The Island of Dr. Moreau


H. G. Wells

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The Island of Dr. Moreau: Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

In the morning, as the animals are being off-loaded onto a smaller boat that will take them ashore to the island, the still-drunken captain demands that Prendick must leave his ship as well. Montgomery has been joined by a powerful, white-haired man with a resolute face, who has presumably come aboard from the island to assist the loading. Before Prendick can even ask to come to their island, the large man simply says that they cannot have him there. Prendick is aghast, but none seem sympathetic to him, and he is promptly thrown back into the dingy that he had been rescued from and set adrift in the ocean once more with no oars or food. Prendick, overwhelmed, sobs as he has not since he was a child.
The white-haired man’s characterization directly contradicts Montgomery’s. Montgomery is young, inarticulate, rather undignified in appearance, and initially kind, at least enough to rescue Prendick and nurse him back to health. The white-haired man, however, is old, powerfully-built, confident, resolved, and unwilling to help Prendick—who for the second time finds himself set adrift in the ocean, presumably to die. It is interesting that Montgomery is more beastly and the white-haired man (later revealed to be Moreau) is very human, Montgomery is far more compassionate towards Prendick.
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