Pattern 1: The buildup and use of the color black and darkness creating a more ominous and terrifying effect when the black smoke finally arrives.

  • With the arrival of dawn the destruction and horror of the veil of darkness is revealed. “In one night the valley had become a valley of ashes. The fires had dwindled now. Where flames had been there were now streamers of smoke; but the countless ruins of shattered and gutted houses and blasted and blackened trees that the night had hidden stood out now gaunt and terrible in the pitiless light of dawn.” (55)
  •  “One may picture, too, the sudden shifting of the attention, the swiftly spreading coils and bellyings of that blackness advancing headlong, towering heavenward, turning the twilight to a palpable darkness, a strange and horrible antagonist of vapour striding upon its victims, men and horses near it seen dimly, running, shrieking, falling headlong, shouts of dismay, the guns suddenly abandoned, men choking and writing on the ground, and the swift broadening-out of the opaque cone of smoke. And then night and extinction – nothing but a silent mass of impenetrable vapour hiding its dead.” (91)
  • “Directly below him the balloonist would have seen the network of streets far and wide, house churches, squares, crescents, gardens – already derelict – spread out like a huge map, and in the southward blotted Over Ealing, Richmond, Wimbledon, it would have seemed as if some monstrous pen had flung ink upon the chart. Steadily, incessantly, each black splash grew and spread, shooting out ramifications this way and that, now banking itself against rising ground, now pouring swiftly over a crest into a new-found valley, exactly as a gout of ink would spread itself upon blotting paper.” (104-105).

Pattern 2: We find throughout the story that religious pleas and cries for mercy from the almighty are used when threats of colonization and domination from the martins. So, this puts the superior, white Europeans on the same level as non-whites and animals.

  • “Why are these things permitted? What sins have we done? The morning service was over, I was walking through the roads to clear my brain for the afternoon, and then – fire, earthquake, death! As if it were Sodom and Gomorrah! All our work undone, all the work – What are these Martians?” (70).
  • “’It is just, O God!’ he would say, over and over again. ‘It is just. On me and mine be the punishment laid. We have sinned, we have fallen short. There was poverty, sorrow; the poor were trodden in the dust, and I held my peace. I preached acceptable folly – my God, what folly! – when I should have stood up, though I died for it, and called upon them to repent – repent! … Oppressors of the poor and needy! …The wine-press of God!’” (137).
  • “I found myself sitting up in bed, staring at the dark. I found myself praying that the Heat-Ray might have suddenly and painlessly struck her out of being. Since the night of my return from Leatherhead I had not prayed. I had uttered prayers, fetish prayers, had prayed as heathens mutter charms when I was in extremity; but now I prayed indeed, pleading steadfastly and sanely, face to face with the darkness of God” (149).