What are some examples of imagery in The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One example of imagery in The War of the Worlds is the following:

Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

This example imagines the distance between Earth and Mars as a "gulf," or chasm. The Martians look upon earthlings with "envious eyes," wanting what we have, and coming up with plans to conquer Earth. 

The following is another example of imagery that Wells uses to describe Mars:

And looking across space with instruments, and intelligences such as we have scarcely dreamed of, they see, at its nearest distance only 35,000,000 of miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and grey with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas.

This excerpt contains many images that describe the way Martians regard Earth, as their own planet dries up. Earth is described as verdantly green and replete with water. Wells describes our planet the way the Martians would glimpse it, from far away through the wispy clouds. The Martians are able to see people on the land and boats in our busy oceans.

Here is another example of imagery to describe the storm that came from Mars several years before the time of which Wells writes:

This jet of fire had become invisible about a quarter past twelve. He compared it to a colossal puff of flame suddenly and violently squirted out of the planet, "as flaming gases rushed out of a gun."

The burst of fire coming from Mars is described as gases coming out a gun on a very large scale. The flame is compared to a jet of fire. 

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The War of the Worlds

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