Brilliantly creative minds seem to abound in the world of literature. Some writers seem to effortlessly capture immensely complex ideas on paper in such an interesting and enlightening way that I find their words quite remarkable. When I read classics which demonstrate this superior planning of character development and plot I feel awed by the author’s mastery of his/her art and the agility of their mental processes.
One writer I have included in my category of brilliantly creative minds is H.G. Wells. He is, of course, a famous and international known writer and his books have been made into movies, but I did not appreciate his sheer brilliance as a philosopher and analysis of human behaviour until I listened to the audio books of, firstly, War of the Worlds, and secondly, The Time Machine, over the past few weeks.
The movies of both of these books do not focus on their philosophical elements which, to me, were the most amazing and intriguing ideas in the books. H.G. Wells depiction of the Martians as beings that have evolved into such highly complex and intellectual creatures that they no longer require a body astonished me in it’s cleverness.
If you think about it, machines are always superior in strength and endurance to any physical being and if you are able to create machines to do all the tasks you require, why would you need to bother with maintaining a physical body? The Martians are merely brains with large eyes and hand-like tentacles which enable them to operate their many amazing machines. In order to focus only on intellectual pursuits, the Martians have eliminated emotions from their genetic make-up and they do not feel empathy, sadness, joy, fear or any of the other emotions that distract human beings. They are creatures of logic and their decisions are not hampered by emotion, sexual desire or even pleasure in eating and drinking. They do not eat but rather inject blood from a living being directly into their own veins. This really made me think as people with unusually high IQ’s often have low EQ’s and find it difficult relating to other people. What would our world be like if all of humanity were genetically engineered to create only geniuses?
The Time Machine also demonstrates and unusual understanding of the factors that drive human intelligence. In this book, the Time Traveler goes many thousands of years forward in time. He finally arrives at an age which, on the surface, appears to be a golden age where men have managed to achieve a purely communistic society where everyone enjoys the same benefits. There is no hunger, suffering or deprivation in this far distant time. The Time Traveler, however, soon discovers that the price man has paid for this Utopian world is his intelligence. The human-like creatures that inhabit the upper world have the mentality of children and lack any motivation to produce or create anything. H.G. Wells’ explanation is that if all your needs are met and there is no need to use intelligence to survive through means such as building shelter, storing food and fighting attackers, the intelligence will become obsolete through lack of challenge and use.
I thought these two ideas on the evolution of society were fascinating. What do you think? What brilliantly creative minds have you come across through reading fiction?
This post was written for Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday challenge: https://lindaghill.com/2019/05/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-18-19/