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Animals and Animality from the Island of Moreau to the Uplift Universe

Sherryl Vint
The Yearbook of English Studies
Vol. 37, No. 2, Science Fiction (2007), pp. 85-102
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20479303
Page Count: 18
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Animals and Animality from the Island of Moreau to the Uplift Universe
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Abstract

This essay argues that H. G. Wells's "The Island of Doctor Moreau" is best understood in the context of feminist critiques of science, animal studies, and antivivisectionism. This context allows us to see that the novel's themes are concerned with the very foundational assumptions of science as a practice that objectifies and 'tames' nature and all those (non-whites, women, the working classes) who are associated with the body and nature. A comparison of Wells's novel with David Brin's Uplift series -- more explicitly concerned with imagining animal sentience -- reveals that Brin's failure to critique the values of science crystalized in the 'unmarked' body of the 'scientist' (white, male, bourgeois, "Homo sapiens") results in a more conservative treatment of subjectivity and ethics in this latter work.

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