For my final project, I decided to look at the way in which Wells responds (responds is a loose term her because there may not have been any discussion, but I guess all literature could be a response in some way) to the Hegelian and Marxian Dialectics. The paper will focus much more on the novel’s idea of progress than any in-depth analysis of the two historical projections. A portion of the paper, however, will certainly deal with the two ideas, but only in what they say about the idea of progress. My argument is that War of the Worlds is a rebuttal at the core of each dialectic. Regardless of the direction of each dialectic, they each require a fundamental belief in some teleology–a belief that the novel does not ascribe to. Well’s creates an environment out of a directionless evolution. That does not mean that it will not move forward; it only separates the connotation of good from the act of moving forward. Well’s novel is a statement against the idea of a standard to which the world is progressing, or ought to progress. It is a critique on the idea of striving toward a global anything, be it German Christianity or post-rebellion-peace. I will reference selections from Robert Markley’s Dying Planet: Mars in Science and the Imagination, to contextualize features of Well’s argument, as well as draw from articles about evolution and the difference between anthropocentrism vs. ecocentrism. Here are few potential sources to contextualize the argument:
- Buell, Lawrence. The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination. Malden: Blackwell Pub., 2005. Print.
- Kolb, Daniel. “Kant, Teleology, and Evolution”. Synthese 91.1/2 (1992): 9–28. Web…
- Hiltner, Kevin. “The Discourses of Nature.” Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader. New York: Routledge, 2025. 268-277. Print.
Markley, Robert. “”Different Beyond the Most Bizarre Imaginings of Nightmare”: Mars in Science Fiction, 1880-1913.” Dying Planet: Mars in Science and the Imagination. Durham: Duke UP, 2005. 115-149. Print.
- “Ecology and Man: A Viewpoint.” Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader. Ed. Kevin Hiltner. New York: Routledge, 2025. 62-69. Print.
These are tentative, and I’ll likely find more articles that speak more about War of the Worlds specifically, but these are few hypothetical sources. I’ll also probably reference the ones that surround the Markely in the paper early on before getting into close reading analysis.