The War of the Worlds

by

H. G. Wells

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The Narrator’s Brother Character Analysis

A medical student who lives in London, and whose story the narrator provides as a way of showing readers the impact of the Martians throughout England. Upon hearing about the invasion, the narrator’s brother decides to visit the narrator in Woking in order to see the Martians before they are killed. When he tries to travel, though, he finds that the train isn’t running to Woking because of an accident. Gradually, the narrator’s brother learns about the imminent threat the Martians pose. Finally, when all of London has worked itself into hysteria, he flees the city on a bicycle, which he abandons when the front tire punctures irreparably. On the crowded roads, he encounters two women getting robbed in their carriage by three men. After fighting off the criminals, he joins the women. One of them, Mrs. Elphinstone insists that they must find her husband, but the other woman—her sister-in-law—agrees to the narrator’s brother’s plan to pool their money together in order to flee the country altogether. Once they finally board a boat that will take them away, they witness a spectacular battle between Martian fighting machines and a naval ship called the Thunder Child, which floats low in the water and rams into the fighting machines’ heads. As the narrator’s brother and the Elphinstone women sail away from England, they watch the Thunder Child as it successfully overpowers the fighting machines in one of the only sequences in which humans triumph over Martians.

The Narrator’s Brother Quotes in The War of the Worlds

The The War of the Worlds quotes below are all either spoken by The Narrator’s Brother or refer to The Narrator’s Brother. 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:
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The War of the Worlds published in 2005.
Book 1, Chapter 17 Quotes

At the sight of the sea, Mrs Elphinstone, in spite of the assurances of her sister-in-law, gave way to panic. She had never been out of England before, she would rather die than trust herself friendless in a foreign country, and so forth. She seemed, poor woman, to imagine that the French and the Martians might prove very similar. She had been growing increasingly hysterical, fearful, and depressed during the two days’ journeyings. Her great idea was to return to Stanmore. Things had been always well and safe at Stanmore. They would find [her husband] at Stanmore.

Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Narrator’s Brother Character Timeline in The War of the Worlds

The timeline below shows where the character The Narrator’s Brother appears in The War of the Worlds. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 14: In London
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon
News and The Dissemination of Information Theme Icon
Later that day, two other newspapers report that all communication with Woking has ceased. The narrator’s brother decides that, merely because he’s curious, he’ll visit the narrator, wanting to see the Martians... (full context)
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
News and The Dissemination of Information Theme Icon
...of the newspapers have access to eye-witness accounts of the deadly creatures. In the morning, the narrator’s brother goes to church at a nearby Foundling Hospital, where the service vaguely references the Martian... (full context)
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
News and The Dissemination of Information Theme Icon
Finally, the narrator’s brother begins to comprehend “something of the full power and terror of these monsters,” learning at... (full context)
News and The Dissemination of Information Theme Icon
London grows frantic as refugees stream into the city. The narrator’s brother moves between the groups of people, hoping to hear news about Woking to determine the... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 16: The Exodus from London
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
...running at last in that swift liquefaction of the social body.” With no trains running, the narrator’s brother finds a bicycle shop that has been broken into by looters. Obtaining a bike, he... (full context)
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Mrs. Elphinstone and Miss Elphinstone tell the narrator’s brother their story. Returning late from an urgent medical case, Mrs. Elphinstone’s husband—a doctor—heard about the... (full context)
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
The narrator’s brother , along with Mrs. Elphinstone and Miss Elphinstone, encounter a mass of people traveling in... (full context)
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
...a gun at a cart that is preventing them from moving in the opposite direction— the narrator’s brother and his two companions break free of the crowd, moving east until they reach a... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 17: The “Thunder Child”
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
...“extermination” and more interested in the “complete demoralization and the destruction of any opposition.” Still, the narrator’s brother learns on Tuesday that the Martians have now fully occupied London, and cylinders continue to... (full context)
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon
Finally, the narrator’s brother and the Elphinstones reach the ocean. The harbor is crowded with many boats, and a... (full context)
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon
...alien beast, sending it reeling into the water. At this point, the steamboat upon which the narrator’s brother stands has successfully escaped and is out of sight of the Thunder Child’s battle with... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 1: Under Foot
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
While the narrator’s brother escapes England, the narrator himself has remained with the curate, camping out in an abandoned... (full context)