The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

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In the book The War of the Worlds, why do the narrator, his wife, the artillery man, and the curate not have actual names?

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You've asked a really great question! Several reasons exist for the technique, used by H. G. Wells in The War of the Worlds, of not naming the characters with proper names. Here are a few ideas. See which ones resonate most with you.

1. Everyman/Everywoman: By giving each character generalized names, like "the wife," or "the artilleryman," it allows the readers to experience being each one of these characters simultaneously. The characters are no one and everyone. Other authors that use this technique effectively include Jose Saramago. In his novel Blindness, which is also about a global calamity, the characters are simply the doctor, the girl in the dark sunglasses, and so on. This effect, due to the global nature of the calamity, like the alien invasion in Wells's novel, keeps the drama from being exclusive to one or two specific people, but rather, to a group of potentially many people. Wells does this again in The Time Machine. Since the narrator is a nameless character, anyone can take a seat...

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