong devotion of the subject that it has been said that he was worse than Hitler in his plans. In his beliefs he thought the weak should be killed by the strong, having ‘no pity and less benevolence’. The diseased, deformed and insane, together with ‘those swarms of blacks, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people . . . will have to go’ in order to create a scientific utopia. He envisioned a time when all crime would be punished by death because ‘People who cannot live happily and freely in the world without spoiling the lives of others are better out of it.’ Other believers in eugenics you may not be aware of: Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, and Charles Lindburgh.
The curate will have to die, as well, because of what he represents. Wells, himself, was raised a devout Christian but became devoutly atheist. Or rather devoutly Darwinist. The curate has to go because of what he represents. Wells paints a very clear picture of what he thought of the men who teach religion in his description of the curate. He’s gluttonous, devious, and cowardly. Among many other lovely attributes. Wells’ description of these two men struggling and brawling is a sort of reminiscence of the struggle between science and religion. You could imagine that if the Pope and Galileo had been stuck in a small space together for any length of time, it would have looked a bit like this scene. It also speaks of the larger struggles between the two disciplines. What HG Wells viewed as the logical scientific belief vs. the belief based on faith and faith alone.
Needless to say, I found these last three chapters quite intriguing.
Challenge Chapters: Volume 2 – Chapters 4-6