In Chapter 12 of The War of the Worlds, why does the Narrator run toward the attacking martians?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 12, the Narrator comes on a platoon of soldiers trying to help the evacuating citizens remain calm. After he explains what is happening, and views the resistance of the citizens to believe his story and to escape, a group of Martians comes over a hill near a river. Knowing how the Martians kill, the Narrator tries to help people survive:

I turned with the rush of the people, but I was not too terrified for thought. The terrible Heat-Ray was in my mind. To get under water! That was it!

"Get under water!" I shouted, unheeded.

I faced about again, and rushed towards the approaching Martian, rushed right down the gravelly beach and headlong into the water.
(Wells, The War of the Worlds, eNotes eText)

Although the logical thing would be to run away from the Martians, the Narrator knows that they kill with a heat ray and that it can fire long distances, leaping from man to man until everyone is dead. Instead, he tries to get people to go into the water, where the heat ray might be ineffective. This means they have to run towards the Martians, but the Narrator views this as acceptable considering the alternative.

swinter44 | Student

I believe it's man vs. world/society in that he is confronting his antagonist head on and standing up to his fears.

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The War of the Worlds

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