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Essay Paper on If You Could Spend a Day With Anyone in the World, Past or Present, Who Would you Choose and Why

If I could spend a day with any person in the world, whether living or dead, I would have chosen Herbert George Wells.

I would have chosen to spend a day with him because I am really interested in science fiction and he was among the pioneers of this genre at the time when it was not considered literature at all. However, his novels “The Time Machine”, “The War of the Worlds”, “The Invisible Man” , “The Island of Doctor Moreau” and others have proven to the whole world that science fiction is indeed literature. Moreover, when “The War of the Worlds” was published, many people thought it to be a real-life report – so vivid and incredibly accurate was the description of Martians invading Earth.

I would have liked to talk to him about his writing career and how he came to the genre of science fiction, which made him world-famous. I would ask Herbert Wells about the reasons why he changed his optimistic outlook on technology to pessimistic satire later in life. Was it his disappointment in mankind? Did he come think that belief in the cloudless future was much too naïve?

I would ask Herbert Wells where he took his plots from and what was the impetus for creating a strange world of deteriorated humans in the distant future who do nothing and have almost forgotten how to think; for picturing in his mind half-live, half-mechanic Martians, and for writing a Faustian tale about a proud man who wanted to become invisible but the accomplished task did not bring him happiness and instead brought him death.

I would be especially interested in asking him about “The Island of Doctor Moreau”. Who was that person or what were the events, which prompted him to create an image of severe, almost inhuman Doctor Moreau who with the help of countless operations turns animals into humans. However, mere scalpel work is not enough to turn an animal into a human being, very soon they forget everything they were taught and… return to the surgery of Doctor Moreau to undergo a “humanizing” operation over and over again.

This piece of work cannot be called pure science fiction; it is rather a bitter satire on the aspirations of Wells’ contemporaries to create a human one day trying the patience of God.

I am always interested in the way the writers do their job so I would ask him when and how he preferred to write, whether his stories were long in the making etc.

And finally, the last question that I would ask Herbert Wells is to compare his time with the 21st century and analyze if any of his mostly gloomy predictions have come true. Of course, Martians will hardly invade Earth but possible illegal human cloning is certainly on the agenda, and modern surgery has achieved such high standards that turning animals into humans does not seem so unreal any more. And aren’t there any tendencies of spiritual decline among humans, which was so vividly shown in “The Time Machine”? I don’t know how Herbert Wells would respond. Maybe he would say that eighty years ago he already felt these tendencies would develop and these events would happen some time so he was able to make a prediction putting it under a safe mask of science fiction so that the people would perceive it as “unreal”. Or maybe he would reply that he had never thought that the mankind would go this way, he considered his novels pure literary work and nothing more. Maybe he would then add that the mankind was doomed to develop and then deteriorate, one way or the other.

I am sure I would enjoy a day spent with Herbert Wells in talks about literature and science fiction, predictions and real life. It is too bad that such imaginary talk is impossible…

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