The War of the Worlds is the novel by H.G Wells written in 1898 where he gives a description of the invasion of the Earth by Martians. It is later repeated in a radio broadcast in 1938 as a Halloween hoax and finally in Stephen Spielberg’s movie of 2005. In all these, it caused panic and anxiety among people, as they seek to run away from the invasion of the Martians. The common theme in all of these adaptations is the fear of the other human beings.
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The book by Wells describes the first sighting of happenings on Mars that prompt the narrator in the book to become curious. Once the Martians land on the Earth, it is clear that they are intelligent beings (Wells 1898). At first, people are attracted to the site where the vessel has fallen, but after the heat ray is released and people begin to flee. Thereafter, everyone including the narrator, who was initially curious, flee as the Martian creatures take over.
The radio broadcast occurs in the onset of World War II in 1938, and there is tension and anxiety. After the radio broadcast, people start fleeing from the areas that are feared to have been invaded by the aliens. Listeners believed that the Earth was really under attack by the aliens. Although the broadcast was meant as a Halloween joke, I would think it was a bit irresponsible, since there was already tension concerning the onset of WWII. It caused unnecessary panic, fear and anxiety among people. In the current society, it would be unlikely for such an incident to be repeated, as people are more cautious on what they broadcast as well as they are afraid of the possibility of causing major panic and facing lawsuits. The movie also has the same storyline as the book and the radio broadcast.
During the novel’s publication, there was a conflict between the US and Spain as the US tried to intervene to stop the invasion of Spain. During the broadcast in 1938, the US was under depression, and there was a looming war that had already started in Europe. This might have inspired the telling of the story as it fitted the mood of the events that were taking place in those years.
These adaptations show that a human being is generally fearful of unknown beings. This might be due to being unaware of the powers they possess. The reason behind the novel’s publication, the radio broadcast and the movie is to show how human beings fear the unknown and react with panic and anxiety.
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