The War of the Worlds Questions and Answers
by H. G. Wells

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How is Social Darwinism exemplified in The War of the Worlds?

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Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Social Darwinism is the belief that the strong always dominate the weak, even in terms of human social constructs that are constantly subject to external change. It is very similar to Ayn Rand's objectivism, that essentially states that "anything that is possible is fair." Exploitation, theft, even murder are all on the table if you can make it work for you. The only rules in such a belief are what you personally can and cannot do. Obviously and for good reason, social Darwinism is rejected by most modern thinkers. However, The War of the Worlds did bring to mind many of the imperialist tenancies of England at the time.

The Martians have an overwhelming military might compared to the entirety of the human race, and the most powerful weapons that humankind can muster are paltry compared to even the most basic of the Martians. Though all weapons are circumstantial and artificial constructs, social Darwinism would argue that this is perfectly fair, since the natural course of the strong...

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