The War of the Worlds

by

H. G. Wells

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The Narrator’s Wife Character Analysis

The unnamed woman who is married to the narrator. After Ogilvy is killed by the Martians, the narrator stumbles home, panicked and exhausted. When he starts telling his wife what has happened, her face go white with fear. “They can scarcely move,” he says reassuringly, explaining to her what Ogilvy told him about Earth’s gravitational force and how it will affect the Martians. Several days after the Martians first arrive, the narrator and his wife decide to flee to Leatherhead, where some of their relatives live—but because the countryside has been plunged into chaos, this proves a difficult task. In order to make a successful escape, the narrator borrows a horse and dogcart from an innkeeper, promising that he’ll return it by midnight. For this reason, the narrator is forced to leave his wife in Leatherhead so that he can return the dogcart. By the time the narrator returns to Woking, however, the situation has grown far more dangerous, and as a result he remains separated from his wife until the very end of the novel. Finding her again becomes his ultimate goal, even when he knows it’s likely that she has been killed. When the Martians finally succumb to earthly bacteria, though, he finds his way back to his home in Woking, and upon surveying the wreckage, he hears her voice behind him and rejoices at the fact that she’s still alive.

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

The The War of the Worlds quotes below are all either spoken by The Narrator’s Wife or refer to The Narrator’s Wife. 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 7 Quotes

I began to comfort her and myself by repeating all that Ogilvy had told me of the impossibility of the Martians establishing themselves on the earth. In particular I laid stress on the gravitational difficulty. On the surface of the earth the force of gravity is three times what it is on the surface of Mars. A Martian, therefore, would weigh three times more than on Mars, albeit his muscular strength would be the same. His own body would be a cope of lead to him. That, indeed, was the general opinion. Both the Times and the Daily Telegraph, for instance, insisted on it the next morning, and both overlooked, just as I did, two obvious modifying influences. […]

But I did not consider these points at the time, and so my reasoning was dead against the chances of the invaders. With wine and food, the confidence of my own table, and the necessity of reassuring my wife, I grew by insensible degrees courageous and secure.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), The Narrator’s Wife, Ogilvy
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Narrator’s Wife Character Timeline in The War of the Worlds

The timeline below shows where the character The Narrator’s Wife appears in The War of the Worlds. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 1: The Eve of the War
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon
The narrator and his wife go for a walk one night during the string of Martian flashes. Underneath a crisp... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 7: How I Reached Home
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon
News and The Dissemination of Information Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
...narrator stumbles into his home, where he immediately sits and drinks wine. He tells his wife over a dinner gone cold about the Martians, lamenting Ogilvy’s death and talking about the... (full context)
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
...the narrator knows none of this as he sits at the dinner table with his wife, saying with unfounded confidence, “We will peck them to death tomorrow, my dear.” (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 9: The Fighting Begins
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
That evening, the narrator has tea with his wife while the war rages on outside. Looking out the window, he sees trees burst into... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 10: In the Storm
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
The narrator drops his wife off in Leatherhead and turns back to return the horse and dogcart. Surprisingly, he’s more... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 13: How I Fell in With the Curate
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
...deserted towns. “It is a curious thing,” he writes, “that I felt angry with my wife; I cannot account for it, but my impotent desire to reach Leatherhead worried me excessively.” (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 1: Under Foot
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
...days to avoid the Black Smoke. In hiding, he can’t keep his mind off his wife, thinking she must assume he’s dead. Meanwhile, the curate grates on his nerves so much... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 7: The Man on Putney Hill
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
...about the curate’s death. He turns to God, praying that, if she is dead, his wife died a swift and painless death. Upon rising in the morning, he goes outside and... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 9: Wreckage
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
...the narrator looks out the open window, through which he sees his cousin and his wife. “I came,” she says. “I knew—knew—.” The scene ends just as the narrator reaches out... (full context)