The Island of Dr. Moreau

Whips Symbol Icon

Within the story, the whips function as the symbol of human authority over the Beast Folk. Although within the psyche of the Beast Folk Moreau is established as God, other humans still wield control over them in the hierarchy of the island. Montgomery is referred to as the “Other with a whip,” indicating that though he is not Moreau, his possession of the weapon is something to be feared and gives him power. When Moreau goes missing, several Beast Folk rush Montgomery even though he cracks the whip, which is the first time any Beast Folk have ever defied the whip and the first indicator that the Law is breaking down altogether.

It is significant that the whip is a weapon and thus a mark of humanity. None of the Beast Folk use weapons—aside from M’ling, until he begins to regress—preferring their teeth and claws as animals do. The humans, however, having no fearsome teeth or claws to fight with, must almost always travel with weapons or they could not hope to defend themselves, since unarmed human beings are far less powerful than Moreau’s creations. Tellingly, when the Beast Folk first meet Prendick he is not carrying a whip, and thus the Beast Folk do not even realize that he is human, assuming that he too was made by Moreau. This indicates that the authority accorded to humans by the whip is largely artificial, and nods to the similarity of man and animal in general, at least in the eyes of the Beast Folk. Without the presence of the whips, the Beast Folk cannot see what truly differentiates them from human beings.

Whips Quotes in The Island of Dr. Moreau

The The Island of Dr. Moreau quotes below all refer to the symbol of Whips. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Scientific Knowledge and Ethics Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Island of Dr. Moreau published in 1996.
Chapter 16 Quotes

“Hail,” said they, “to the Other with the whip!”

“There’s a third with a whip now,” said Montgomery, so you’d better mind!”

“Was he not made?” said the Ape Man. “He said—he said he was made.”

Related Characters: Montgomery / The Young Man (speaker), The Ape Man (speaker), Edward Prendick / The Narrator
Related Symbols: The Beast Folk, Whips
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 17 Quotes

[Montgomery] cracked his whip in some trepidation, and forthwith [the Beast Folk] rushed at him. Never before had a Beast Man dared to do that.

Related Symbols: The Beast Folk, The Law, Whips
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
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Whips Symbol Timeline in The Island of Dr. Moreau

The timeline below shows where the symbol Whips appears in The Island of Dr. Moreau. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13: A Parley
Scientific Knowledge and Ethics Theme Icon
Morality, Survival, and Circumstance Theme Icon
...One of the Beast Folk briefly begins to follow Prendick again until Montgomery cracks the whip he has been holding. (full context)
Chapter 16: How the Beast Folk Tasted Blood
Scientific Knowledge and Ethics Theme Icon
One afternoon, Prendick and Montgomery are hiking through the forest, each carrying a whip. They briefly hear a rabbit squeal in the bushes, but think little of it. As... (full context)
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
...Man and another beast. Both salute Montgomery, referring to him as the “Other with the whip.” Montgomery announces that now a third person carries the whip, so the Beast Folk must... (full context)
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
...way to the ravine to gather the Beast Folk. The men are each armed with whip and revolver. M’ling is armed with a hatchet. When they have arrived, Moreau blows into... (full context)
Scientific Knowledge and Ethics Theme Icon
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
...the prohibition of eating flesh. Moreau announces that this Law has been broken, cracking his whip and looking at the Leopard Man. Both Moreau and the Beast Folk announce that the... (full context)
Chapter 17: A Catastrophe
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Morality, Survival, and Circumstance Theme Icon
...two Beast Folk who had blood all over their mouths. Even though Montgomery cracked his whip, the Beast Folk attacked them—the first time any Beast Folk had dared to defy the... (full context)
Chapter 20: Alone with the Beast Folk
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
...a single revolver in his pocket with only a few rounds left. He spots Montgomery’s whip on the ground and seizes it, cracking it in the air and demanding that the... (full context)
Chapter 21: The Reversion of the Beast Folk
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
...authority, the Dog Man, the rest have become indifferent, saying, “We have no Master, no Whips, no House of Pain anymore. There is an end. We love the Law, and will... (full context)