(1866 - 1946), English

H.G. Wells Best Quotes

Herbert George Wells is considered one of the founding fathers of the science fiction genre due to his immense contribution to the category. For the duration of his prime, Wells authored a vast amount of books bordering on social commentaries, history and politics, science, and fictional writings – for which he became celebrated.

Wells’ inner person is not only controversial but also enigmatic, and the ways he took to writing ensured these personal attributes of his were imprinted deep in the DNA of his books.

Being a social prophet, a political pragmatist and a literary scientist Mr. Wells was interested in virtually all aspects of human living, and he stopped at nothing to leave his mark on each of them using mostly the power of his writing, and few times, the echo of his speech. Following a deep dig into all things Wells, a ton of progressive and transformational resources are found in quotes and classics – all done by Wells over a century ago but still have an impact on present-day literature and society. The best quotes of Herbert George Wells abound and their themes cut across science, human conflicts and divide, the future, invisibility, globalization, and so on.

Social Order 

The most extraordinary thing to my mind, of all the strange and wonderful things that happened upon that Friday, was the dovetailing of the commonplace habits of our social order with the first beginnings of the series of events that was to topple that social order headlong.

Herbert George Wells exploited an excerpt from one of his strongest and most front-running books titled The War of the World to pass down a generationally priceless message to humanity on the issues of conflicts and wars.

The book, The War of the World, is one about humanity’s battle with more advanced, better sophisticated martian fighters but Wells went well beyond the context therein to invite a symbolic meaning representing a conflict between human’s very best peoples versus its possible worse. The author, through this quote, had dished out an unexpectedly remarkable social criticism about existing social structures which promoted diversity among people. For Wells, these social orders fostering a divide were only as strong as the technologies and infrastructures that defined them,  and would over time eventually wear out, paving way for a new social order.

On Being More Superior Than Man

This isn’t a war… It never was a war, any more than there’s a war between men and ants.

Another famous comment of Wells from The War of the World. Articulating this through The Artilleryman –one of his characters in the book who had just experienced first hand an entire unit of men wiped out by martian fighters – Wells quote has been largely translated to involve the implication that man’s very nature is to dominate everything in the universe at all odds. However, Wells noted a stern warning to man here that just how in the book, humans are like ants before the Martians, man will always have an entity, being or creation, that’s always a step ahead.

On Social Rejects and Outcast

Alone—it is wonderful how little a man can do alone! To rob a little, to hurt a little, and there is the end.

Out of Wells’s book The Invisible Man comes this quote which, far from the circumstances of the fictional storyline, explores the real-life conditions of being outlandish, socially barred, and recluse. In his quest for invisibility, the mad scientist called Griffin, a character out of which Wells opted to invent this powerful statement, finds there is a terrible catch to being invisible. The power in itself becomes a disappointment if it cannot guarantee its owner the volition of being seen and when to be. Beyond this, a more relatable scenario sparked by the quote is that it’s anchored on the experiences of a permanent social outcast; a person in solitude. 

On the Perils of War

If we don’t end war, war will end us.

Culled out from one of Wells’ works titled Things to Come (1936), this statement by Herbert George Wells is sandwiched between two of the deadliest battles of men and couldn’t have come in a more appropriate timing than it did – towards the start of World War II (1939 – 1945). Wells knew first-hand about what a destruction war can inflict upon humanity, particularly from his experience during World War I (1914 – 1918), and was not about to just sit back with folded arms and watch humanity destroy itself. This quote of Wells later became so popular that the speechwriters for former US president John F. Kennedy used part of the phrase during his 1961 address to the UN:

The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.


With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

What is the good of the love of woman when her name must needs be Delilah?

Still in the story of The Invisible Man and Wells controversial character, Mr. Griffin is less than lucid as he acts himself – a mad scientist,  recoursing effectively to a biblical metaphor just to try and vent his frustration rather than get answers to his rather rhetorical question. His quest of being invisible is tight, tricky, and far from being uncomplicated, and the reality of this angers him very much.

The extremity of his delirium, it is observed, depends on the crowd he’s around. With fellow intellectual like Mr. Kemp, he’s the rational scientist we all know; rational, intelligent, sane. However, with the local villager of Iping, you find him drifting into the paranoid scientist he is. In all, Wells’s allusion to the popular Bible villainess is seen as far off as connoting that with every great power, there is an equally great responsibility.

About Israel Njoku
Israel has a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. He loves entertainment, pop-culture and the arts and tries to extract themes with wider reaching implications from them through rigorous analysis.
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