Comparison of The Island of Doctor Moreau (novel) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (movie)
Humans being have harbored interest to experiment with animals in an attempt to develop superior breeds. Futuristic science as covered in science fiction works revolve around extensive experiments on animals and plants including such contemporary concepts like animal cloning and cross-breeding among others. Animal experiments form the core theme in the film entitled the Rise of the planet of the apes and the novel named The Island of Doctor Moreau. Despite the difference in media, the two works present extensive manipulation of various domestic and wild animals to the point that nature revolts as the mutilated animals cause serious conflicts that threaten the position of humans in the universe. I believe that both works capture the cruelty and pain that characterize the experiments thereby warning humans against taking part in such scientific experiments in the future.
One of the works is a movie while the other is a film. In my opinion, the medium influences the consumption of the works. Wells, for example, strives to utilize descriptive sentences as he describes the characters and the setting of the novel. Wells employs various strategies of persuasive writing including an attempt to appeal to logic, ethics, and emotions. The vivid descriptive sentences are critical in making his target audience conceptualize both the island and the beats. He paints the picture of human-like hybrids that are part human and part swine. The description is critical to the comprehension of the works since the audiences must develop mental images as they visualize the characters, the creatures and the setting of the film on the island. Wells demonstrates his artistic genius since his efficient utilization of literary elements helps his audiences visualize the story. I, for example, found it easy to visualize the setting and the beast among other critical aspects of the story like the other characters.
The rise of the Planet of the Apes, on the other hand, is a film. The movie has excellent cinematography characterized by visual effects and music among other critical elements that enhance its consumption. The movie runs for 110 minutes a feature that makes it easy and equally interesting to watch. The visual aids in the film make the story exciting to watch. The plot progresses faster than the plot of the novel with the characters engaging in heated exchanges as the conflicts heighten. The plot of the film has a rational conflict that begins with a noble scientific research on chimpanzees as the scientists struggle to find a cure for the Alzheimer’s disease. The setting is equally elaborate as various shots including the original establishing shot capture the nature of the laboratory to depict the scale and importance of the scientific research.
I believe that the two works capture similar themes. Both the film and the movie strive to demonstrate the cruelty that characterizes scientific experiments on animals irrespective of the intention for such explorations. However, the works have different narrative perspectives that influenced how I perceived the works and the inherent themes. The novel, for example, employs the first person narration technique. Edward Prendick, the main character, and the story’s protagonist narrates his adventure and misadventure after he survives a shipwreck. The first person narration technique makes the representation of cruelty and the pain that characterize the experiments personal a feature that achieves an emotional appeal in the novel. Prendick describes the cruelty he witnessed in Dr. Moreau’s operating room. He also describes the anguished cries of a puma as the deranged doctor performed a painful experiment. I recognized the pain the animals felt as the doctor continued with his cruel experiment. I felt spontaneous bursts of rage among other emotions and the urge to engage the doctor. I thus felt relieved when Prendick confronted the doctor. Prendick argues, “I still do not understand. Where is your justification for inflicting all this pain? The only thing that could excuse vivisection to me would be some application…” (Wells 14.18-19).
The film uses camera and other film development techniques to present similar themes. The development of the film comprises of effective cinematography, camera movement, shots, editing, and music among other elements. In one of the preliminary scenes, Dr. William “Will” Rodman, the story’s main character makes an elaborate presentation of his findings. During the presentation, Bright Eye, one of the chimpanzees escapes from her cage and goes on a rampage. The chimpanzee attacks people and destroys things around her. The erratic acts baffle and even anger the people including Doctor Will who does not seem to understand the behavior of the animal. Acting on instincts, one of the guards pulls out his pistol and shots the animal dead. A close up shot captures the animal as she dies in pain. The death is slow as she writhes and closes her eyes in pain. An establishing shot reveals the people baffled an unable to comprehend the actions of the animals that did not injure anyone. The scene reveals the level of cruelty as the guard readily kills the animal without attempting to understand the animal’s behavior or to assess the level of risk the animal presented to the people in the room.
Similarly, the novel is a perfect example of science fiction while the film represents realism. The novel captures futuristic themes as the doctor struggles with unique scientific research that including cloning humans and attempting to create superior blends of humanoids. The film, on the other hand, captures realistic aspects of science, which include the use of chimpanzees in scientific research to determine the cure of some common diseases. Humans have used animals like apes and rodents in medical research. Despite the difference in the genre, both works reveal the cruelty and pain that characterize such experiments. However, the novel captures the unethical nature of the experiment since the conflict in the plot involves developing humanoids and human-like hybrids, which conflict the position of humans in nature.
In retrospect, the film and the novel embody the elements of their media. Films use diverse elements including camera movements, costumes, cinematography, and editing among others. The movie utilizes superior film development techniques that enable it to provide a perfect presentation of the plot. Similarly, the novel employs excellent narrative techniques including first persona narration, vivid description and practical structure that enhance the consumption of the work. The difference in the media informs the differences in the works. However, I believe that the two are successful works that provide a similar representation of science fiction. They both capture the pain and cruelty that characterize human experiment on animals irrespective of the motive for such experiments.
- Wells, H. G. The Island of Doctor Moreau. New York: Heinemann, Stone & Kimball, 1896. Print.
- Wyatt, Rupert. Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Los Angeles: Chernin Entertainment, 2011. Film.