The Island of Dr. Moreau

The Island of Dr. Moreau Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Montgomery and his companion, seeing that Prendick is doomed to drift upon the ocean once again, decide to rescue him despite their earlier refusal. On board their landing boat are not only Montgomery, the white-haired man, and the strange-looking man, but also three oddly-proportioned brutes (long torsos, short thighs) who cause an inexplicable sense of revulsion in Prendick. They are brown-skinned, though wrapped head to toe in white cloth, and have black hair that seems to be rather like horsehair.
Prendick is once again set adrift and once again rescued by others. This continues Prendick’s characterization as a victim of terrible circumstances who is powerless to change them. Thus, Prendick will be forced to adapt. This sets the stage for Prendick’s morality to be forcibly adjusted to his circumstances for the sake of his survival as events unfold.
Themes
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Morality, Survival, and Circumstance Theme Icon
The group makes their landing upon the shore, met by another bizarre-looking man with black skin and seemingly no lips. Prendick observes that the three swathed men walk awkwardly, as if the joints of their legs were not properly positioned. As they are unloading, the white-haired man offers Prendick breakfast and asks his occupation. When Prendick answers that he studied biology, the white-haired man seems intrigued, and replies that this island is also dedicated to the study of biology. Since they only see ships passing once a year or so, it seems that Prendick will be interned there for some time.
By casting all three human beings on the island as scientific, educated men, Wells increases the distinction between them and the Beast Folk, even though Montgomery has obviously regressed to more animalistic behavior. This raises a rather provocative implication from Wells: if the scientists, the educated, and the upper classes are more human, are the uneducated lower classes more beastly?
Themes
Scientific Knowledge and Ethics Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Prendick helps Montgomery to offload the rabbits, which Montgomery promptly releases into the island forest, evidently stocking the island. Montgomery is friendly, though still seems to be avoiding some subject of conversation. The white-haired man returns, seeming much friendlier than before, and offers Prendick some biscuits and brandy. Prendick eats the biscuits, but abstains from the alcohol, as he has for his entire life.
Prendick’s abstinence from alcohol is another indication of his moral resolution, a key component of his character that will be challenged over the course of the story. Prendick’s resolve and ability to repress his urges also contrasts him against both Montgomery and the Beast Folk, who constantly struggle to master their base desires.
Themes
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Morality, Survival, and Circumstance Theme Icon