The Island of Dr. Moreau

M’ling / The Strange-Looking Man Character Analysis

M’ling is Montgomery’s manservant and the most sophisticated of the Beast Folk. M’ling is aboard the ship on which Montgomery rescues Prendick, and is thus the first of the Beast Folk that Prendick meets. Although Prendick does not initially realize that M’ling is not human, he finds the beast hideously ugly and strangely off-putting. M’ling, aside from being Montgomery’s closest friend on the island, is unique among the Beast Folk in that, despite the fact that he is a creation of Moreau, is not truly a member of their society. Rather than live in the ravine with his fellows, M’ling sleeps in a kennel in Moreau’s enclosure. M’ling is most often with the humans and several times carries a hatchet as a weapon, being the only member of the Beast Folk to use such a tool. In this way, he is the most humanized beast on the island. However, this all eventually unravels. After M’ling tastes blood, even his well-repressed animalism begins to return. M’ling finds that he prefers to use his teeth as weapons rather than the hatchet, and after Moreau is killed, M’ling chooses to join the rest of the Beast Folk and sleep on the beach rather than return to the enclosure with Montgomery and Prendick. Although M’ling is killed defending Montgomery from one of the Beast Folk, his regression to animalism suggests that even the most refined and humanized animal is, at its core, still an animal. M’ling, though he seemed relatively human, is aware that he still has more in common with the Beast Folk than with any human.
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M’ling / The Strange-Looking Man Character Timeline in The Island of Dr. Moreau

The timeline below shows where the character M’ling / The Strange-Looking Man appears in The Island of Dr. Moreau. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Strange Face
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...ladder leading to the upper deck of the ship, in their way stands a very strange-looking man —he is short and oddly shaped, with large teeth and an elongated face that looks... (full context)
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As they are speaking, the strange-looking man appears, followed by the captain, Davis, who is cursing and shouting and hits the man... (full context)
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As Davis is complaining about how much he and his crew despise the strange-looking man and how much of a mess Montgomery’s animals have made of his deck, Prendick interjects,... (full context)
Chapter 4: At the Schooner’s Rail
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Prendick spies Montgomery’s strange-looking friend , who seems to be an assistant or servant. The man turns his head and... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Evil-Looking Boatmen
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Locked Door
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Prendick is reflecting on the utter secrecy of Montgomery and Moreau when the strange-looking man from the ship arrives to deliver food. Prendick notices, with some horror, that the man’s... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Crying of the Puma
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Montgomery and the strange-looking man arrive again with food, water, and brandy, announcing that Montgomery will eat lunch with Prendick,... (full context)
Chapter 15: Concerning the Beast Folk
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The following morning, M’ling—the name of Montgomery’s assistant—delivers Prendick’s breakfast, and Montgomery joins him. Montgomery explains that he and... (full context)
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...on the beach, and the Hyena-Swine, a dreadful and powerful combination of the two creatures. M’ling is the only Beast Folk that doesn’t live in the ravine; rather, he lives in... (full context)
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...more strange and fearsome than the Beast Folk do. He has a strange relationship with M’ling—at times Montgomery is affectionate towards him, while at other times he drunkenly beats him. M’ling... (full context)
Chapter 16: How the Beast Folk Tasted Blood
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...flesh. One of them must’ve first tasted blood. Montgomery then remembers that he foolishly showed M’ling how to skin and cook a rabbit a few days prior. (full context)
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Taking M’ling with them, Prendick, Moreau, and Montgomery make their way to the ravine to gather the... (full context)
Chapter 17: A Catastrophe
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...have gone mad, losing all sense of civility or adherence to the Law. Montgomery and M’ling had tracked Moreau for a while, but eventually lost the trail. They wandered onward, arriving... (full context)
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Montgomery and M’ling then retraced their route until they encountered two Beast Folk who had blood all over... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Finding of Moreau
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...themselves, since something terrible has obviously happened or he would have been back already. Prendick, M’ling, and the intoxicated Montgomery set off through the forest, searching until they find a small... (full context)
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...body back to the enclosure. The Beast Folk return to the beach, joined now by M’ling. Prendick and Montgomery enter Moreau’s laboratory and kill every living creature they find there. (full context)
Chapter 19: Montgomery’s “Bank Holiday”
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...the Beast Folk drunk with him in one last binge before the end. He finds M’ling and others on the beach, shouting that giving the Beast Folk liquor is the last... (full context)
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...mortally wounded, having been attacked by the Sayer of the Law, whom he shot dead. M’ling’s dead corpse is also nearby, along with a few other Beast Folk’s bodies. (full context)